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10 Minute Thing

January 26, 2012

The role of texts within texts has always tickled my fancy. So, I love that Dickens does this in OMF. And not just literal/physical texts, but texts as something created between individuals as stories or even conversation. As far as literal texts go, Weggs’ reading of Gibbons stands out not only because he is reading the text aloud to another person but also because there a great deal permeability between the text itself and Weggs’ idea of the text. The text is recreated in the acting of being read while also being recreated by Weggs’ rather liberal taking of liberties. What we have is essentially a new text (with textures all its own).

But the “non-physical” texts are what truly interest me. The scene at the first Veneering’s dinner party: Mortimer creates the text of “The Man From Somewhere” as he is telling it. And, as I mentioned in a prior entry, there is a clear “meta” element as Mortimer is helped along by his “chorus” of Buffers and even makes allusions to novelistic conceits (“..as the novelists say…”). The same could be said of Lizzie’s seer like reading of flames. Her “library is the hollow down of the flare” from which she divines and discusses with Charlie. In a way, the creation of this edition from the firey library is triangulated between the fire, Lizzie, and Charley. This sort of “communal creation” (and perhaps I am stretching) is something people do in daily life. We form stories between ourselves… even if there is a single teller, actual interpersonal relations insure that the audience (no matter how great or small) directly and immediately impact the telling. This can even apply to cyberspace and the immediacy of Twitter. So, here I say: Dickens approved.

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2 Comments
  1. “There are wheels within wheels in this village…” Such complextiy and what a great eye you have to catch it all.

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  1. A whole lotta thinking going on: Drood and OMF « Just a Little Dickens

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