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Introduction to the Christmas Ghost Story and Charles Dickens

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Video 1: Charles Dickens

Hello and welcome to week seven lectures on Dickens's a Christmas Carol in today's introductory session. To this week, I will be talking about Charles Dickens. His literary output, his Gothic imagination as well. Us briefly introduce the context to the Christmas ghost story. Charles Dickens is perhaps as famous today. He was in his lifetime, the author of 15 novels, fight novellas and countless stories and essays. He also generously promoted the careers of other novelists. In his weekly journals and concerned himself with social issues. Charles Dickinson was immensely popular, even in his own lifetime. He was also very prolific. He was also very important in promoting the careers of other writers. Such as, um, we'll get Collins, Elspeth, Gaskell. So he was an important influence on them as well. More importantly, he was a social performer, especially discussing issues that needed reform in his fictional, not or dos. He excelled in writing about London settings and grotesque and comic characters. And some of those characters are Uriah, Heep and Feigen, miss Havisham and Scrooge, and the artful Dodger Miscavige. Trump is from great expectations. Feigin from Oliver twist Dodger, a pro only with twist as well. Um, so you can see that yeah. Characters come from a wide spectrum, wide social spectrum. Uh, based in London, he was a London writer and beacons is, uh, known as a caricature wrist. Uh, he is known for his grotesque characters, his macabre, uh, settings as well. And, and God becomes a subtext to some of the ways in which they can fictionalize the issues that he wants to, uh, reform. Begins was born. It puts Mark, uh, on seventh, February 18, 12 son of John Dickens, affectless and improvident, Navy Clark with a great love for literature and his wife, Ellsberg Charles drew, and ironically affectionate portrayed of them. And mr. And mrs. Macabre, um, it, those characters from, uh, David Copperfield. The answer is a 19th century. Novelist Dickens was born to an improvident father. Um, one who was not very careful with his money. In fact, the family went into debt because of the mismanagement of the family's finances. In fact Dickins was taken out of school as a boy and sent to the block and factory, which had an immense impact on his psyche. You also realize that begins drew on his own personal experiences in sketching, certain characters and Evans in his walks, happy childhood and chat them during which you read voraciously. Ended with a move to London in 1822, family poverty, mental, the young child had to learn, had to earn money and he spent a humiliating year labeling bottles in a blocking factory. During this period, his father was imprisoned for debt, both experiences informed later novels. The interesting thing here to note is start. Brit Dickins was not a London eye. He moved to London in 1822. She was an outsider looking into this world so that, uh, understanding of London as an outsider, uh, is, is something that had, uh, an interesting, uh, influence in the way he sketched in the way he, uh, narrated London in his works. His family's partly meant that he had to go into work very early on, as I just mentioned. And it was extremely humiliating for him to do, man will LIBOR, uh, and he, um, felt, uh, endlessly, um, injured, um, mentally speaking because of that experience. And he tried to kind of, um, get rid of that, uh, hunting. Uh, impoverished pass by writing about good in his work. So his experiences, his early experiences, uh, were, um, written into his, uh, later novels. After leaving school, he became a parliamentary journalist and sketch right there. He first won fame in 86 with the antics of the Cockney sportsman portrayed in the Pickwick papers, which was issued in 20 monthly parts. You can see, um, where they can, uh, got his expedience in writing. He was a journalist and a sketch writer before he went into full time, uh, fiction writing. He also became, uh, very well known with his, uh, Pickwick papers. And this work was issued, uh, in a series. It was published in 20 monthly parts, one part for every month. Um, most of the novels of that time they're issued in this fashion next written in monthly installments with prodigious speed game Oliver twist, which was published in 1838 and the semi climatic, Nicholas Nickleby. Which was, uh, written in 1839. They consume, graduated to writing complex and resonant masterpieces that have ensured his enduring fame, including David pupper field published in 1850 bleak house in 1853. Great expectations in 1861 and our mutual friend in India. Didn't 65. The cans. Wrote at the end and normous he's, he was prodigious in his outward and the speed with which he turned out works was very impressive. All the way dressed was very popular and it was followed by Nicholas Nickleby and there was a comic, um, trajectory running through Nicholas Nickleby, uh, too, just as we saw in the Pickwick papers. His late dumbest appeases suggest great expectations. And Blake house were a very advocate of Dave oblique as well. And in fact, the plots were complex and the issues that they tackled with also, uh, problematic, um, social issues and enthusiastic and enthusiastic for the theater, he enjoyed performing his own works and twice stored America lecturing. After the collapse of this marriage, 1858, he continued his lifestyle. What the actress nearly turning in. He died of a stroke in 1870, leaving the mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished Dickens, enjoyed hitter. In fact, he also performed in place and he also enjoyed reading, performing, except from his own fiction. His own works. These lectures were immensely