John Thacker: Antichrist in the Cathedral

Отправлено 1 авг. 2016 г., 09:17 пользователем Sven Karsten   [ обновлено 1 авг. 2016 г., 09:17 ]

It will have been noted that the theories and comments advanced in this study take no account of the vignette at the foot of the monthly cover of Edwin Drood as first published in 1870, which appears to depict a confrontation of some sort and which several distinguished commentators, including the editor of the Clarendon Edition, have seen as representing a specific part of Dickens's plot, which he must have had in mind from the outset. As I have myself indicated (on p. 118) that monthly cover designs have at least some significance, the presence of this little picture demands a comment. If the two figures in the drawing are Drood and Jasper, as I believe, there seems no likely scenario short of supernatural intervention in which such a scene could take place in the second half of the book, given the interpretation of the plot I have offered, for Drood is dead.

But there is an alternative explanation of this vignette, which if accepted will show it as having been intended (when outlined by Dickens to the original artist Charles Collins) not as a confrontation but as a symbolic representation of a key episode in the novel. I wrote the following paper in 1985. The theory it outlines appeared in a very much abridged form as a letter to the Editor, the Dickensian (August 1986), No. 410.

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