After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance by John Glavin

By John Glavin

John Glavin deals either a performative studying of Dickens the novelist and an exploration of the possibility of adaptive functionality of the novels themselves. via shut examine of textual content and context Glavin uncovers a richly ambivalent, frequently suddenly opposed, courting among Dickens and the theater and theatricality of his personal time, and exhibits how Dickens' novels will be noticeable as a kind of counter functionality. but Glavin additionally explores the performative strength in Dickens' fiction, and describes new how you can level that fiction in emotionally robust, significantly acute diversifications.

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Or of theatre censorship. But my point here is not the obvious one that stage-speech stirs. We’ve known that since Aristotle. I’m interested in the more telling point that successful stage speech, entirely perlocutionary, inevitably affective, can never guarantee the effect at which it aims. The audience not only always can, but frequently does, resist. Think of poor shamed Henry James at the curtain call to Guy Domville. Or Yeats at the Abbey  Set up Riots. Nor do theatre audiences think and feel as one.

Or toward the stylized: ‘‘Oh look! How well they are pretending to be people riding in a crowded carriage! And it’s only a kitchen table. ’’ Either way: we see the plot’s pain but we feel only admiration. In conventional adaptation particularly our interest becomes monopolized by a simulation of life so life-like it stops us from wondering if life, on these terms, should be liked at all. That’s Dickens, adaptation and Grotowski  why of course the favorite American slot for adaptations like these is TV at the end of a Sunday evening, preferably in winter: the Cocoa hour.

His letters make it clear that very shortly after he began his career as a novelist he began to find writing a virtually intolerable burden. And that burden increased beyond toleration as he grew older. I would even claim that his mature life took shape as a flight from writing, a flight, from which he was repeatedly recalled by the necessity to earn his and his increasingly expensive family’s, living. There’s only one novel in the last decade of his life, when he was at the height of his powers and of his fame, and also when he had the widest possibility for opportunities to earn money apart from writing.

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