popular with the audience, both in great Britain and, and America. In fact, he went on to work twice, uh, in America, lecturing. His marriage to Catherine Hogarth collapsed in 1858. Uh, and despite that, or because of that, he continued his, uh, uh, lies on with the actress, uh, nearly turning. He died of a stroke, which was apparently, uh, brought about by his exhaustive, uh, work ethic. And his last work was unfinished, but just, um, the mystery of Edwin drew. Now, let's talk about that. Ken's and the Gothic imagination, Gothic imagery and friction during the early Victorian era functions in much the same way as the subconscious dusk and the human mind. In other words, it acts as a repository for drugs, bottling emotions and desires, troubling, emotions, desires, and ideas, what they breaks through into the seemingly rational. And so Bernard dibs about those. So just Dickens and draws attention to the dark shadows and hidden corners of modern society. Dave, a blend of interesting information and critical perspective in this set of ideas by Greg Boswell. Firstly, we need to understand that there is a connection between Gothic and the sort of conscious in the human mind, the risk of that, or correlation between these two aspects. In fact, the subconscious does break out. Through got imagery that we find infection. Secondly, the Gothic becomes a posteriori, it becomes a vessel. It becomes a collection, a space, a space that collects all the troubling, emotions, desires, and ideas. And further, we need to understand that the God takes subtext becomes very powerful, even in works that are apparently about, um, Rational aspects of the human society, apparently about sober issues of, um, society dealt with my others, just sticking. So even when Dickens is writing about bureaucracy, complications of the bureaucracy, such as the judicial system, the quad thick subtext and what technology, um, please Howard. Yeah. And that fictional, you know, worse. In that fictional, uh, and, um, by such a Gothic, uh, uh, not, or what the right is doing is to bring attention to the dark shadows and the hidden corners of modern society and the human psyche during this era got there. It moves away from the castles Abby's and mountain landscapes. So beloved and Radcliffe, and instead moves into contemporary, urban environments. In particular tech moves into London. So you can see a shift in tone of the growth or the progression of this Gothic mode, um, in Ratcliffe and other early got, uh, writers such as monk Lewis. Um, the glottic was associated with castles airbags and mountain landscapes, extreme, uh, specialties, but with Dickens. And, and even art Collins, the Gothic moves into contemporary urban spaces. So they've got the comes home, um, in, in, in, in some sense, the God that comes to London, to the London, urban houses to the count houses, a narrative to just only with twist published in, but it's seven meetings. She seemed to have very little common in common, the great Gothic novels in the 1790s. But it deals with a story of an innocent orphan Oliver pursued by Madison figures, just monks, um, and bill Sykes through decaying and shadowing London salons lit only by Moonlight. So you can see how the God enters even, um, this story, which apparently seems to be the story of an orphan who is having a difficult time in, um, London. How are the Coptic comes through such terrible and bizarre threatening figures, just months and bill Sykes. These are, these are, um, teams, um, men who run end of teams. So, um, it's very interesting to see how, um, the goddess that infuses, um, social discourses about the lives of, um, orphans and children who are out in the streets. London itself becomes a problematic space because it's decaying, it's corrupt, it's shadowy and it's threatening. And, uh, it gets lit on lead by a Moonlight. And then there's no rationality apparently seeping into the streets of London in this work, the central idea behind the plot together with the atmosphere and the portrayal of the city. I decided she got the in nature. Whereas the youthful innocence and the novels of, and Radcliffe have pursued down castle Cardos in all the twist they're pursued through Victorian city street. Once again, you see how God is embedded in the oven space of London, which is the central subject of the Oliver twist. Um, it is very interesting to see, um, how the Victorian city streets. Become got thick. And, uh, instead of these young, innocent, innocent, vulnerable young women who are chased down the car does have a dot cost. Here. We have, uh, young boys, vulnerable young boys who are, you did buy, uh, thieves such as, um, Fagen and, and, uh, build Sykes in. All of the twist channels, Dickens and all the, which it's definitely had ambitions on a simple desire to promote fear in his readers, but his use of disturbing imagery to emphasize important concerns about contemporary burden added intensity to his arguments in all limit to us, the orphan Oliver's in the sentence is contrasted throughout with the greed of the Well house administrators, the grizzly practices of mr. take a shop and with Fagan's gang of amoral teeth, grotesque comedy, and macabre imagery combined to make the cut his issues raised by the book all the more disturbing and memorable. Again, there's a point by Greg Bossville is remarkable for the contract. Uh, it brings out. What he's trying to highlight here is, uh, Oliver twist is not just about a provoking field in his readers. Uh, it's about, um, holding up to the view of the readers, the contrast between the innocence of the orphan and the greed of the administrators, as well as, um, the gang of Abel road peeves. So there task characteristics and macabre imagery, um, paint. Uh, CDs of characters, um, from the administration two teams. And in fact, um, read underlies. Most