The Gothic heart of Victorian serial fiction.
This essay theorizes the productive potential of the Victorian serial as a form that fosters literary wandering. Anchoring the analysis in John Ruskin's recuperative re·cu·per·ate
v. re·cu·per·at·ed, re·cu·per·at·ing, re·cu·per·ates
1. To return to health or strength; recover.
2. To recover from financial loss.
v.tr. reading of Gothic irregularity A defect, failure, or mistake in a legal proceeding or lawsuit; a departure from a prescribed rule or regulation.
An irregularity is not an unlawful act, however, in certain instances, it is sufficiently serious to render a lawsuit invalid. , the essay argues that the open-endedness of the Victorian serial creates the conditions for productive nonlinear wandering by both writers and readers. Despite a surface rigidity in publication format that might prompt us to set the serial novel against the irregular Gothic, these texts produce surprisingly similar reading effects. Underneath the facade of regularity, the Victorian serial--even the comic Pickwick Papers or nostalgic Cranford--has a wandering, Gothic heart.
On 7 October 1837, Charles Dickens's serial novel The Post-humous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836-37) received a negative review in The Idler, and Breakfast-Table Companion, with the reviewer concluding: "To write for the sake of making up a certain quantity of matter, is unprofitable to both author and reader." (1) The final double number of the novel, issued for November 1837, counters this charge of unprofitability through Dickens's affable protagonist, who insists: "I shall never regret having devoted the greater part of two years to mixing with different varieties and shades of Noun 1. shades of - something that reminds you of someone or something; "aren't there shades of 1948 here?"
reminder - an experience that causes you to remember something human character, frivolous as my pursuit of novelty may have appeared to many. Nearly the whole of my previous life having been devoted to business and the pursuit of wealth, numerous scenes of which I had no previous conception have dawned upon me--I hope to the enlargement of my mind, and the improvement of my understanding. If I have done but little good, I trust I have done less harm, and that none of my adventures will be other than a source of amusing and pleasant recollections to me in the decline of life." (2) In this statement, the loveable Pickwick justifies his wandering adventures as a method for personal growth.
Pickwick's adventures do cause harm, however, in Elizabeth Gaskell's series-turned-novel Cranford (1851-53), when the charismatic Captain Brown perishes in a violent railway accident while, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the fictitious county paper, "deeply engaged in the perusal of a number of 'Pickwick,' which he had just received." (3) Interestingly, Cranford links the dangerousness of Pickwick Papers specifically to its serial production. According to the village's central keeper of rules and regulations, Miss Deborah Jenkyns, serialization se·ri·al·ize
tr.v. se·ri·al·ized, se·ri·al·iz·ing, se·ri·al·iz·es
To write or publish in serial form.
se is "vulgar, and below the dignity of literature" (Cranford, p. 9); it thus poses a special threat to a community that seeks to retain a sense of gentility in the face of overwhelming economic pressures. (4) Revisiting the debate over the potential value and harm of Pickwick Papers, this essay aims to theorize the·o·rize
v. the·o·rized, the·o·riz·ing, the·o·riz·es
To formulate theories or a theory; speculate.
To propose a theory about. the productive potential of the Victorian serial as a form that fosters digressive di·gres·sive
Characterized by digressions; rambling.
di·gressive·ly adv. or wandering literary activity that has value in and of itself.
My analysis of the productive potential of digression in the Victorian serial originates in an unlikely place--John Ruskin's radical reading of Gothic architecture Gothic architecture
Architectural style in Europe that lasted from the mid 12th century to the 16th century, particularly a style of masonry building characterized by cavernous spaces with the expanse of walls broken up by overlaid tracery. in The Stones of Venice (1851-53). In "The Nature of Gothic," Ruskin identifies irregularity, as opposed to perfection Adv. 1. to perfection - in every detail; "the new house suited them to a T"
just right, to a T, to the letter or order, as the milieu of human achievement. (5) Reading against the grain, he siaggests the productive nature of wandering in an era that was increasingly organized around progress and a future-oriented outlook that has been linked to the ideology of capitalism and the rise of the middle class. (6) When viewed through a Ruskinian lens, the open-endedness and resulting bagginess of the Victorian serial can be seen as creating the conditions for productive wandering by both writers and readers. Although the surface rigidity of serial production might prompt us to set the serial novel against the irregular Gothic, this essay argues that these texts produce surprisingly similar reading effects. Underneath the facade of regularity, the Victorian serial--even the comic Pickwick Papers or nostalgic Cranford--has a wandering, Gothic heart.
RUSKIN'S "FANTASTIC PARADOX" AND GOTHIC POSSIBILITIES
In our own time, theorists such as Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) (pronounced [ʀɔlɑ̃ baʀt]) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiologist. , Michel Foucault Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: [miˈʃɛl fuˈko]) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher, historian and sociologist. , and Michel de Certeau Michel de Certeau (Chambéry, 1925- Paris, 9 January 1986) was a French Jesuit and scholar whose work combined psychoanalysis, philosophy, and the social sciences.
Michel de Certeau was born in 1925 in Chambéry, France. Certeau's education was eclectic. have shown a tremendous interest in literal and figurative wandering--including reading--and its implications for individuals acting within inescapable networks of power. Attention to the empowering potential of wandering is not solely a twentieth-century development, however. More than a century earlier, Ruskin was already exploring the productive side of wandering in a variety of contexts, from the visual arts to the British educational system. In "The Nature of Gothic," Ruskin revolutionized the common perception of Gothic architecture during his own wandering tour of Italy. In an age obsessed with order, control, and mechanical reproduction, he convincingly argues that the imperfect is in fact superior to the perfect. In this radical piece of art criticism, Ruskin champions the irregular aspects of this architecture, and reveals the potential power of resisting order, regularity, and centralization figured as perfection. Within his exposition, Ruskin movingly asserts that irregular architectural forms can be read as an embodiment of freedom because perfection necessarily carries with it the specter of limitation.
Explaining this counterintuitive coun·ter·in·tu·i·tive
Contrary to what intuition or common sense would indicate: "Scientists made clear what may at first seem counterintuitive, that the capacity to be pleasant toward a fellow creature is ... position, Ruskin writes:
It seems a fantastic paradox, but it is nevertheless a most important truth, that no architecture can be truly noble which is not imperfect. And this is easily demonstrable. For since the architect, whom we will suppose capable of doing all in perfection, cannot execute the whole with his own hands, he must either make slaves of his workmen in the old Greek, and present English fashion, and level his work to a slave's capacities, which is to degrade it; or else he must take his workmen as he finds them, and let them show their weaknesses together with their strength, "which will involve the Gothic imperfection, but render the whole work as noble as the intellect of the age can make it. (pp. 120-1)
For Ruskin, Gothic architecture with its asymmetrical facade and meandering layout stands as a testament to freedom in labor--a reaching beyond what can be perfectly constructed and replicated according to one master plan to what can be imagined by the individual, albeit if executed in stone with only partial success. In asserting this thesis, Ruskin turns away from notions of Gothic architecture as the relic of a savage and primitive state of society and instead privileges what had been labeled as rude, grotesque, and flawed. The irregular is virtuous, according to his argument, as a location of growth and development; the perfect is merely a fixed monument to stagnation Stagnation
A period of little or no growth in the economy. Economic growth of less than 2-3% is considered stagnation. Sometimes used to describe low trading volume or inactive trading in securities.
