One of the most interesting aspects of fiction in the last thirty, forty years - within the more general postmodern modality of revisiting the past in the form of historical novels, parodies, pastiches -, is the presence of Victorian literature, history and culture in the narratives. A phenomenon which has been widely studied and which is probably due to a series of reasons explored, among others, by Robin Gilmour in “Using the Victorians: the Victorian Age in Contemporary Fiction” (in A. Jenkins and J. John, eds., Reading Victorian Fiction, Palgrave, 2002). Dickens has been particularly ‘exploited’, or borrowed from, by contemporary authors, as in the case of Peter Ackroyd’s The Great Fire of London (1982), Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (2002), Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith (2002), Clare Clark’s The Great Stink (2005), and others. Here we find most of the ingredients of Dickens’s novels: Victorian London and its underworld; stories of criminality, loss and recuperation; the moral design pattern; legal plots turning on wills and inheritances; stories of mystery and detection; and so forth. The aim of the paper is to explore the ways in which these themes, spaces and characters are presented in the above mentioned texts, either through the inversion/subversion of Victorian fictional norms, or by the reworking of Dickensian narrative motifs.

Dickensian Resonances in the Contemprary English Novel

CHIALANT, Maria Teresa
2011

Abstract

One of the most interesting aspects of fiction in the last thirty, forty years - within the more general postmodern modality of revisiting the past in the form of historical novels, parodies, pastiches -, is the presence of Victorian literature, history and culture in the narratives. A phenomenon which has been widely studied and which is probably due to a series of reasons explored, among others, by Robin Gilmour in “Using the Victorians: the Victorian Age in Contemporary Fiction” (in A. Jenkins and J. John, eds., Reading Victorian Fiction, Palgrave, 2002). Dickens has been particularly ‘exploited’, or borrowed from, by contemporary authors, as in the case of Peter Ackroyd’s The Great Fire of London (1982), Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (2002), Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith (2002), Clare Clark’s The Great Stink (2005), and others. Here we find most of the ingredients of Dickens’s novels: Victorian London and its underworld; stories of criminality, loss and recuperation; the moral design pattern; legal plots turning on wills and inheritances; stories of mystery and detection; and so forth. The aim of the paper is to explore the ways in which these themes, spaces and characters are presented in the above mentioned texts, either through the inversion/subversion of Victorian fictional norms, or by the reworking of Dickensian narrative motifs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3023411
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