Enumeration and Exhaustion: Taking Inventory in "The Old Curiosity Shop"
MetadataShow full item record
The Old Curiosity Shop marks a crisis in Dickens’s early career. Overcommitted to projects, a victim of his own success, Dickens soon found his episodic model of fiction, first practiced in Pickwick and devoted to furnishing ‘‘a constant succession of characters and incidents,’’ pushed to its limit. Of his new periodical Master Humphrey’s Clock he complained, ‘‘wind, wind, wind, always winding I am.’’ His fourth novel became a metafictional reflection on the conditions of his own creativity, a work seemingly intent on thwarting the very delineating power—the power of invention, and of inventory—that multiplies fresh characters and incidents in the Dickensian episodic narrative.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Dickens Studies Annual
Penn State University Press
Buzard, James. 'Enumeration and Exhaustion: Taking Inventory in "The Old Curiosity Shop".' Dickens Studies Annual 39 (2008): 17-41 © 2008 AMS Press, Incorporated
Author's final manuscript