Dickens and the Virtual City: Urban Perception and the Production of Social Space: [Review]

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Here a little more historical context would have helped; for example in Chapter 2, Ben Moore alerts us to the way the railway in Dombey and Son is rushing forwards into the past, into ruins and destruction, as illustrated by Doré’s well-known etching of Macaulay’s “New Zealander,” which taps into a longstanding intertextual discourse about the fall of empire within the idea of progress, well before the railways (or, more precisely, the steam locomotive) became a symbol of death. [...]the book departs from the usual preoccupation with mimesis or archetypal readings of the city as Babel and Babylon (which cannot be altogether avoided) and moves on to probe the production of social space in the imagination, so that London, as the city at the center of Dickens’s imagination (though not the only city in his novels), is always suspended between the real and the unreal, between its creation and its rereading and reimaging. Babel in Context: A Study in Cultural Identity (2012); (with Linda Weinhouse) Under Postcolonial Eyes: The “jew” in Contemporary British Writing (2012); (as editor), Race Color Identity: Discourses about the Jews in the Early Twenty-First Century (2013); and The Jew’s Daughter: A Cultural History of a Conversion Narrative (2017).
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)70-72
Number of pages3
JournalDickens Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Murail
  • Estelle -- editor
  • 1812-1870
  • Criticism and interpretation
  • Dickens
  • Charles
  • Rushdie
  • Salman
  • 21st century
  • Eliot
  • T S (Thomas Stearns) (1888-1965)
  • Jews
  • Intertextuality
  • Modernity
  • Cultural factors
  • Ternan
  • Ellen
  • Collins
  • Wilkie (1824-1889)
  • Novels
  • Cultural identity
  • Cultural change
  • Cities
  • Books
  • Essays


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