A good example of stagnation was the U.S. economy in the 1970s. .
Accordingly, Ruskin champions an irregular aesthetic, a point made explicit in his essay when he vehemently asserts that "accurately speaking, no good work whatever can be perfect, and the demand for perfection is always a sign of a misunderstanding of the ends of art" (p. 121). Implicitly, Ruskin advocates art that wanders away from, or beyond, norms (represented as the "perfect") instead of toward them. Perfection is an inherently limiting concept for Ruskin because it has an end point: a preconceived image or form.
Ruskin further recognizes the potential benefits of wandering through an "aesthetic of generosity," as Francis O'Gorman calls it, "which allowed for and saluted human failure as productive and necessary." (7) Ruskin makes failure central to his rationale for privileging the irregular and imperfect. Failure is a sign of the apogee of man's abilities, he asserts, as "no great man ever stops working till he has reached his point of failure: that is to say, his mind is always far in advance of his powers of execution, and the latter will now and then give way in trying to follow it" (p. 121). Wandering might be seen in the same way, as an attempt to advance productively into new territory. For Ruskin, failure, in the guise of imperfection im·per·fec·tion
1. The quality or condition of being imperfect.
2. Something imperfect; a defect or flaw. See Synonyms at blemish.
1. , animates life: "imperfection is in some sort essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be, rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent ... All admit irregularity as they imply change; and to banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze par·a·lyze
To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic. vitality" (p. 121). Imperfection, envisioned as flux and incoherence incoherence Not understandable; disordered; without logical connection. See Schizophrenia. , is the condition of beautiful human work, Ruskin argues; it is the prerequisite for "exertion" and "vitality." Irregularity, which embodies the vital act of wandering or straying from perfect but static norms, is thus transformed in Ruskin's essay from an aesthetic flaw to the most basic condition of generation and production. According to Ruskin's "fantastic paradox," imperfection is absolutely necessary for growth; in O'Gorman's eloquent words, it is "the path toward full humanity." (8) Under this paradigm, wandering, a physical performance of imperfection, becomes symbolic of a healthy individual or society.
What is perhaps most striking about Ruskin's reading of architecture is his construction of "Gothic" as a use-oriented generic category. Noting its elusive characteristics, Ruskin asserts that Gothic architecture is fundamentally defined not by a particular formal relationship between features, but instead by its focus on use:
Undefined in its slope of roof, height of shaft, breadth of arch, or disposition of ground plan, it can shrink into a turret, expand into a hall, coil into a staircase, or spring into a spire, with undegraded grace and unexhausted energy; and whenever it finds occasion for change in its form or purpose, it submits to it without the slightest sense of loss either to its unity or majesty--subtle and flexible like a fiery serpent, but ever attentive to the voice of the charmer. And it is one of the chief virtues of the Gothic builders, that they never suffered ideas of outside symmetries and consistencies to interfere with the real use and value of what they did. If they wanted a window, they opened one; a room, they added one; a buttress, they built one; utterly regardless of any established conventionalities of external appearance. So that, in the best times of Gothic, a useless window would rather have been opened in an unexpected place for the sake of the surprise, than a useful one forbidden for the sake of symmetry. (p. 123)
According to Ruskin, the defining characteristic of this architectural style is its emphasis on process rather than product, and its value is thus tied to use or experience, not "external appearance" or the object itself. A theorization the·o·rize
v. the·o·rized, the·o·riz·ing, the·o·riz·es
To formulate theories or a theory; speculate.
To propose a theory about. of use value is what makes Ruskin's passionate tribute to Gothic architecture a powerful tool for understanding the Victorian serial's hidden potential as another use-oriented form that concentrates on writing and reading as process and develops (either directly or indirectly) in response to actual readers.
Ruskin's re-theorization of what the Gothic signifies was admittedly developed in an architectural context, yet it is certainly not a stretch to import Ruskin's analysis from the realm of stones and mortar to the realm of words on a page and the print format of part issues. While Ruskin's analysis of Gothic architecture is explicitly about the creative labor of the artisan who produced such works, it is implicitly about a reading experience. (9) Ruskin ends his essay on "The Nature of Gothic" with an invocation to the reader to "read" the buildings. Specifically, he urges: "the criticism of the building is to be conducted precisely on the same principles as that of a book; and it must depend on the knowledge, feeling, and not a little on the industry and perseverance of the reader, whether, even in the case of the best works, he either perceive them to be great, or feel them to be entertaining" (p. 139). This final sentence conflates the architecture that is read and the work or "industry" of the reader and emphasizes the extent to which Ruskin's work as a reader of architecture led to the perception of the extraordinary power of the Gothic. For Ruskin, seeing and reading become "a single all-encompassing perceptual operation." (10)
Moreover, the peculiar tendency of Gothic art Gothic art
Architecture, sculpture, and painting that flourished in Western and central Europe in the Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque art and lasted from the mid-12th century to the end of the 15th century. and literature to invite viewer/reader participation allows us to transfer the artisan's experience to the viewer and, by extension, the writer's freedom to the reader. Criticism of the Gothic often roots itself in the experiences of viewers/readers, and Gothic fiction Gothic fiction is an important genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. As a genre, it is generally believed to have been invented by the English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto. has been defined not by formal or thematic elements, but by "the production of concern, suspense, terror and ... horror, deriving from a plot turning on what the reader is meant to perceive as the supernatural." (11) In identifying the Gothic genre based on an affective response produced in the reader, this definition locates the text within a network of uses and privileges the reading experience over structural aspects of the work. Here, the reader's role is elevated in critical terms; fiction is only "Gothic" to the extent that it elicits the appropriate reader response.
When transferred to the register of literature, Gothic irregularity opens up its own possibilities for generation and production. Digressions and detours mark these narratives as what Barthes calls "writerly" texts, those that "make the reader no longer a consumer, but a producer of the text." (12) Although Barthes suggests that the writerly text is not a "thing" that we can And in the real world because it is a process--"ourselves writing"--irregular, fragmentary, and imperfect Gothic fiction approaches this ideal. In Barthes's "ideal text, the networks are many and interact, without any one of them being able to surpass the rest; this text ... has no beginning; it is reversible; we gain access to it by several entrances, none of which can be authoritatively declared to be the main one." (13) Because Gothic fiction cobbles cob·ble 1
1. A cobblestone.
2. Geology A rock fragment between 64 and 256 millimeters in diameter, especially one that has been naturally rounded.
3. cobbles See cob coal.
tr. together separate narratives, often in the form of decomposing or fragmentary manuscripts, it too resists an authoritative center and allows entry at multiple points.
