Bleak House

Bleak House

Bleak House

Bleak House

Synopsis

It is in Bleak House that Dickens the realist and Dickens the modernist are often thought to meet. In the two intertwined but separate narratives, one from a woman's perspective and the other forming, arguably, the first detective novel in English, Dickens confronts modern England and modernity itself. The essays collected in this New Casebook embody some of the most exciting and challenging approaches to Dickens, using deconstructive, feminist, Marxist and poststructuralist methods. The introduction places the various essays in the context of current critical thinking, while itself suggesting an alternative viewpoint and the potential direction of future analysis of this most rewarding and stimulating text.

Excerpt

A CHANCERY Judge twice lead the kindness to inform me, as one of a company of home hundred and fifty men and women not labouring under any suspicions of lunacy, that the Court of Chancery, though the shining subject of much popular prejudice (at which point I thought the Judge's eye had a cast in my direction), was almost immaculate. There had been, he admitted, a trivial blemish or so in its rate of progress, but this was exaggerated, and had been entirely owing to the "parsimony of the public;" which guilty public, it appeared, had been until lately bent in the most determined manner on by no means enlarging the number of Chancery Judges appointed --I believe by Richard the Second, but any other King will do as well.

This seemed to me too profound a joke to be inserted in the body of this book, or I should have restored it to Conversation Kenge or to Mr. Vholes, with one or other of whom I think it must have originated. In such mouths I might have coupled it with an apt quotation from one of SHAKSPEARE'S Sonnets:

My nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd!

But as it is wholesome that the parsimonious public should know what has been doing, and still is doing, in this connexion, I mention . . .

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