of these characters are, uh, practices in the story. So this mechanic imagery becomes thing. Um, the task becomes glottic as well, and, um, the novel becomes more disturbing and memorable for these reasons. And occasions, deacons went much further and you've got the purely from macabre effect, the vampiric Daniel quilt, for example, who terrorizes little now in the old curiosity shop is finally buried with a stake through his heart in the center of four lonely roads. Even in little, um, even in the old days, lost his shell. A shop was never, the character is little. Now there are Gothic overtones, and these Gothic overtones create a particular effect. Uh, a disturbing, dark, uh, impact on the readers. Um, Dan it, well, poop is grotesque Cruz, comically evil, uh, at the end is finally, um, killed with a stake through his heart. And he's buried in a center for lonely roads in blind that he has an unholy debt. So these, um, effects that Dickens into his art, not a dose make, make the point. Um, he wants to stress really go home. Um, but the readers and he got, he uses the goddamn for greater, uh, effect. Um, sometimes yeah, got it. May not be a fully fleshed out plot in this works. It can be for that effects that he wants to bring through his use of a language. Crook the rag and bottled margin from bleak house dies of spontaneous combustion and miss Hamish Jones, bridal gown effectively doubled as her funerals, shroud in rate expectations, this intertwining in the Victorian era of realism and a sense of moral outrage with an inventive use of God, the imagery and results in a path of new variation of the traditional, the so all along what I've been, trying to point out with the With, um, Dickens just context in terms of the goddess, is that the God thing, the Gothic undergoes a remarkable change, um, in the hands of beacons, you got the, is urbanized, got the, comes home, got the cans, uh, into the town houses. And, um, they can also appropriate signs, um, in order to, um, In order to make a bizarre point in a very, very effective manner. For example, a crook, the rag, and bought emergent in a bleak house, he dies a spontaneous compassion. He just, he just, um, you know, blessed into fire and find day and he dies. And that's very ironic as well. And deacon is satirizing, um, crook here, but pointing out that, you know, at one point, um, His own body couldn't handle the kind of, um, greed and expectation that he wreaks on his, uh, uh Whitten's and for the in great expectations, miss Hampshire's by brighter ground gone, her white gown, uh, becomes her Strout, um, itself. Uh, she, she doesn't change. You know, she seems to freeze in time when her, uh, Betting doesn't happen. Yeah. And she just, um, goes freight from her wedding to her funeral in some sense. And that's very ironic. So Dickens is creating a particular effect. Through the Gothic mode instead of, um, having really, uh, you know, uh, no Gothic drugs or just, um, you know, spirit, he is her, uh, harnessing signs instead he's harnessing, um, the characteristics, the puzzle capitalists takes of the characters themselves and turns them into, um, into an inventor and a way of making the Gothic very, very effective.

Video 2: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol improves being a ghost story Pressmans to give the work its full title was the first, the most popular of Dickens. A series of Christmas books. This one published by Chapman in whole, on 19 December, 1843 was an immediate success. And the initial print run of 6,000 copies sold out within a matter of days of Christmas. Carol is a golf story. Vision at the time of Christmas, it is a series and it's an only work, but against it, 1843. So it came before all the Metro works. It was very, very popular. It was an instant bestseller and the 6,000 copies sold out in a matter of days. So you can see the popularity of the subject matter with the British reading public. They can send hope. The book would clear his debts with Chapman and hall, but the lavish production, including forward guts and for Kyla plates, John leech meant Dickens only made it's two 30 pounds from the first printing was supposed to follow, but I'm plagiarized Washington of the book appeared in January, 1844. They can take the publishers of the pirated edition to court. But even though he won the case, he found himself liable for costs of around 700 pounds and the guilty party declared bankruptcy. So it's very interesting to see the publication, a context for a Christmas Carol it's maddening, it's saddening for begins. You can see why. He wanted to make a lot of money with this book, but unfortunately that illustration elements, for instance cuts and the color plate it's done by John leech was very expensive and he could make only a little bit of money and. You know, it was even worse for him when he realized that that plagiarist washing of this work was doing the rounds in January, 1844. And he takes the publishers of the pattern, addition to court, the humans, the case, he doesn't get money out of it because the guilty party declares bankruptcy and Dickens had to bear the costs of the court. So you can see that there is a lot of irony. Uh, when you think about the external, uh, details, the external events surrounding a Christmas Carol, which is a moral tale that tries to drive cool through a ghost story. And there are lots of, um, not very moral, um, and underhand, um, feelings happening with relation to, um, uh, publishers who pirate on this edition. At Christmas book by Charles Dickens published in 80. Um, 1843, uh, had been prompted. They can have been prompted to write this morality tale, because he had been perfectly stricken down by the appalling revelations, published in a parliament report on child labor in 1843. So that is the immediate provocation. For, uh, Dickens