This structure, in turn, facilitates the kind of productive consumption or active reading that Certeau theorizes in The Practice of Everyday Life. According to Certeau, reading is the location of a "secondary production" that is embedded within the process of using the text, and readers are not merely passive receivers of a text, but producers in their own right. (14) When encountering texts, Certeau insists, "The reader ... invents ... something different from what they 'intended' ... He combines their fragments and creates something un-known in the space organized by their capacity for allowing an indefinite plurality of meanings." (15) The role of the reader is therefore generative rather than stagnant. As Certeau describes it, "an act of reading is the space produced by the practice of a particular place: a written text." (16) Reading creates out of the stable text a fluid and unbounded "space" in which the reader moves.
Of course the reader's freedom is not absolute. Gothic fiction, like any genre, carries with it a set of conventions that its readers are assumed to recognize and which control to some extent a reading of the text. (17) Some might even say that these conventions compel a particular reading. According to Michael Riffaterre Michael or Michel Riffaterre (20 November, 1924 — 27 May, 2006) was an influential French literary critic and theorist. He pursued a generally structuralist approach. , "a literary text dictates reader responses. To say the least, it narrowly controls its readers' attention, limits their freedom of choice between possible readings, or even cancels out options that they may have believed available in their first scanning of the verbal sequence." (18) In keeping with this perspective, some scholars assert that Gothic literature is primarily engaged in manipulating passive readers. (19) Others have read Gothic fiction quite differently, associating it with active reading practices, whether those are as simple as "making sense" of the text or as complex as "challeng[ing] readers to detect and circumvent the narratorial 'cons' played by the texts," thereby challenging them "to be critical or 'writerly' readers." (20) Still others have described the Gothic reading experience as a tense mixture of active and passive participation. (21)
Debra Gettelman's recent work on reading and reverie provides a framework for understanding the conflicted accounts of Gothic reading. She identifies "a tension between the engrossing pleasures of reverie and the necessary protections against its alleged liability to disruptive excess" as a central dialectic in nineteenth-century fiction. (22) In her analysis of daydreaming in the Gothically inflected Jane Eyre, she convincingly argues that wandering or "punctuated" reading, in which the reader's "interest rotates between the print, the illustrations, and the narratives she invents," was in fact expected in this period. (23) Rather than any anticipation of focused attention, Gettelman asserts that "the mind of the reader was seen alternately to be riveted to and to wander from the text at hand." (24) The Victorian serial, with its enforced interruptions, embodies an equivalent model of wandering reading.
THE VICTORIAN SERIAL'S GOTHIC HEART
Michelle A. Masse has characterized the Gothic genre as "a serial writ large," and this observation suggests a provocative nexus between Ruskin's unusual theorization of Gothic irregularity and the Victorian serial. (25) On the surface, the Victorian serial appears antithetical an·ti·thet·i·cal also an·ti·thet·ic
1. Of, relating to, or marked by antithesis.
2. Being in diametrical opposition. See Synonyms at opposite. to Gothic fiction, a precise and regular form that corrects the excesses of Gothic irregularity. Serial fiction appearing in part-issues or within the pages of weekly or monthly magazines followed a rigid publication schedule and predictable format. In this way, serialization aligns itself with mechanical perfection and regularity. (26) Pickwick Papers, for example, followed a regular publication schedule (with limited exceptions), and always sported a recognizable green cover. Readers knew how many pages to expect in each installment, and Dickens's tendency to craft parts that could stand as coherent units, as well as links in the chain of the ongoing narrative, set up predictable narrative patterns and reading practices. Serialization controlled "the engrossing pleasures of reverie," for it parceled out novels in small bits over an extended period of time.
This is not the end of the story, however, for the serial's surface regularity hides its Gothic heart. Because serialization elongates a narrative, allowing for its development over time, this publication strategy emphasizes process not product. The result is a wandering, meandering structure that produces a generative reading experience. Accordingly, this is an inherently paradoxical form; on the surface it seems regular and ordered--a vehicle for disciplining the reader--but this masks an irregular, wandering, and potentially subversive side just waiting to emerge during the process of reading. By looking at the possible uses of serial texts--the ways in which they foster active reading practices--one can see a theory of productive wandering embedded within this genre. This is even the case for two nominally conservative Victorian serials: Dickens's pioneering Pickwick Papers, a text that was originally published in twenty monthly installments, and Gaskell's Cranford, originally published as nine stories in Household Words.
For most in the early to mid-Victorian period, the activity of wandering would have had negative connotations. As Anne D. Wallace argues in Walking, Literature, and English Culture: The Origins and Uses of Peripatetic in the Nineteenth Century, wandering, particularly on foot, had a long association with criminality. For much of England's history, beggars, vagrants, itinerant merchants--even walkers--were considered suspicious and inherently dangerous. (27) Writing at midcentury, Henry Mayhew Henry Mayhew (25 November 1812 - 25th July 1887) was an English social researcher, journalist, playwright and advocate of reform. He was one of the two founders of the satirical and humorous magazine Punch reinforced this association with criminality through his characterization of "the nomadic See nomadic computing. races of England" in London Labour and the London Poor London Labour and the London Poor is a work of Victorian journalism by Henry Mayhew. In the 1840s he observed, documented and described the state of working people in London for a series of articles in a newspaper, the Morning Chronicle . Dividing the "Wandering Tribes of this Country" into "rural nomads" such as vagrants, tramps, and peddlers, and "urban and suburban wanderers" such as pickpockets, beggars, prostitutes, and street sellers, Mayhew concludes that both types pose a danger by "preying upon the earnings of the more industrious portion of the community." (28) In keeping with this dominant strain, a pervasive distrust of wandering inflects the narratives of both Pickwick Papers and Cranford.
While Dickens's novel specifically engages with the trope trope
1. A figure of speech using words in nonliteral ways, such as a metaphor.
2. A word or phrase interpolated as an embellishment in the sung parts of certain medieval liturgies. of wandering, promising its readers in a March 1836 advertisement from the Athenaeum ath·e·nae·um also ath·e·ne·um
1. An institution, such as a literary club or scientific academy, for the promotion of learning.
2. A place, such as a library, where printed materials are available for reading. "a faithful record of the perambulations, perils, travels, adventures, and sporting transactions of the corresponding members," Dickens's Pickwickian travelers are not presented in a particularly productive light. (29) Pickwick and his friends spend most of their time eating (consuming) instead of working (producing), and while they are ostensibly os·ten·si·ble
Represented or appearing as such; ostensive: His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity. pursuing knowledge, they are most notable as silly buffoons who continually find themselves in trouble. Whether it is Pickwick running after his own hat in a moment of "ludicrous distress" (p. 62), his bogus antiquarian an·ti·quar·i·an
One who studies, collects, or deals in antiquities.
