Dickens, Miscellanies, and classical traditions of Satire

Drew, John (2017) Dickens, Miscellanies, and classical traditions of Satire. Dickens Quarterly, 34 (3). pp. 221-243. ISSN 0742-5473

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The article asks how Dickens in the 1830s orientated himself as a budding humorist against the existing satirical and comic traditions of his day, and in particular how he understood the concept of satire, in the context of periodical publication. An answer is sought--perhaps surprisingly--through a consideration of how Dickens, while no classical scholar, understood neoclassical satirical conventions, particularly those associated with the Horatian and Juvenalian modes. His experience as editor of "Bentley's Miscellany" is considered a formative one in this respect, and passages from "Martin Chuzzlewit" are adduced as further evidence of Dickens's sophisticated and nuanced response to this polarisation of satirical vantage point. However, the interaction of these models with the publishing format of the miscellany itself--given satire's origin in the idea of miscellaneity--leads on to consideration of a third significant satirical mode, the Menippean, which offers both a neoclassial and a Bakhtinian perspective on the question of Dickens's evolving use of satire in his periodical writings. A final coda to the article connects its main themes to a psycho-biographical subtext concerning Dickensian alienation and the writer's lifelong interest in the narrative possibilities of the social and aesthetic boundary between insider and outcast.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Charles Dickens; Satire
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: School of Humanities & Social Sciences > English Literature > English Literature
Depositing User: John Drew
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2017 06:18
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2018 12:43
URI: http://bear.buckingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/166

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