By John Glavin
John Glavin bargains either a performative examining of Dickens the novelist and an exploration of the opportunity of adaptive functionality of the novels themselves. via shut learn of textual content and context Glavin uncovers a richly ambivalent, frequently unexpectedly antagonistic, courting among Dickens and the theater and theatricality of his personal time, and exhibits how Dickens' novels may be visible as a kind of counter functionality. but Glavin additionally explores the performative strength in Dickens' fiction, and describes new how one can level that fiction in emotionally robust, seriously acute diversifications.
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Extra info for After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance
The child cannot resist. He becomes not only enthralled but even made the unwilling son to that superior adult power, which the world reads as the Father and which Dickens reads as Shame. Virtually everything in Dickens turns on shame, or, rather, on this contest between shame and bliss, a contest bliss always loses (except, patently, in Carton’s ‘‘Tale’’) but which shame also never quite wins. In this contention, shame names the internal, apparently insuperable drive Dickens, adaptation and Grotowski that insists the Child become a Father in order to be a Man, that he enter the ritualized scenarios of courtship and reproduction that allow organized life to deploy him as it wills.
The preparation alone is task enough for theatre. Thus I ﬁnd myself, paradoxically, more loyal to Poor Theatre than its inventor. Where others later sow, I’m happily content to harrow. So I don’t mind that Grotowski is likely to seem vieux jeu to many in the contemporary theatre (as vieux jeu as saying vieux jeu). He is generally thought to have made his contribution, largely to actors’ training, twenty years ago, and has pretty much vanished along with other gurus of the late ’sixties and early ’seventies.
The ‘‘intertwining’’ of the two kinds of space establishes a paradigm of adaptation. Harbison rightly keys on the dwarves’ beautifully chiseled doorframes as the deﬁning objects in the complex space. The framed doors refuse to cut oﬀ dwarfed from ducal, refuse to polarize along the lines of the Jamesian poor measure and the Petrine sublime. Instead, they enforce beautifully a need always to be moving in and on, what Harbison notes as the crucially double rhythm of the doubled space, growing and shrinking, tightening and relaxing.
After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance by John Glavin