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Charles Dickens's public readings have not had the attention they deserve; and yet Dickens put as much effort into perfecting his performances as he did with his novels. These performances were sensational events and won Dickens thousands of new admirers. This book tells that story and brings the events alive, with more detail than ever before.
A collection of original essays and innovative reading strategies—provides examples of reading Dickens in creative and challenging ways Reading Dickens Differently features contributions from many of the field’s leading scholars, offering creative ways of reading Dickens and enriching understanding of the most celebrated author of his time. A diverse range of innovative reading strategies—archival, historical, textual, and digital—representing new and exciting approaches to contemporary literary and cultural studies. This groundbreaking volume brings together literature, history, politics, painting, illustration, social media, video games, and other topics to reveal new opportunities to engage with the author's life and work. This unique book includes a re-evaluation of Dickens’ death and burial, new research data drawn from legal records and newspapers, assessments of well-known paintings and lesser-known illustrations, experimental readings of Dickens’ texts in digital form, and more. Much of the evidence presented has never been seen before, such as Dickens' funeral fee account from Westminster Abbey, Dickens' death certificate, and a telegram from Dickens' son asking for urgent assistance for his dying father. Revising and refreshing the critical strategies of traditional Dickens studies, this important volume: Features new research data on aspects of Dickens's life Discusses a range of innovative reading strategies (including physiological novel theory) for clarifying aspects of Dickens' work Examines the presence of Dickens in popular media and technology, such as Assassin’s Creed video game and A Christmas Carol iPad app Features rare illustrations, including documents and images relating to Dickens's death and funeral Edited by world authorities on Dickens and his manuscripts Authoritative, yet accessible, Reading Dickens Differently is a must-have book for Dickens specialists, instructors and students in Victorian fiction and Dickens courses, as well as general readers lookingfor innovative reading strategies of the author's work.
This work offers an original interpretation of the mothers of the protagonists in Dickens’s autobiographical novels. Taking Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic concept of abjection and Mary Douglas’s anthropological analysis of pollution as its conceptual framework, the book argues that Dickens’s primary emotional response towards the mother who abandoned him to work in a blacking warehouse was disgust, and suggests that we can trace similar signs of disgust in the narrators of his fictional autobiographies, David Copperfield, Bleak House, and Great Expectations. The author provides a close reading of Dickens’s autobiographical fragment and opens up the possibility that Dickens’s feelings towards his mother actually bore a significant influence on his fiction. The book closes with a provocative discussion of Dickens’s compulsive Sikes and Nancy public readings.
Critical essays discuss Dickens and his works

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