By John Glavin
John Glavin bargains either a performative analyzing 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 without notice adverse, dating among Dickens and the theater and theatricality of his personal time, and exhibits how Dickens' novels will 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, seriously acute variations.
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Extra info for After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance
What in the novel is all suggestion in the powerful emptiness between the markings on the page must, on the stage, make itself seen to be felt. But what I don’t want to feel is what Henry James liked to get from St. Peter’s in Rome. ’’ As his friend Clover Adams joked, James always enjoyed chewing more than he could bite oﬀ. But even for appetites less gourmandising than James’, there’s a way in which, when any master’s work expands, the rest of us seem to wind up feeling somehow diminished. For the work of this Set up book, therefore, I prefer a spatial model very diﬀerent from either Aida’s pyramid or James’ St.
And his insistence on transgression (about which more in a moment) can border dangerously on the masochistic. ’’ That essentialist, anti-feminist, masochistic Dickens, adaptation and Grotowski slant I try to correct in the adaptations I advocate. Thus, as you will see, I deliberately re-center Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend on the women whose stories the narratives suppress rather than on the ventriloquized women their patriarchies endorse. And I look for every chance to use comedy to counter Grotowski’s (not to mention Dickens’s) celebration of pain.
He is ‘‘concern[ed],’’ as his notes to Mother Courage explain, ‘‘that the spectator should see’’ (Brecht : ). See what? The reverse of ‘‘those who look on at catastrophes wrongly’’ (p. ). Brecht’s theatre teaches us then to see the (Brecht’s) truth, and that is a truth that not only suspects but demonizes every sort of aﬀect. For Brecht, aﬀect merely conﬁrms the individual in mirage-like, deleterious subjectivity, ‘‘in an imaginary coherence . . the condition of which is the ignorance of the structure of his production, of his setting in position’’ (Heath : ).
After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance by John Glavin