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The Pleasures of MemoryLearning to Read with Charles Dickens$
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Sarah Winter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233526

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233526.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Dickens and the Pleasures of Memory

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Pleasures of Memory
Author(s):

Sarah Winter

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823233526.003.0001

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

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