1. Of or relating to antiquarians or to the study or collecting of antiquities.
2. Dealing in or having to do with old or rare books. find that stands as "an illegible il·leg·i·ble
Not legible or decipherable.
il·legi·bil monument of Mr. Pickwick's greatness" (p. 158), his pivotal misunderstanding with Mrs. Bardell resulting in a "lovely burden in his arms" and a subsequent stint in the Fleet (p. 161), or a drunk Pickwick being "wheeled to the Pound, and safely deposited therein, fast asleep in the wheelbarrow, to the immeasurable delight and satisfaction, not only of all the boys in the village, but three fourths of the whole population" (p. 256), this wanderer is repeatedly depicted as oafish. Indeed, he sums up the central thrust of the narrative when he reflects to his companions: "Is it not a wonderful circumstance ... that we seem destined to enter no man's house, without involving him in some degree of trouble? Does it not, I ask, bespeak be·speak
tr.v. be·spoke , be·spo·ken or be·spoke, be·speak·ing, be·speaks
1. To be or give a sign of; indicate. See Synonyms at indicate.
a. To engage, hire, or order in advance. the indiscretion, or, worse than that, the blackness of heart--that I should say so!--of my followers, that, beneath whatever roof they locate, they disturb the peace of mind and happiness of some confiding con·fid·ing
Having a tendency to confide; trusting.
con·fiding·ly adv. female?" (p. 242). Although humorously presented, these representations depict wandering as a definitively nonproductive non·pro·duc·tive
1. Not yielding or producing: nonproductive land.
2. Not engaged in the direct production of goods: nonproductive personnel.
n. , perhaps even tainted, activity. (30)
Wandering takes on a more openly sinister valence in Gaskell's Cranford. In this stable, rule-oriented community, wandering acts as an especially disruptive force. The "strange" Pickwick Papers, a text about wanderers, precipitates Captain Brown's death in the first episode of Cranford, and a "journey to Paris" results in the death of Miss Matty's old flame old flame
Informal, old-fashioned a person with whom one once had a romantic relationship Mr. Holbrook in the second (pp. 22, 38). Peter Jenkyns's global wandering is linked specifically to his misconduct as a young man and the public beating that accompanied it (pp. 53-9). Wanderers who come to Cranford, such as the conjurer Signor Brunoni and an Irish beggar woman, are immediately suspected of criminal conduct. Wanderers are assumed to be aberrant actors in the "honest and moral town" of Cranford, and they are equated in dangerousness to "the Red Indians or the French" (p. 90).
Given these novels' apparent condemnation of wandering, it might be tempting to see them as testaments to unproductive digression--loose and baggy narratives that were simply intended to be consumed by passive readers as a way to fill time. This perspective has, in fact, been championed by those who conclude that because Pickwick is "a plotless story ... Our reading involves no interpreting, no speculating, no predicting, no expectations." (31) While I would agree with a characterization of Pickwick Papers as "plotless," as well as with similar characterizations of Cranford, the episodic nature of these texts is the key to their productiveness, for this wandering, nonteleological structure emphasizes the idea of reading as process, rather than text as product. (32) In both Pickwick Papers and Cranford, the heart of storytelling is not in the ending, but instead in the path that is taken. As Michael Cotsell has noted in his exploration of the relationship between Pickwick Papers and travel narratives, "the novel is highly un-end-orientated ... there is very little investment in arriving at a specific destination." (33) Instead, Pickwick's journeys are "ramblingly circular, digressive, at the impulse of curiosity, whim, and chance ... What the reader of Pickwick Papers enjoys, then, is the sense of going, but nowhere in particular." (34) This focus on process is perhaps even more obvious in Cranford, "a series of loosely connected comic anecdotes without any conventional plot" that takes place in a static location. (35) In both cases, the serial's digressiveness encourages readers to focus on the work of making meaning, rather than a particular end result. Through this focus on process and use, we see these serial novels embodying a theory of productive wandering for both their writers and their "writerly" readers.
Many have identified the serialization of Pickwick Papers as the turning point in Dickens's literary career, and it is worth thinking about why this particular work resulted in such gains by its creator. Anny Sadrin offers one answer in the course of analyzing the fragmentary nature of the text. She writes that serialization "meant taking risks, it required an adventurous attitude to literary creation and implied the acceptance of imperfection, accidents, change, finitude fin·i·tude
The quality or condition of being finite.
Noun 1. finitude - the quality of being finite
boundedness, finiteness , death." (36) This description of serial writing converges with Ruskin's theory of the Gothic, for it recognizes that a wandering approach to composition leads to the attainment of unexpected literary achievement. An "acceptance of imperfection" as a built-in component of literary production creates the conditions for organic growth in writing. Serialization, as Glyn A. Strange's study of paired episodes in Pickwick Papers demonstrates, is an essentially organic form that allows an author to shape the text as it develops. By rewriting early scenes later in the novel, Strange argues, Dickens was able to push the initial conception of his hero from a "comic butt" to a true hero. (37) To expand on this observation, Robert L. Patten has argued that "the serial installments ... reconsider their own materials, and in so doing grow up, change from an assemblage of disconnected documents, like the monthly parts themselves, into a story, one marked always by the same wrapper design yet continuously reexamining its initial alphabet." (38) Patten's analysis may privilege a unified text rather than the "assemblage of disconnected documents," yet it acknowledges the fragmentary part as the generative unit. His account locates the elasticity necessary for an author's fullest development in the fragmentariness of the serial form.
Dickens's philosophy of serialization as expressed in the 1837 Preface to Pickwick Papers, which required each installment to be a coherent unit yet also part of the larger whole, suggests another way in which the fragmentary nature of serial publication provides a dual approach to composition that allows its author to outdo him or herself. While encouraging the author to craft a "complete" number, something like a Gothic artisan crafting a finished sculpture for the facade of a building, serial publication presupposes a fluid element of composition that allows the discrete installments to combine with a sense of "gentle and not unnatural progress" (p. 6). In the case of Pickwick Papers, this allowed the text to extend beyond the scope of its original boundaries. (39) There is a certain Gothic abundance in this approach, "which encourages the throwing forward of narrative lines," even if they cannot all be developed. (40) The inclusion of varied possibilities through these multiple lines sets the groundwork for the realization of "noble" work, in Ruskin's terms, even if it leaves straggling, unresolved, and digressive remainders.
The productive potential of serial writing was limited, of course, by the actualities of the Victorian publishing world. While serial writing seems to have worked marvelously for Dickens, Gaskell found it to be taxing and frustrating due to Dickens's editorial "interference" and their differences of opinion about the ideal serial form. (41) While Dickens favored a model of self-contained parts, Gaskell desired "a more leisurely pace for the development of plot and the entanglement of her audience," and this caused some friction. (42) Notwithstanding this tension, Cranford demonstrates the power of the serial form to generate narrative. While the first stories in this series are episodic, with clear breaks of time separating them, Cranford's installments eventually expand into longer narratives. By the fifth installment, the story of "The Great Cranford Panic" cannot be contained in a single issue of Household Words and is instead broken into "Two Chapters" that appeared in the issues for 8 and 15 January 1853. As the novel continues, it becomes more integrated, just as Pickwick Papers does, relinquishing clear temporal gaps between episodes in favor of a seamless storyline. During the course of publication, Gaskell's short sketches morph into sustained narrative. The similar trajectories followed by both Dickens and Gaskell suggest the generative nature of this publishing form.