in writing this tale, the, the report on child labor, the involvement of children in manual labor and the appalling conditions had been the, um, social costs drives, begins to, um, ride this tail. Christmas. Carol is an allegory about penny pinching, misanthrope ethicist, Scrooge. Who on Christmas Eve receives an unexpected from the specter of as long dead business partner. Jacob Marley wounds. Kruge that three further spirits will haunt them. The ghost of Christmas, past the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmas yet to come. Uh, forest crews confront the consequences of his actions. You have the Betty traditional signifiers of a Gothic tale here in this story, ethicists cruise, that central protagonist of this, uh, of this, um, novella. He receives a visit from his dead partner. Jacob Marley, who wants in that tree for the ghost will visit him and will make Edna Scrooge face the consequences of what he had been doing so far. So. The spirit world immediately kind of gives a Gothic framework to the story. This is about the story with a moral, um, lesson at the end of it for the reader does to take home. He's especially horrified that a Scrooge is especially harder for him. I eat by the hardship endured by the family of his Clark Bob Cratchit crew. Just chasing experiences, have a salutary effect. The mindset is redeemed and transformed in the profess Dickens road. I have end of it. And does it go slim little book to raise the ghost of an idea, which Elmont put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season or with me may taunt their houses pleasantly and no one was too late. The point of the was the stations of the three girls is to show Scrooge, um, the experiences of the family, of his Clark Bob Cratchit, um, the poverty, and yet. The ideal family bond in, in, uh, his clocks home, uh, makes Cruz realize that he had been extremely miserly and then he mends him and he makes sure that he means his ways and he, the souls to change his attitude towards his Clark and his family. So the presence of the ghost have a beneficial effect on Scrooge. It helps the presence of the ghost helps. Um, redeems crude and transforms him. And in the purpose Dickens wrote that, uh, he had infused the goals with an idea, a very important idea, the idea of being very charitable towards those who are in need. And he, uh, mentioned that this kind of ghostly idea will not. Uh, put the readers out of humor. The readers won't be affected by this kind of goes. In fact, nobody will be, um, injured by the nature of these goals and nobody will wish to lay these goals. So these goals are, are sketched in a more benign manner. These NGOs have nothing, uh, of the dark side to them. Prince Albert, the newly installed has been of queen Victoria, popularly associated with institutionally is saying the British family, Christmas and institutes, which is still with us. Um, in the sense that Christmas is celebrated across the world. It was Albert, for example, who brought from his native Germany, the tan of balm or Christmas tree in 41 is normally given us the date for this happy imputation. So the idea of celebrating Christmas with the Christmas tree is apparently Prince Albert idea. Um, apparently he, uh, brought the tree from Germany in 1841, and this habit was really picked up by the, uh, British, um, public. And it was, uh, exported across the world. The Christmas tree replaced the traditional British you log wood designed to give vendor warmth, not something to deck with pretty lights, fairies favors, and around its base presence. But the tenant bomb or the you log along with mistletoe, we're incorporated into Christian festivity from pre-question paid good and rituals associated with it. The seasonal turn of the year, the rebirth of the land and the green gods. So can this set of ideas, what we realize is the, a pig then origins of certain aspects of Christmas. Um, in fact, the you log with, um, traditionally used before, uh, the tree became very popular. The you log, uh, was designed to give a warrant. He didn't want to, um, people during winter, the idea of decking it with lights and fairies came later. And, um, what is important to notice is the precursor pagan rituals associated with the seasonal syllabus , which are, which was meant to celebrate our ocean, the rebirth of the land and the green gods. So Prince Albert arrival. Yeah. Uh, in re ridden, uh, did. Make a lot of changes to the way, uh, this, um, festival is celebrated. Shortly after the arrival of the Christmas tree in the British parlor begins with a Christmas Carol institutionalized, what one would call the modern spirit of Christmas. They can subtitled his story. A ghost story for Christmas. The ghosts are imported from folklore and legend and not Christian gospels. The famous split of Christmas was designed by the artist, John leech for the first edition of a Christmas Carol clearly draws on classical pagan iconography. So justice Albert made a few changes to the way this festival was celebrated. Yeah. They can also bring some, a new tradition, um, of, uh, celebrating, um, the spirit of, uh, Christmas. The idea of Christmas Carol was institutionalized and becomes one of the modern additions to the spirit of Christmas. And this was added by Charles Dickens. The subtitle to the story, a ghost story. Um, it's interesting because NGOs are part of folklore and legend and not part of the Christian gospels. And, um, this particular illustration on the slide is designed by artists, uh, John leech, and he draws on he's influenced by class pagan, um, iconography, illustrations, and visual elements. So this is of the interesting context that we need to keep in mind when we think about the idea of the Gothic and the NGOs in relation to this Nardo thank you for watching. I'll continue the next session.