Silvia Amarante: Protesi vittoriane -- il mistero (ir)risolto di Edwin Drood

This re­search in­ves­ti­gates the last and un­fin­ished novel by Charles Dick­ens, The Mys­tery of Edwin Drood, and the com­ple­tion pro­posed by a con­tem­po­rary cou­ple under the pseudonym of Charles Forsyte.


UE to the novel’s un­fin­ished stage, the read­er will be con­front­ed with the prob­lem of in­ter­pret­ing the mean­ing of a lit­er­ary cre­ation which leaves cer­tain ques­tions unan­swered and ac­tu­al­ly has no con­ven­tion­al end­ing, since the au­thor died abrupt­ly with just half of the planned work pub­lished.

Through the close read­ing of the frag­ment and the aid of the crit­i­cal re­sponse it will be dis­cussed if the last Dick­ens’s piece of writ­ing can be re­gard­ed as a com­plete text notwith­stand­ing its in­com­plete frame­work.

Charles Forsyte re-read the book to infer the de­vel­op­ment of the plot through some clues in the text and merged the ac­counts of those who claimed to have been told di­rect­ly by Dick­ens about the fate of the young en­gi­neer who dis­ap­peared mys­te­ri­ous­ly on a Christ­mas Eve.

The clos­ing sec­tion ex­am­ines the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Vic­to­ri­an novel and a mod­ern at­tempt to con­tin­ue the story of Edwin Drood to pro­vide the book with an end­ing.

By means of com­par­i­son of the the­mat­ic and stylis­tic choic­es, along with the nar­ra­to­log­i­cal de­vices, it will be point­ed out that such lit­er­ary ex­per­i­ment, de­spite of­fer­ing a plau­si­ble so­lu­tion to the mys­ter­ies in the story, ac­tu­al­ly fails to grasp and carry on the rich­ness of Dick­ens’s last fic­tion­al en­ter­prise.