Dickens and the Grown-up Child

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"We see it all now in one blinding flash. We see the mightiness of the genius and its limitations. We see why, less than almost any great author, Dickens changed with advancing culture....It may seem putting the case too strongly, but Charles Dickens, having crushed into his childish experience a whole world of sorrow and humorous insight, so loaded his soul that he never grew any older. He was a great, grown-up, dreamy, impulsive child, just as much a child as little Paul Dombey or little David Copperfield. He saw all from a child's point of ...
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0877454493 Lightly used ex-library with DJ in clear protective cover. No marking, other than library markings, found in text. Binding solid. Packaged carefully for shipping. ... Ships within 24 hours with tracking. Satisfaction guaranteed!! Sorry, no APO/FPO. Sorry, no APO/FPO. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"We see it all now in one blinding flash. We see the mightiness of the genius and its limitations. We see why, less than almost any great author, Dickens changed with advancing culture....It may seem putting the case too strongly, but Charles Dickens, having crushed into his childish experience a whole world of sorrow and humorous insight, so loaded his soul that he never grew any older. He was a great, grown-up, dreamy, impulsive child, just as much a child as little Paul Dombey or little David Copperfield. He saw all from a child's point of view - strange, odd, queer, puzzling. He confused men and things, animated scenery and furniture with human souls....Child-like he commiserated himself, with sharp, agonizing introspection. Child-like he rushed out into the world with his griefs and grievances, concealing nothing, wildly craving for sympathy. And just as much as little Paul Dombey was out of place at Dr. Blimber's, where they tried to cram him with knowledge, and ever pronounced him old-fashioned, was Charles Dickens out of place in the cold, worldly circle of literature, in the bald bare academy of English culture." This contemporary review of John Forster's Life of Charles Dickens (1872) believed that the revelations about Dickens's childhood hardships provided the key to understanding the bizarre nature of his genius, a view that has been a critical commonplace ever since. It has been used to account for Dickens's peculiar sympathy with orphaned children and his remarkable ability to render the child's-eye view of the world. It has led critics to see Dickens's work as essentially a sustained attempt, in novel after novel, to exorcise the restless ghosts of his childhood past. In Dickens and the Grown-up Child Malcolm Andrews explores in Dickens's writings the unresolved relationship between childhood and adulthood and the problems in constructing a coherent idea of maturity. The issue is far broader than might be expected, because Dickens projects these
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An exploration primarily of the "metaphysical-historical" source of Dickens's concern for the plight of children in his novels: his attempt to resolve the metaphysical debate concerning the meaning and value of childhood inherited from the previous century. This approach takes into account Dickens's personal experiences but focuses on the philosophical problems and contradictions involved in constructing a coherent idea of childhood and maturity through a close reading of Dickens's work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877454496
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
Pt. I Childhood and Maturity
1 The Idea of Childhood: A Genealogy 9
2 The Savage, the Child and the Caves of Ignorance 27
3 'The Birthplace of his Fancy' 41
4 'Where We Stopped Growing' 57
Pt. II The Crown-up Child
5 Grown-up Children in the Novels 73
6 Christmas and Rejuvenation 97
7 Dombey and Son: The New-Fashioned Man and the Old-Fashioned Child 112
8 David Copperfield - 1: Children and the Childlike 135
9 David Copperfield - 2: The Trials of Maturity 149
10 Childhood as Counterculture 172
Appendix A: 'Dullborough' 183
Appendix B: 'Where We Stopped Growing' 193
Notes and References 199
Index 209
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