If serialization proved productive for Dickens and Gaskell, it also had its rewards for readers. Pickwick Papers is often identified as the watershed moment for the novel as commodity text, and the Victorian serial is seen as a vehicle for increasing the consumption of fiction. (43) While an analysis of the economic factors behind the Victorian publishing boom is extremely helpful for understanding the moment in which these texts were published and their relationship to other publishing formats, it is worthwhile to examine this consumption more closely. The forced interruptions created by a form that by definition dispersed the text within everyday life simultaneously provided an environment in which certain kinds of productive or generative reading were likely to take place. Because of its temporal disruptions, the Victorian serial is more "writerly" than might be imagined and particularly vulnerable to the kinds of "poaching" that Certeau theorizes. (44)
According to Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund's seminal work A seminal work is a work from which other works grow. The term usually refers to an intellectual or artistic achievement whose ideas and techniques have been adopted or responded to in later works by other people, either in the same field or in the general culture. on the Victorian serial, this genre's enforced oscillation between text world and real world provided an opportunity for readers to become secondary producers who "enriched the imagined world" with their lived experiences. They thus participated in the creative process as temporary coauthors of the text. (45) Surely this is a case of "ourselves writing," as Barthes imagines it, a kind of "production without product." (46) Moreover, this is a phenomenon that, if not unique, is at least intensified in serial fiction as opposed to other forms. As Bill Bell has argued, the enforced gaps in the text caused by publication over time render the serial a uniquely contingent form in which the traditional linear model of writing "is repeatedly disrupted by a kind of simultaneous production and consumption." (47) In this way, the serial form embodies the dialectic of reading that Gettelman has shown to be already in play within nineteenth-century fiction.
In the case of Pickwick Papers this process is foregrounded by the prominent use of interpolated tales, which interrupt the narrative in ways that mimic serial breaks. In contrast to the good-natured Pickwickians, these tales highlight aberrant wanderers--Stroller, Convict, Madman, and even "Goblins who stole a Sexton" (p. 380). All of these tales are sensational, autonomous with regard to the main narrative, and set off from the main text visually by means of separate headings. In this way they introduce, yet also compartmentalize com·part·men·tal·ize
tr.v. com·part·men·tal·ized, com·part·men·tal·iz·ing, com·part·men·tal·iz·es
To separate into distinct parts, categories, or compartments: "You learn . . . and contain, the sensational, drawing separate spheres for the humorous and darker sides of Dickens's novel.
Many critics have noted that the majority of these tales appear in the first half of the novel, and some have concluded that this simply reflects Dickens's undeveloped skills as a novelist. Rather than dismiss these tales as unimportant digressions or mere filler, however, I contend that they play a vital role in creating a Gothic effect that in turn fosters active reading practices. The uneven presence of the sensational and melodramatic interpolated tales amid the ongoing narrative of Mr. Pickwick's daily life infuses the text with a sense of irregularity that prevents the rhythmic episodes from becoming monotonous. These breaks from the novel's dominant realist mode emphasize the elasticity of the narrative, replicating the role of the useless (or perhaps decorative) window of Ruskin's Gothic architecture, which is "opened in an unexpected place for the sake of the surprise." Appearing sporadically within the regular serial installments, these interpolated tales function as textual disorientations that prompt readers to wander productively from the central narrative.
Textual disorientation disorientation /dis·or·i·en·ta·tion/ (-or?e-en-ta´shun) the loss of proper bearings, or a state of mental confusion as to time, place, or identity. is also furthered by the novel's cumbersome nature. In Pickwick Papers, readers encounter excesses at every turn: extra verbiage verbiage - When the context involves a software or hardware system, this refers to documentation. This term borrows the connotations of mainstream "verbiage" to suggest that the documentation is of marginal utility and that the motives behind its production have little to do with ; extra stories in the form of interpolated tales; illustrations depicting crowds; even a chapter that overruns its designated length, requiring a second part. (48) Dickens's novel includes hundreds of potential readings because of its excesses, and its original serial readers were asked to assume the role of an editor faced, like Boz, with an "overabundance o·ver·a·bun·dance
A going or being beyond what is needed, desired, or appropriate; an excess: teenagers with an overabundance of energy. of notes." (49) Indeed, each number of the novel includes miscellaneous content that frustrates any totalizing unification. The second number, for example, includes the sensational "The Stroller's Tale," along with an illustration; an episode involving Pickwick at a military parade The perspective and/or examples in this article do not represent a world-wide view. Please [ edit] this page to improve its geographical balance. , complete with illustration; and an episode depicting Mr. Winkle's horse trouble, again with an illustration (pp. 49-79). Rather than continuing a single plot line, these three components are relatively autonomous, like separate contributions to one magazine. The third number presents a similar scenario, blending Pickwick's attendance at a card party; a poem entitled "The Ivy Green Ivy Green is the name for the childhood home of Helen Keller. It is located in Tuscumbia, Alabama. The house was built in 1820 and is a simple white clapboard house.  The actual well pump where Helen Keller first communicated with Anne Sullivan is located at Ivy Green. "; the sensational tale of "The Convict's Return"; an episode about a cricket match, with illustration; and a romantic interlude between Mr. Tupman and Miss Rachel Wardle, complete with illustration (pp. 80-120). This noncentralized structure shares with Gothic architecture and fiction the "writerly" quality of multiple points of access, embodying what Mark Wormald characterizes as a "spirit of potentially anarchic extravagance." (50) Perhaps for this very reason, Pickwick Papers was reviewed early on as a periodical and not a novel. (51) Its review in the Idler, and Breakfast-Table Companion, for example, appeared under the heading "The Magazines."
These early installments of Pickwick Papers anticipate the format of mid-Victorian popular literary periodicals by providing variety: stories devoted to everyday life, sports, romance, sensation fiction, poetry, and illustrations. Through this heterogeneity, Dickens's novel offers a preview of the intertextual in·ter·tex·tu·al
Relating to or deriving meaning from the interdependent ways in which texts stand in relation to each other.
in reading practices that serial fiction itself invites. While most Victorian novels can be read as participating in a network of contemporary discourses, intertextual reading is heightened with serial publication because serial texts are themselves fragmentary--causing readers to more readily fit them into larger networks of discourse instead of seeing them as hermetically her·met·ic also her·met·i·cal
1. Completely sealed, especially against the escape or entry of air.
2. Impervious to outside interference or influence: sealed locations of meaning. This is most obvious for novels that were printed within periodicals, such as Dickens's own Household Words, for here the intertextual context is literally right at hand.
