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Copperfield's Geographies

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Abstract:

Although David Copperfield is the novel most closely associated with Dickens's childhood work at Warren's Blacking, it contains very little of the London writing so central to Dickens's vision. Other landscapes—Suffolk, Great Yarmouth, Canterbury, Highgate—are more prominent and persistently memorable in David's narration. Each of them serves as a screen for the projection of certain aspects of David's obscure psychic life, while Dickens makes implicit connections among traveling, remembering, and writing. The frightening childhood scenes in London seem to be forgotten when David returns to live in the city. But we may track Dickens as he surreptitiously draws David closer to the memorable sites of his own London childhood, and as he buries David's memories in London writing typically associated with the disgrace of fallen women.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7756/dsa.042.008.177-191

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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  • Founded in 1970, the centennial anniversary of Dickens's death, DSA has been published since 1980 by AMS Press in cooperation with the Ph.D. program in English of the City University of New York and in association with the Graduate Center, CUNY and Queens College, CUNY. Besides presenting articles exploring the wide range of Dickens''s interests and talents, DSA also includes essays on other mid- and late- nineteenth-century authors and on the history and aesthetics of the period's fiction. In addition, each volume contains a substantial review article examining a prior year's scholarship on Dickens, and DSA occasionally publishes surveys of work on other Victorian writers, as well as review essays considering specialized studies of subjects in Victorian fiction. The editors seek to offer essays of "the most diverse kinds," those employing innovative as well as traditional approaches.
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