OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Charles Dickens's Networks: Public Transport and the Novel

ISBN : 9780199682164

Price(incl.tax): 
¥4,015
Author: 
Jonathan H. Grossman
Pages
272 Pages
Format
Paperback
Size
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2013
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The same week in February 1836 that Charles Dickens was hired to write his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, the first railway line in London opened. Charles Dickens's Networks explores the rise of the global, high-speed passenger transport network in the nineteenth century and the indelible impact it made on Dickens's work. The advent first of stage coaches, then of railways and transoceanic steam ships made unprecedented round-trip journeys across once seemingly far distances seem ordinary and systematic. Time itself was changed. The Victorians overran the separate, local times kept in each town, establishing instead the synchronized, 'standard' time, which now ticks on our clocks. Jonathan Grossman examines the history of public transport's systematic networking of people and how this revolutionized perceptions of time, space, and community, and how the art form of the novel played a special role in synthesizing and understanding it all. Focusing on a trio of road novels by Charles Dickens, he looks first at a key historical moment in the networked community's coming together, then at a subsequent recognition of its tragic limits, and, finally, at the construction of a revised view that expressed the precarious, limited omniscient perspective by which passengers came to imagine their journeying in the network.

Index: 

Introduction
ONE: THE SPEEDING OF THE PICKWICK COACH
I. Time
II. Space
III. Serialization
IV. Systems
TWO: ON TRAGEDY'S TRACKS
I. In Clock
II. A Tale That Is Tolled
III. Clock Strikes
THREE: INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS
Perspective
Simultaneity
Plottability
AFTERWORD

About the author: 

Jonathan H. Grossman is Associate Professor of English at UCLA. He is also the author of The Art of Alibi: English Law Courts and the Novel (2002).

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