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From:
Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 21 Jul 2004 14:25:15 -0700
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 03:18:28 +0100
From: Michael Eaton <[log in to unmask]>
To: Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re:      What Students of Dickens Are Writing about

Dear List Members,
I'm very much enjoying this 'George Silverman' discussion. Critical writings
on this neglected story are few but include the only doctrinaire Freudian
reading that was ever published in 'The Dickensian' post-war!
Those even fewer of you who heard my radio adaptation last year will know
that I rather consider it Beckett in embryo (Krapps Last Tape in particular)
and it was that particular aspect that appealed to Paul Scofield who voiced
it so wonderfully.
Of course the narrator is ultimately deluded.
Isan't the story saying: How can anyone really have any true self-awareness
about his (in this case) life?
There's a point in the tale, and it probably comes at a different moment for
every reader, when we cease to believe George's cellar-justification and
lose patience with his continual (unconscious?) urge to repeat...

I could go on but I have a much more pressing problem.
We are just about to go into production with
'The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club' and there's a raging dispute
about the pronunciation of the protagonist's female nemesis.
She is usually pronounced Mrs Bard-elle, as if she were French, whereas I
have always read her as Bard-ull - partly because I've never come across an
English name with that 'elle' ending, unless, of course, it's an affection -
but I'm from the north midlands!
What I really need to know before tape is spooled:
Is there any authority as to how Dickens himself would have pronounced this
blessed landlady's name when he did his readings of the trial or, indeed,
whether that 'elle' ending was more common in the the 1830s (and/or in
London) than it is today.
Somebody wrote an orthographical account of his readings in, I think,
Boston.  Does this decide the issue?
So, Dickensians: 'Bard-ull' or 'Bard-elle'?
Michael Eaton