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Dickens and the Stenographic Mind$
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Hugo Bowles

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829072.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 November 2019

Plays of the pen

Plays of the pen

Chapter:
(p.125) 7 Plays of the pen
Source:
Dickens and the Stenographic Mind
Author(s):

Hugo Bowles

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198829072.003.0008

This chapter explores representations of shorthand in Dickens’s life and work, providing examples of stylistic areas that were influenced by his shorthand learning. These include his use of consonant clusters to obtain phonaesthetic effects in character names (section 7.1), reported speech in Doctors Commons (section 7.2), stenographic direct speech in Bleak House and Little Dorrit (section 7.3), the construction of verbal puzzles in Pickwick, Great Expectations, All the Year Round, and the Uncommercial Traveller (section 7.4), and stenographic episodes of reading and writing in Great Expectations, Dombey and Son, The Haunted Man, and Bleak House (section 7.5). The last two sections hypothesize that Dickens may even have adopted a stenographic perspective in the construction of plot (section 7.6) and of his own identity as an author (section 7.7). The chapter argues that the stenographic representations pervading Dickens’s work directly reflect his experience of learning and using shorthand.

Keywords:   style, character names, consonant clusters, phonaesthesia, puzzle, plot, narrative, identity

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