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Patrick Mccarthy <[log in to unmask]>
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Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 16 Mar 2002 09:59:33 -0800
TEXT/PLAIN (24 lines)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 04:40:26 EST
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: #6 When Did Literature Professors Stop Knowing Dickens?

Speculation about the canon certainly yields some good suggestions in this
context, but when Joyce Huff scolds Kate Watt and me for not even mentioning
Dickens, she reveals a mind-set that is part of the problem.

The question is "When did literature professors stop knowing Dickens?"  There
is nothing in the nature of things which calls for any answer to include
Dickens amongst its terms.  It's perfectly conceivable that knowledge of
Dickens could be an accidental casualty of quite distinct developments.

One of the things about theory that causes me uneasiness is the way it
transparently excuses theorists talking only about the things they want to
talk about, and never about the things they don't want to talk about.
Sometimes courage is necessary.  Sometimes you have to see the wood despite
the trees.

David Parker