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Depeschen mit dem Leitwort Charles Dickens

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When Dickens met Dostojewski

Es ist eines der großen Rätsel der Literaturgeschichte. Haben sich Charles John Huffam Dickens und Fëdor Michajlovič Dostoevskij 1862 in London getroffen? Auf Facebook kennen sie sich immerhin. Aber gab es auch einen Brief von Dostoevskij, in dem dieser über seine Begegnung mit Dickens berichtet und die zwei Seelen seines Dichterkollegen offen legt? Ein „Literaturkrimi“ der besonderen Art, der einmal mehr zeigt, wie sinnvoll es ist, Kriminalliteratur zu lesen. Denn Eric Naiman, der den Fall in seinem Artikel When Dickens met Dostoevsky haarscharf und sehr unterhaltsam aufdeckt, schreibt:

»The article in the Dickensian had no loose ends at which one could tug. If the editors of the Dickensian were unwilling to track Stephanie Harvey down, how might someone else do it? Having read my share of crime fiction, I suspected that the hoax in the Dickensian might not be her first scholarly crime. Perhaps at an earlier stage she would not have been so careful?«

Wer also ist Stephanie Harvey, was hat es mit der mysteriösen Zeitschriftenquelle Vedomosti Akademii Nauk Kazakskoi SSR: Institut Istorii, Filologii i Filosofii vol.45 (Alma Ata 1987), pp.49–55 at 53–4 auf sich und wie leichtgläubig sind Literaturwissenschaftler?

Dies und mehr in der wunderbaren Geschichte, zu lesen bei The Times Literary Supplement.

»Even if you haven’t read any Dickens since high school, when you waded through the sentences and beheadings of A Tale of Two Cities, Gottlieb’s book is one you might want to try. Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens makes clear that not even the most prodigious creator of fictional characters since Shakespeare could always be understanding or sympathetic to the people closest to him.«

Michael Dirda

A tale of two fathers: Michael Dirda about Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens by Robert Gottlieb. His review at The Washington Post.

»Robert Gottlieb’s Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens takes quick, bite-sized looks at the author’s 10 children, dividing each life into a “before” and “after” section, with their father’s death as the line of demarcation. Such a structure evinces the book’s prominent — if misguided — theme that Dickens was far more central to his children’s lives than they were to his.«

Hillary Kelly

Hillary Kelly on Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens by Robert Gottlieb. Her review at Los Angeles Review of Books.