Fairytale vs Reality: Charles Dickens Against the Background of Victorian England
The course offers a broad study of Victorian Times in England by focusing on one of the great writers of this period, Charles Dickens. The historical, political and cultural situation of the second half of the 19th century in the world, and particularly in the UK, will be explored. We shall read how "Victoria Becomes Queen" from the Journal of Queen Victoria, "The Condition of England" by Thomas Carlyle, "The Two Nations" from Benjamin Disraeli's "Sybil,"the English 'Slums'" by Engels, about the London of Dickens's time from Peter Ackroyd and many others, including several books by a professor of this course John Taylor.
Focusing on Dickens studies, we shall define his role and place in the history of world literature, and explore the mastery of this "enchanter" (as Nabokov calls him), his psychological and artistic revelations and insights. Various parallels and connections will be traced: between Dickens and Edgar Poe, Dostoevsky, Robert Stevenson, Konan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Salvator Dali, Freud and others.