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Dickens in Post-Soviet Russia

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Abstract:

This essay considers the extent to which Dickens is still needed and still read in post-Soviet Russia—a country with a relatively new kind of government, a new ideology, and new literary standards. In fact, my survey opens with a question: what happens to Dickens now on the big stage of post-Soviet Russia? To answer it, I first briefly consider (1) several outstanding editions in translation of Dickens's works, then examine (2) significant recent scholarly studies, and then review (3) a few doctoral dissertations, before describing (4) some noteworthy adaptations into film, audiobooks or CDs, and theater performances. The many different kinds of editions of Dickens's works now available in Russia indicate a demand, at least in the book market. In addition, during the last two decades there have appeared important scholarly books, essays, and dissertations that explore new aspects of the world of Dickens. Finally, the large number of adaptations of his fiction into other media gives grounds for hope that he is just entering the post-Soviet scene and that the play, of which this inimitable writer is the author, editor, theater director, and principal actor, is only beginning.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7756/dsa.043.011.233-260

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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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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