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Dickens and the Unreal City

Searching for Spiritual Significance in Nineteenth-Century London

Dickens and the Unreal City by Karl Ashley Smith
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Dickens was no theologian. His direct statements on religion can only take us so far. His task of representing London in words, however, led him grapple with Christianity imaginatively and at a much deeper level. This new book shows how Dickens's London draws upon various forms of symbolism and secular discursive practices and brings them into tense dialogue. Taking its cue from criticism of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, it focuses on how traditional religious symbolism fares when it is brought into dialogue with its counterparts in metropolitan reality. A picture emerges of Dickens's London as a melting pot of images created by needs both within and outside the story that provides an insight into how relevant Dickens could be in the metropolitan age.

Palgrave Macmillan; July 2008
259 pages; ISBN 9780230583252
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Title: Dickens and the Unreal City
Author: Karl Ashley Smith
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