Cranford, for instance, was published within a network of travel columns; Orientalist essays on India and other foreign locations; informative articles on everyday topics such as sand, silk, needles, and lamp oil lamp oil
see paraffin (2). ; essays relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc children; and sensational tales of the supernatural. Deborah Wynne has argued that "Victorian readers were invited by editors to adopt an intertextual approach to magazines by reading each issue's texts in conjunction with each other, encouraging the making of thematic connections between the serial novel and other features through the power of juxtaposition." (52) The eclectic content of Household Words allows for many pathways through Gaskell's novel. The serialized column "A Roving Englishman," for example, draws extra attention to the static nature of Gaskell's Amazonian society. (53) Various articles on India such as "Pearls from the East," "The Peasants of British India British India
The part of the Indian subcontinent under direct British administration until India's independence in 1947. ," "Three Colonial Epochs," "An Indian Wedding," and "Silk from the Punjaub," draw a reader's attention to Orientalism in the novel and the Peter Jenkyns subplot sub·plot
1. A plot subordinate to the main plot of a literary work or film. Also called counterplot, underplot.
2. A subdivision of a plot of land, especially a plot used for experimental purposes. . (54) Articles on less-exotic topics, such as "Needles," "British Cotton," and "Playthings," emphasize Cranfords representation of domestic life. (55) At the same time, various articles touching on supernatural topics draw readers' attention to the Gothic passages of Gaskell's novel, those moments when ghosts and spirits erupt through the quiet lives of the novel's protagonists. (56)
Reinforcing Wynne's characterization of purposeful periodical intertextuality Intertextuality is the shaping of texts' meanings by other texts. It can refer to an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another. , the articles in Household Words often reference each other. The writer of "The True Tom Tiddler's Ground," for example, mentions earlier articles directly: "At page three hundred and fifty of our second, and at page five hundred and ninety-five of our third volume, it will be found that we have called attention to the wealth derivable from chemical products obtained out of peat." (57) Similarly, an article entitled "Wonderful Toys" refers back to a previous article on "The Pedigree of Puppets." (58) In this same vein, a short article by Dickens entitled "Chips: The Ghost of the Cock Lane Ghost The story of the Cock Lane ghost attracted mass public attention in eighteenth-century England.
Cock Lane is a short alleyway adjacent to London's Smithfield market and only a few minutes' walk from St Paul's Cathedral. Wrong Again," which exposes the fraud of an "exhibitor of the spirit-rapping at the small charge of one guinea per head," resonates strongly with Gaskell's description of Signor Brunoni's magic show in the previous issue's installment of Cranford. (59) Within the periodical context, the novel is placed in obvious conversation with other texts, in addition to larger bodies of discourse.
Importantly, the intersections between the central narrative and the interpolated tales of Pickwick Papers work in much the same way as the engineered intertextuality of the later Victorian family magazine. As the novel progresses, the central realist narrative of Dickens's novel begins to draw directly on the sensational Gothic mode that the interpolated tales represent. The mundane debtor's prison in which Pickwick finds himself is pointedly described as "a range of damp and gloomy stone vaults beneath the ground," invoking images of Gothic crypts (p. 544). In addition, Pickwick's own story takes on valences from the previous sensational tales, reincorporating them within a realist framework. Pickwick's entry into the coffee-room gallery of the prison, where he observes a "young woman, with a child in her arms, who seemed scarcely able to crawl, from emaciation and misery," strongly echoes the pathetic description of debtor's prison in the prior interpolated tale of "The Old Man's Tale about the Queer Client" (pp. 550, 279-80). Similarly, Pickwick's musings on why "a dingy-looking fly that was crawling over his pantaloons" would choose to inhabit "a close prison, when he had the choice of so many airy situations" echoes the punch line punch line
The climactic phrase or statement of a joke, producing a sudden humorous effect.
the last line of a joke or funny story that gives it its point
Noun 1. of a prior tale about haunted chambers (pp. 550, 278). These connections prompt readers to wander from the central narrative of Pickwick Papers to the prior interpolated tales and back again, forging networks of meaning within the text. And herein lies the hidden value of Pickwick Papers as serial fiction: a Gothic heart that requires writers and readers to focus their efforts on vital production rather than static product.
The experimental and episodic Pickwick Papers and Cranford paved the way for the massive multiplot Victorian serials of the 1860s and 1870s. In the spirit of Dickens's and Gaskell's groundbreaking novels, these "writerly" serials continued to provide alternatives to entrenched literary hierarchies such as writer/reader, producer/consumer, and reality/fiction. While serial fiction arguably participates in technologies of discipline by putting fiction and its readers on periodical schedules, it simultaneously creates the conditions for readers to gain greater agency within the writer-reader-text circuit. The digressions built into the serial form render such texts rich sites for Certeau's readerly "poaching" and Barthes's "writerly" production. Victorian serial fiction, which necessitates a wandering reading practice because of its extended publication of textual parts, does not limit readers to saying "yes" or "no" to a given text; instead, it provides an opportunity for readers to experience reading as process and to share in the writerly work of producing the text.
(1) Review of The Pickwick Papers, No. 18, by Charles Dickens, The Idler, and Breakfast-Table Companion 1, 23 (7 October 1837): 149-50, 149.
(2) Dickens, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, ed. Mark Wormald (London: Penguin Books, 1999), p. 749. Subsequent references to The Post humous Noun 1. humous - a thick spread made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic; used especially as a dip for pita; originated in the Middle East
hommos, hoummos, hummus, humus Papers of the Pickwick Club, hereafter Pickwick Papers, are from (his edition and will appear parenthetically par·en·thet·i·cal
adj. also par·en·thet·ic
1. Set off within or as if within parentheses; qualifying or explanatory: a parenthetical remark.
2. Using or containing parentheses. in the text by page number.
(3) Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford, ed. Elizabeth Porges Watson (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998), p. 17. Subsequent references to Cranford are from this edition and will appear parenthetically in the text by page number.
(4) The authority of this decisive statement is belied, of course, by the serial publication of Cranford in Dickens's own weekly magazine. Household Words.
(5) John Ruskin, "The Nature of Gothic," in The Stones of Venice, ed. Jan Morris Jan Morris CBE (born James Humphrey Morris on 2 October, 1926) is a British historian and travel writer. Morris was born in Clevedon, Somerset, England, and educated at Lancing College, West Sussex, but is Welsh by heritage and adoption. (Mount Kisco NV: Moyer Bell, 1989), pp. 118-39. Subsequent references to The Stones of Venice are from this chapter and edition and will appear parenthetically in the text by page number.
(6) Amanpal Garcha, "Styles of Stillness and Motion: Market Culture and Narrative Form in Sketches by Boz Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces published by Charles Dickens in 1836. Dickens' career as a writer of fiction truly began with this collection in 1833, when he started writing humorous sketches for The Morning Chronicle, using the pen-name "Boz". ," DSA 30 (2001): 1-22, 5-6.
(7) Francis O'Gorman, "Ruskin, Venice, and the Nature of Gothic," in Victorian Gothic, ed. Karen Sayer and Rosemary Mitchell (Horsforth UK: Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, 2003), pp. 99-109, 107.
