Chapter

Introduction

Sarah Winter

in The Pleasures of Memory

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233526
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241132 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233526.003.0001
Introduction

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The Introduction reviews the critical controversies after Dickens's death about his representative Englishness and influence on readers. It defines the book's focus on theories of serial memory in Enlightenment psychology, nineteenth-century pedagogy, and accounts by Victorian literary critics about the effects of reading serial fiction. The book argues that Dickens's serial novels taught shared reading practices based in associationist theories of memory that transformed Dickens's popularity into an inclusive and participatory cultural politics and ultimately a mission for literature within democratic education. The “pleasures of memory” involve the common experience of memory's coherence through novel reading and the shared reception of popular serial genres.

Keywords: remediation; memory as medium; Dickens's critical reception; serial fiction; Victorian literacy; history of reading; Victoria reading audiences; novelistic pedagogy; experience

Chapter.  12325 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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