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Epitaphic Representation in Dickens's Our Mutual Friend

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Working with a novel that has dust mounds looming over its action, this essay addresses Charles Dickens's preoccupation with the tombstone and pseudo-epitaph in Our Mutual Friend. Symbolic and absent tombstones can give us a particular lesson in reading death, resurrection, and inscription: the novel's central themes. In exposing real and imagined gravesites, as well as various other forms of signifying death, we can assess the fetishized idea of the headstone and epitaph in terms of not only existential affirmation and epistemological insight, but as a dialogic construct for inscribing death and representation in the novel. This essay thereby unpacks various forms of epitaphic rhetoric as it sheds new light on the dialogue Our Mutual Friend has with the dead.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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