By John Glavin
John Glavin bargains either a performative studying of Dickens the novelist and an exploration of the opportunity of adaptive functionality of the novels themselves. via shut examine of textual content and context Glavin uncovers a richly ambivalent, usually all at once adversarial, dating among Dickens and the theater and theatricality of his personal time, and indicates how Dickens' novels will be visible as a kind of counter functionality. but Glavin additionally explores the performative power in Dickens' fiction, and describes new how you can degree that fiction in emotionally strong, seriously acute variations.
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Extra info for After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance
But about the species, or any thing of that ilk, childish Dickens could hardly care less. He is driven only and supremely by the child’s care for self. Look at A Tale Of Two Cities, written while Dickens was adapting himself to survive the ﬂop of his domestic life by taking up a distinctly asocial liaison with the actress Ellen Ternan. The ostensible hero, Charles Darnay, returns altruistically to revolutionary France from his work as a teacher in England, conﬁdent that he can intervene for the private and for the general good.
Without access to aﬀect we are left – and we have left those we train – without either the stimulus or training to respond with complex feelings to complex texts. Not a problem if human beings could be moved to live well, to behave generously, to seek justice, through disinterest or abstraction. I am not thinking here only of the great public choices but of Dickens, adaptation and Grotowski the perhaps even more signiﬁcant choices that foster healthy and durable intimacies, choices that are perhaps even more at risk the way we live and read now.
He understood, in his inimitably meanspirited way, that far from being a part of philosophy, art is philosophy’s implacable foe. The oﬀspring of sly craft and idle play, literature always sides with rhetoric against philosophy, sides with doing against thinking, feeling against reason, acting against mere knowing. Of course, no one would ever have forgotten this were it not for the Cartesian curricula of the French lyce´es. Set up Literature always prefers a way to a truth, any day, even when the way leads only to trouble.