Dickens and the Children of Empire by W. Jacobson

By W. Jacobson

Dickens and the youngsters of Empire examines the topics of adolescence and empire all through Dickens' ouevre. the celebrated staff of individuals begin and expand debates at the topics of post-colonialism, literature of the kid, and current formative years as an apt metaphor for the colonized topic in Dickens' paintings.

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My mortality (my finitude) is thus inscribed in everything I write’ (pp. 50–1). Reading and interpretation thus become forms of mourning: ‘every determinate addressee, and thus every act of reading, is affected by the same “death” . . a text never comes to rest in a unity or meaning finally revealed or discovered. This work must also be a work of mourning . . in truth, only this situation allows a text to have a “life” or as we shall say later an “afterlife”’ (p. 56). 16. ‘The retreat to Nature in Dickens is for the most part a negative gesture, associated with death and regression to childhood, social disengagement rather than social paradigm’ (Eagleton, p.

For all memory reaches back and evokes the most helpless of us, those looking with least protection into the bitter and forsaken night, the children. Our current recovered memory plots may be healing adults or children within but they are murdering our actual children. We have developed so much pity for ourselves and are so bent on vindicating adults that we treat the children about us as excrescences. Dickens’s evocation of ancient modes of grace and forgiveness offers a different way to read our past and a different way to see the children about us not as empty pages on which we can write our lost past and our erotic hungers but as people, like us, needing not to be blamed.

Peter Coveney, The Image of Childhood (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967). Paul de Man, Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979). Jacques Derrida, The Post Card: from Socrates to Freud and Beyond (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987). 1057/9780230294172 - Dickens and the Children of Empire, Edited by Wendy S. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromsoe - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-11 26 John Bowen 27 ——, Of Grammatology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976).

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