Lauriat Lane, Jr.: The Mystery of Edwin Drood De/Re/Encoded

Отправлено 20 апр. 2013 г., 12:07 пользователем Sven Karsten   [ обновлено 20 апр. 2013 г., 12:08 ]

S prose fic­tion, Leon Garfield's The Mys­tery of Edwin Drood and "Charles Forsyte"'s The De­cod­ing of Edwin Drood are at the least harm­less lit­er­ary enter­tainments. Each book com­pletes in fic­tion Dick­ens's final, un­com­plet­ed prose ro­mance. Dick­ens's The Mys­tery of Edwin Drood, how­ev­er, be­cause it is all Dick­ens, is al­ready "com­plete" in one sense be­yond any other com­ple­tion, and ours for the read­ing. Yet, if not Dick­ens's Edwin Drood, such com­ple­tions can nev­er­the­less form part of our think­ing about that work, as ex­plic­it or im­plic­it com­men­tary (Forsyte has a long crit­i­cal in­tro­duc­tion and a brief ap­pendix). More­over, they raise gen­er­al crit­i­cal is­sues.

Edwin Drood is as pro­found­ly en­gross­ing and mov­ing in its own way as is any of Dick­ens's other, fin­ished later fic­tion. It also rais­es with melo­dra­mat­ic ob­vi­ous­ness ques­tions of the power of "in­ten­tion" and "codes" or "con­ven­tions" to fix the iden­ti­ty, above all the struc­tures, of any text and to dic­tate or at least di­rect our re­sponse to such an iden­ti­ty, such struc­tures. These ques­tions once took — and often still take — older, sim­pler, less new-fan­gled forms: What did Dick­ens in­tend? Or: What does The Mys­tery of Edwin Drood say?

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