By John Glavin
John Glavin bargains either a performative studying of Dickens the novelist and an exploration of the opportunity of adaptive functionality of the novels themselves. via shut learn of textual content and context Glavin uncovers a richly ambivalent, usually suddenly adversarial, dating among Dickens and the theater and theatricality of his personal time, and indicates how Dickens' novels should be obvious as a sort of counter functionality. but Glavin additionally explores the performative capability in Dickens' fiction, and describes new how one can degree that fiction in emotionally robust, significantly acute diversifications.
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Additional resources for After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance
Like the actor, the spectator must permit the adaptation to take her or him as its target. In eﬀect, the spectator must permit the self to be adapted also. Eric Bentley, for example, wrote of responding to Grotowski’s Apocalypsis Cum Figuris in a way that had never happened to him in the theatre before, with feelings so intimate, indeed secret, that he could not without severe embarrassment reveal them in his review. A Dickens, adaptation and Grotowski true Brechtian, he even doubted whether such feelings could be experienced appropriately in the theatre (Kumiega : ).
Masters of perlocution, they are stirring, rousing, thrilling, exciting, irritating, angering, appeasing – the list goes on – the audience. Aﬀect, we may well claim, is the intended eﬀect of all their telling. If we doubt this, we need only think of the long history of theatre riots. 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.
Over it Pip immediately ﬁnds himself, pulled upside down by Magwitch, even as he attempts to read further. Magwitch not only robs and starves him but seems to castrate him as well, emptying his pockets. The child cannot resist. He becomes not only enthralled but even made the unwilling son to that superior adult power, which the world reads as the Father and which Dickens reads as Shame. Virtually everything in Dickens turns on shame, or, rather, on this contest between shame and bliss, a contest bliss always loses (except, patently, in Carton’s ‘‘Tale’’) but which shame also never quite wins.
After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance by John Glavin