Dickens and the Invisible World: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and by Harry Stone PDF

By Harry Stone

ISBN-10: 1349050725

ISBN-13: 9781349050727

ISBN-10: 1349050741

ISBN-13: 9781349050741

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Extra resources for Dickens and the Invisible World: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Novel-Making

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From Oral Tradition. This volume was an immediate success, calling forth several early reprintings, and by 1826 it was possible to add a second volume of translations from Grimm. The translator of German Popular Stories, Edgar Taylor, presented his collection to the English public as a remedy for a prevailing sickness. "The popular tales of England," he wrote, ''have been too much neglected. They are nearly discarded from the libraries of childhood. " 6 Taylor then went on to affirm that "much might be urged against this rigid and philosophic (or rather unphilosophic) exclusion of works of fancy and fiction," for such works, and especially the fairy tales of childhood, sensitize the imagination and thus the ability to achieve pleasure and happiness throughout one's life.

Robinson Crusoe soon appeared in condensed and in chapbook form, and in these versions, if not in its original form, became one of the most widely read and widely imitated books of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The second development was the publication of Gulliver's Travels in 1726. This narrative about little people, giants, talking animals, and fantastic lands had powerful affinities with fairy tales, and it, too, in simplified versions and chapbook abridgements (especially abridgements concerning Lilliput), became the province of children.

I debate within myself whether there was more than one Jack (which I am loth to believe possible), or only one genuine original admirable Jack, who achieved all the recorded exploits. 9 The reminiscence itself takes on the attributes of a fairy tale, transforming, dissolving, and blending with magical freedom and swiftness. As usual, delight and admiration overwhelm the darker strain, but the darker strain is there too, and it emerges-as so often in Dickens' references to fairy stories and childhood literature-as an allusion to cannibalism or eating human flesh, a tribute perhaps to Mary Weller's storytelling.

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Dickens and the Invisible World: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Novel-Making by Harry Stone


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