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A Voice Still HeardSelected Essays of Irving Howe$
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Irving Howe and Nina Howe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300203660

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300203660.001.0001

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Dickens: Three Notes {1994}

Dickens: Three Notes {1994}

(p.341) Dickens: Three Notes {1994}
A Voice Still Heard

Irving Howe

Yale University Press

This chapter presents Irving Howe's 1994 essay “Dickens: Three Notes,” in which he talks about the problem of rendering goodness in fiction by focusing on Charles Dickens. According to Howe, Dickens, in a few of his novels, also struggles with the problem of rendering absolute goodness. Howe first considers Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote, Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Idiot, and Henry James's Wings of the Dove. He then explains why goodness is credible, or more credible, when presented through the lens of the comic. He also examines Dickens's revolutionary treatment of minor characters in his later novels, especially Bleak House and Little Dorrit.

Keywords:   goodness, Irving Howe, fiction, Charles Dickens, novels, Don Quixote, Wings of the Dove, minor characters, Bleak House, Little Dorrit

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