By Rosemarie Bodenheimer
In this compelling and available ebook, Rosemarie Bodenheimer explores the thoughtworld of the Victorian novelist who was once so much deeply intrigued by means of nineteenth-century principles in regards to the subconscious brain. Dickens came upon some ways to dramatize in his characters either subconscious techniques and acts of self-projection―notions which are occasionally utilized to him as though he have been an unwitting sufferer. Bodenheimer explains how the novelist used such thoughts to barter the floor among figuring out and telling, revealing and concealing. She asks how good Dickens knew himself―the volume to which he understood his personal nature and the methods he projected himself in his fictions―and how good we will be aware of him.
Knowing Dickens is the 1st publication to systematically discover Dickens's plentiful correspondence relating to his released writings. accumulating proof from letters, journalistic essays, tales, and novels that endure on an enormous factor or development of reaction in Dickens's lifestyles and paintings, Bodenheimer cuts throughout widespread storylines in Dickens biography and feedback in chapters that take in themes together with self-defensive language, types of reminiscence, kin of identity and contention between males, homes and family administration, and jogging and writing.
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Extra resources for Knowing Dickens
16–17). ” It is clear, however, that Dickens felt himself to be passionately in love, and that he was hurt and humiliated by Maria’s indifference to his feeling. The letter begins with two formal and ludicrously extended sentences which show Dickens riding a high horse with minimal control of the reins—a very different kind of writing from the easy, informal, verbally playful addresses to his male friends of the time. The letter professes only generosity to Maria’s feelings, pretending that “Your own feelings will enable you to imagine far better than any attempt of mine to describe the painful struggle it has cost me to make up my mind to adopt the course which I now take”; insisting that he has not “the most remote idea of hurting your feelings” by writing these lines; and declaring a sincere and heartfelt wish for her happiness.
Although Freud’s emphasis on the degradation of the apparently exalted fails to encompass the range of affects—including sheer fun or affection—that can reside in parody, his notion that parody drives a wedge between a “known” person and his speech or actions is quite resonant in Dickens’s case. Dickens’s invariable targets are characters that demand respect or homage by insisting that others know their virtues through their self-representations. Freud’s definition also suggests a kind of Oedipal struggle in the impulse to parody, which speaks directly to the link between Dickens’s parody and the rhetorical excesses of John Dickens.
Underlying it all, there is a sense of perpetual disappointment that takes the form of feeling conned. The turbulent history of Dickens’s relations with his publishers is a complicated labyrinth that I will not enter, except to look at some examples of the writing it set off. In November 1836, the twenty-four-year-old Dickens resigned from his job as a reporter for the Morning Chronicle. Pickwick was in train with Chapman and Hall, and he had just signed a new contract with another publisher, Richard Bentley, to edit Bentley’s Miscellany.