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Thread: Psychoanalysis of late, great authors

  1. #1
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England

    Psychoanalysis of late, great authors

    One thing about Charles Dickens, more than any other author I can think of, was that he put so much of his own life into his books, that critics, academics and journalists have spent the 150 years since his death psychoanalysing him. For instance, we all know about his father's imprisonment in debtors' prison, his time as a boy working in a blacking factory, his shameful treatment of his wife, and the girlfriend he kept on the side. For instance, suppose you watched a lecture on YouTube about Great Expectations, you might hear about Dickens' relationship with his mother, his fear of his being condemned to a working class life during his stint at the blacking factory, his infatuation with a young woman in his youth who turned him down, his having read David Copperfield first and crying, which must relate to his marital situation at the time. Whenever I read a literary paper like the Times Literary Supplement or the London Review of Books, I was always struck how there were more articles on the lives of famous authors than there was discussion of new books. If I were an an author, I would be very wary about giving myself away, but I suppose it is an occupational hazard. From a British perspective, probably George Eliot is probably the next most psychoanalysed author.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  2. #2
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Beyond nowhere
    I think a great many authors put much of their lives in their books. But Dickens was a very popular author with a social rising history which might belong to one of his characters. Add to this his powerful imagination.
    As a popular journalist and sequel novel writer he was a figure of the media of his time. Today he would be still much more exposed.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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