(8) H O'Gorman, p. 108. While Christopher Jon Delogu has argued that "Inferiority and imperfection are not celebrated or pursued as such [in Ruskin's essay], but recognized and accepted as the true and proper nature of things," the fervor of Ruskin's rhetoric cuts against this interpretation ("On the Nature of Gothic and the Lessons of Ruskin," Caliban 33 : 101-10, 107). John Unrau's expose of the obvious historical errors in Ruskin's representation of Gothic artisans supports my reading of Ruskin by pointing out that Ruskin emphasized inferiority and imperfection more than the historical information about the period warranted ("Ruskin, the Workman and the Savageness of Gothic," in New Approaches to Ruskin: Thirteen Essays, ed. Robert Hewison [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 19811, pp. 33-50).
(9) Caroline Levine, The Serious Pleasures of Suspense: Victorian Realism and Narrative Doubt (Charlottesville: Univ. of Virginia Press, 2003), pp. 30-6.
(10) Alexandra K. Wettlaufer, In the Mind's Eye: The Visual Impulse in Diderot Baudelaire and Ruskin (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003), p. 220. For more on Ruskin's visual reading methods, see Linda M. Austin, "Ruskin's Precritical pre·crit·i·cal
Coming before a critical state or phase. Reading," VJJ VJJ Verband Junger Journalisten (German: Association of Young Journalists; Germany) 19 (1991): 71-88: and Elizabeth K. Helsinger, Ruskin and the Art of the Beholder (Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1982). Ruskin directly connects reading and work, as well as reading and productive wandering, in his 1864 lectures on education, Sesame and Lilies. In these lectures, we again see Ruskin "preach[ing| radical change" and linking that change to a wandering attitude (Deborah Epstein Nord, "Editor's Introduction," in Sesame and Lilies, by Ruskin [New Haven New Haven, city (1990 pop. 130,474), New Haven co., S Conn., a port of entry where the Quinnipiac and other small rivers enter Long Island Sound; inc. 1784. Firearms and ammunition, clocks and watches, tools, rubber and paper products, and textiles are among the many : Yale Univ. Press, 2002], pp. xiii-xxiv, xiii).
(11) David H. Richter, "Gothic Fantasia fantasia (făntā`zhə) [Ital.,=fancy], musical composition not restricted to a formal design, but constructed freely in the manner of an improvisation. In the 16th and 17th cent. : The Monsters and the Myths, A Review-Article," ECent 28, 2 (Spring 1987): 149-70, 152. Richter labels this the "constructional" mode of defining Gothic fiction (p. 151). See, for example, Linda Bayer-Berenbaum, "The Relationship of Gothic Art to Gothic Literature," in The Gothic Imagination: Expansion in Gothic Literature and Art (Rutherford NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1982), pp. 47-72; Stephen Bernstein, "Form and Ideology In the Gothic Novel gothic novel
European Romantic, pseudo-medieval fiction with a prevailing atmosphere of mystery and terror. Such novels were often set in castles or monasteries equipped with subterranean passages, dark battlements, and hidden panels, and they had plots involving ghosts, ," ELWIU18, 2 (Fall 1991): 151-65; Mark M. Hennelly Jr., "Melmoth the Wanderer Melmoth the Wanderer
doomed by a curse to roam the earth for 150 years after his death. [Br. Lit.: Melmoth the Wanderer]
See : Curse
Melmoth the Wanderer
to win souls, he is cursed to roam earth after death. [Br. Lit. and Gothic Existentialism existentialism (ĕgzĭstĕn`shəlĭzəm, ĕksĭ–), any of several philosophic systems, all centered on the individual and his relationship to the universe or to God. ," SEL (SELect) A toggle switch on a printer that takes the printer alternately between online and offline.
1. SEL - Self-Extensible Language.
2. SEL - Subset-Equational Language. 21, 4 (Autumn 1981): 665-79; Norman N. Holland and Leona F. Sherman, "Gothic Possibilities," NLH NLH Nathan Littauer Hospital (Gloversville, NY)
NLH Nonlinear Helmholtz Equation
NLH New London Hospital (New London, NH)
NLH Number of Levels in the Hierarchical Tree Structure 8, 2 (Winter 1977): 279-94; Edward Jacobs, "Anonymous Signatures: Circulating Libraries, Conventionality, and the Production of Gothic Romances," ELH ELH English Literary History
ELH North Eleuthera, Bahamas (Airport Code)
ELH Entity Life History (database)
ELH Early Life History
ELH Epic Level Handbook (Dungeons and Dragons) 62, 3 (Fall 1995): 603-29; Robin Lyndenberg, "Gothic Architecture and Fiction: A Survey of Critical Responses," CentR 22, 1 (1978): 95-109; and Rebecca E. Martin, "'I Should Like to Spend My Whole Life in Reading It': Repetition and the Pleasure of the Gothic," JNT JNT Jewish New Testament (Bible translation)
JNT Joint Network Team
JNT Java Network Technology (National Semiconductor and Infomatec)
JNT John Nathan-Turner 28, 1 (Winter 1998): 75-90.
(12) Roland Barthes, S/Z, trans. Richard Miller (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Hill and Wang, 1974), p. 4.
(13) Barthes, p. 5.
(14) Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (1984; rprt. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1988), p. xiii.
(15) Certeau, p. 169.
(16) Certeau, p. 117.
(17) Jacobs, pp. 616-7.
(18) Michael Riffaterre, "Compelling Reader Responses," in Reading Reading: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Reading, ed. Andrew Bennett Andrew Francis Bennett (born March 1939) is a British politician, and was member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish until he retired in 2005. He is a member of the Labour Party.
A teacher, Bennett was elected to Oldham Borough Council in 1964, and served on it until 1974. (Finland: Univ. of Tampere Press, 1993). pp. 85-106, 85.
(19) Hennelly imagines "an intimately involved, almost captured audience" (p. 666), and Bernstein posits that "the operation of the gothic text is to secure in the subject a certain training in, and acceptance of, the approved path toward ideological interpellation In`ter`pel`la´tion
1. The act of interpelling or interrupting; interruption.
2. The act of interposing or interceding; intercession.
Accepted by his interpellation and intercession. via matrimony MATRIMONY. See Marriage. " (p. 156).
(20) Holland and Sherman, p. 280; Jacobs, p. 618.
(21) Martin, pp. 80-1.
(22) Debra Gettelman, "'Making Out' Jane Eyre," ELH 74, 3 (Fall 2007): 557-81, 558.
(23) Gettelman, p. 567.
(24) Gettelman, p. 559.
(25) Michelle A. Masse, In the Name of Love: Women, Masochism masochism (măs`əkĭzəm), sexual disorder in which sexual arousal is derived from subjection to physical and emotional degradation. , and the Gothic (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1992), p. 20.
