Instructor: Kay Young
Course: ENGL 170 CD
Time: Spring 2016, MW 1:00-2:15 PM
Charles Dickens is the great English novelist of identity “wounded by mystery.” Dickens narrates the rupture of parent from child as a psychic drama in relation to which his particular realism, his novel of the orphan and of detective fiction, work in reflective embodiment. In this course we’ll explore how Dickens’s response to the questions, “Who am I?” and “What are my origins?” and “To whom do I belong?” and “What is mine?” lead to new sounds in his psychologizing of the 19th-century English novel—in the lived narrative experience of being the orphan who asks those questions and in what forms of cognitive processing the narrative uses to answer them. We’ll read David Copperfield, Bleak House, and Great Expectations in conjunction with works of attachment theory and cognitive science.
Image: “Charles Dickens’ Legacy to the World” (detail)