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JOAN WICKERSHAM

Connected by Dickens?

A name in a book dashes great expectations, but also exceeds them

By Joan Wickersham
December 2, 2011
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In the world of a Dickens novel, everything is connected to everything else. Orphans find families. Lovers are joined (or parted and morally strengthened). Ancient mysteries are solved and old scores are settled. Questions are answered. Stories end. Dickens’s cluttered network of connected lives, of mysteries and revelations, brilliantly exaggerates something that is true of all of us. We want to impose order through telling stories, maybe because there is so much we don’t know about our own stories and the stories of those around us.

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