(26) Margaret Beetham theorizes the competing features of the periodical form as "open" and "closed" in "Towards a Theory of the Periodical as a Publishing Genre," in Investigating Victorian Journalism, ed. Laurel Brake, Aled Jones
Aled Jones (born 29 December 1970) is a Welsh singer and television/radio personality and broadcaster who first came to fame as a boy soprano. , and Lionel Madden (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), pp. 19-32, 27.
(27) Anne D. Wallace, Walking, Literature, and English Culture: The Origins and Uses of Peripatetic in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), pp. 27-34.
(28) Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor; a Cyclopedia of the Condition and Earnings of Those that "Will" Work, Those that "Cannot" Work, and Those that "Will Not" Work, 4 vols. (London: Griffin, Bohn, and Company, 1861-62), 1:2.
(29) Advertisement for The Pickwick Papers, in The Athenaeum: Journal of English and Foreign Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts (26 March 1836): 232.
(30) James Buzard has noted the connection between wandering and vulgarity in "Wulgarity and Witality: On Making a Spectacle of Oneself in Pickwick," in Victorian Vulgarity: Taste in Verbal and Visual Culture, ed. Susan David Bernstein and Elsie B. Michie (Surrey UK: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 35-53.
(31) Anny Sadrin, "Fragmentation in The Pickwick Papers," DSA 22 (1993): 21-34, 25.
(32) Talia Sehaffer, "Craft, Authorial Anxiety, and The Cranford Papers,'" VRR VRR Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr
VRR Vertical Refresh Rate (monitors and television
VRR Variance Reduction Ratio
VRR Voice Recognition Response
VRR Virtual Router Redundancy
VRR Verification Readiness Review 38, 2 (Summer 2005): 221-39, 224; Hilary M. Schor, Scheherezade in the Marketplace: Elizabeth Gaskell and the Victorian Novel (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1992), p. 87.
(33) Michael Cotsell, "The Pickwick Papers and Travel: A Critical Diversion," DQu 3, 1 (March 1986): 5-17, 7.
(34) Cotsell, pp. 7-8. Tobey C. Herzog has similarly noted that the circle, rather than the line, structures the novel ("The Merry Circle of The Pickwick Papers: A Dickensian Paradigm," SNNTS 20, 1 [Spring 1988]: 55-63).
(35) Schaffer, p. 224.
(36) Sadrin, p. 23.
(37) Glyn A. Strange, "Paired Episodes in Pickwick," Dickens Studies Newsletter 12, 1 (March 1981): 6-8, 6-7.
(38) Robert L. Patten, "Serialized Retrospection in The Pickwick Papers," in Literature in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-Century British Publishing and Reading Practices, ed. John O. Jordan and Patten (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995), pp. 123-42, 132.
(39) Kathryn Chittick, "Pickwick Papers and the Sun, 1833-1836," NCF See National Cristina Foundation. 39, 3 (December 1984): 328-35, 335. Patten has suggested that the original illustrator's suicide also allowed for radical changes, as it shifted the layout of the publication to two, rather than four, illustrations and additional text. This allowed Dickens to "expand his scenes and amplify his characterizations" (Patten, "Pickwick Papers and the Development of Serial Fiction," Rice University Studies 61, 1 [Winter 1975]: 51-74, 64).
(40) Richard Lansdown, "The Pickwick Papers: Something Nobler than a Novel?" CR 31 (1991): 75-91, 78.
(41) To give one example of this "interference," Dickens substituted Thomas Hood for Gaskell's original reference to Pickwick Papers in the Household Words version of Cranford (Schor, pp. 91-2).
(42) Linda K. Hughes and Michael Lund, "Textual/Sexual Pleasure and Serial Publication," in Literature in the Marketplace, pp. 143-64, 151.
(43) N. N. Feltes, "The Moment of Pickwick, or the Production of a Commodity Text," L&H 10, 2 (Autumn 1984): 203-17, 203. For an extended discussion of serial publication within the Victorian publishing industry, see Guinevere L. Griest, Mudie's Circulating Library and the Victorian Novel (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1970), especially "Mudie's and the Three-Decker" (pp. 35-57) and "Novelists, Novels, and the Establishment" (pp. 87-119).
(44) Certeau, pp. 165-76.
(45) Hughes and Lund, The Victorian Serial (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1991), p. 9.
(46) Barflies, p. 5.
(47) Bill Bell, "Fiction in the Marketplace: Towards a Study of the Victorian Serial," in Serials and Their Readers, 1620-1914, ed. Robin Myers and Michael Harris (New Castle DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1993), pp. 125-44, 129.
(48) See chap. 28 of The Pickwick Papers (pp. 360-90). For a full analysis of the centrality of this overflowing chapter to the novel, see Patten, "The Art of Pickwick's Interpolated Tales," ELH 34, 3 (September 1967): 349-66.
(49) Sadrin, p. 26.
(50) Mark Wormald, a note on the text and illustrations in The Pickwick Papers, pp. xxx-xxxv.
(51) Chittick, p. 328.
(52) Deborah Wynne, The Sensation Novel and the Victorian Family Magazine (Houndmills, UK: Palgrave, 2001), p. 3. Wynne argues that Dickens in particular adopted this strategy in his later editorship of All the Year Round (pp. 83-97).
(53) "A Roving Englishman," Household Words 4, 91 (20 December 1851): 299-301; 4, 93 (3 January 1852): 358-9; 4, 95 (17 January 1852): 406-8; 4. 97 (24 January 1852): 431-2; 4, 100 (21 February 1852): 514-7; and 7, 153 (2 April 1853): 118-20.
(54) "Pearls from the East," Household Words 4, 93 (3 January 1852): 337-41: "The Peasants of British India," Household Words 4, 95 (17 January 1852): 389-93: "Three Colonial Epochs," Household Words 4, 97 (31 January 1852): 433-8; "An Indian Wedding," Household Words 4, 100 (21 February 1852): 505-10; "Silk From the Punjaub," Household Words 6, 146 (8 January 1853): 388-90.
(55) "Needles," Household Words 4, 101 (28 February 1852): 540-6; "British Cotton," Household Words 5, 106 (3 April 1852): 51-4; "Playthings," Household Words 6, 147 (15 January 1853): 430-2.
(56) "The Legend of the Weeping Chamber," Household Words 4, 91 (20 December 1851): 296-9; "New Discoveries in Ghosts," Household Words 4, 95 (17 January 1852): 403-6; "City Spectres," Household Words 4, 99 (14 February 1852): 481-5; "The Spirit Business," Household Words 7, 163 (7 May 1853): 217-20.
(57) "The True Tom Tiddler's Ground," Household Words 4, 92 (27 December 1851): 329-32, 329.
(58) "Wonderful Toys," Household Words 4, 99 (14 February 1852): 502-4; "The Pedigree of Puppets," Household Words 4, 97 (31 January 1852): 438-43.
(59) Dickens, "Chips: The Ghost of the Cock Lane Ghost Wrong Again," Household Words 6, 147 (15 January 1853): 420.
Julia McCord Chavez is a visiting assistant professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.