Charles Dickens: The Key to Character
by The New York Public Library
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Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was the best-loved English novelist at a time when recreational reading was at a zenith. His fictional creations represent a cross-section of society—from law-clerk to crossing-sweeper, miser to midwife—and are united by the vividness with which they are described. On view through January 2013 at NYPL's landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, "Charles Dickens: The Key to Character" celebrates the power of Dickens’s characters to be imagined ever anew, examining important precedents for his art of characterization as well as intersections between his personal life and his literary creations. This channel features recordings of scholars and intellectuals who have been invited to NYPL to join the discussion through a free lecture series that accompanies the exhibition. Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman.
||Dickens's Prompt Texts||Isaac Gewirtz, curator, Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, NYPL, explores the unique prompt texts—created from Dickens’ novels and now part of the Library’s celebrated Berg Collection—with which the author performed on stage to great acclaim.||10/3/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
|2||VideoDickens and London||Anne Humpherys, Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, discusses how novels such as Martin Chuzzlewit, Dombey and Son, and Bleak House chart the growth of London and the human costs of industrialization.||10/10/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Out of the Blacking Factory||Robert Armitage, Humanities Bibliographer, General Research Division, NYPL, examines various aspects of Dickens’s life, the broad range of Dickens’s fiction and its various illustrators.||10/12/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
|4||VideoA Tale of Two Cities: Love, Sex, Imprisonment||Carolyn Williams, Rutgers University, considers how Dickens’s fascination with prisons—and with his mistress Ellen Ternan—informed his writing of A Tale of Two Cities.||10/17/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
|5||VideoThe Worst Dickens Ever: Our Mutual Friend||Sean Grass, Iowa State University, explains why Henry James, and all those since who have shared his scathing opinion of Our Mutual Friend, have it all wrong.||11/6/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
|6||VideoThe Twists of Oliver Twist||Catherine Robson, New York University, discusses the plot contortions of this famous novel in relation to culturally symbolic sites.||11/14/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Theater and the Politics of Style in Great Expectations||An exploration of the relationship between Dickens’s singular style, his interest in popular performance, and his democratic imagination. David Kurnick, Rutgers University.||12/5/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||David Copperfield and Dickensian Character||Jonathan Farina (Seton Hall University) gives a talk playfully cataloging the many distinct styles of characterization in Dickens’s most autobiographical novel.||11/28/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
|9||VideoCharles Dickens: Speaking in Pictures||William Moeck, exhibition curator and professor of English at Nassau Community College (SUNY), presents an illustrated lecture that explores Dickens’s ability to craft unforgettable characters.||10/23/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
||Dickens and the Criminal Mind||Kristin Le Veness, Nassau Community College, explores Dickens’s most notorious villains in relation to the author’s dedication to realism and social reform.||12/18/2012||Free||View in iTunes|
|11||VideoDickens, Scrooge and Autobiography||Gerhard Joseph, Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, discusses A Christmas Carol as a cautionary tale, revealing the kind of person that Dickens—haunted by childhood misery—might have become.||12/12/2012||Free||View in iTunes|