Essays On Charles Dickens

Essays On Charles Dickens-12
It is worth comparing him with Charles Reade, for instance.

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All that the book really demonstrated was that a writer's literary personality has little or nothing to do with his private character.

It is quite possible that in private life Dickens was just the kind of insensitive egoist that Mr. But in his published work there is implied a personality quite different from this, a personality which has won him far more friends than enemies.

In every page of his work one can see a consciousness that society is wrong somewhere at the root. Hence the utter lack of any constructive suggestion anywhere in his work.

He attacks the law, parliamentary government, the educational system and so forth, without ever clearly suggesting what he would put in their places.

Plenty of people have found him unreadable, but very few seem to have felt any hostility towards the general spirit of his work. Bechhofer Roberts published a full-length attack on Dickens in the form of a novel (THIS SIDE IDOLATRY), but it was a merely personal attack, concerned for the most part with Dickens's treatment of his wife.

It dealt with incidents which not one in a thousand of Dickens's readers would ever hear about, and which no more invalidates his work than the second-best bed invalidates HAMLET.

Gissing, for instance, the best of the writers on Dickens, was anything but a radical himself, and he disapproved of this strain in Dickens and wished it were not there, but it never occurred to him to deny it.

In OLIVER TWIST, HARD TIMES, BLEAK HOUSE, LITTLE DORRIT, Dickens attacked English institutions with a ferocity that has never since been approached.

I Dickens is one of those writers who are well worth stealing.

Even the burial of his body in Westminster Abbey was a species of theft, if you come to think of it. Jackson, has made spirited efforts to turn Dickens into a blood-thirsty revolutionary.


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