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The Mudworm's Bower and Other Metropastoral Spaces: Novelization and Clashing Chronotopes in Our Mutual Friend

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Abstract:

Bakhtinian novelization transforms traditional pastoral space into citified enclaves where moral “fastening down” occurs in the form of strategic character testing, pedagogical lessons, and literal expulsion. Shepherd-teachers and faithful servants square off with rogues and imposters who attempt to subvert the “virtues of shelter” by using various forms of theatricality. Hexam's windmill, Boffin's Bower, The Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters, Riah's rooftop garden, The Wren's Nest, and the reclaimed Harmony Bower all function as “organizing centers” where idyllic and theatrical chronotopes vie for primacy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7756/dsa.042.014.295-330

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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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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