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Oliver Twist , like so much in Dickens , in his later work especially , is a fantasy of
good and evil . Graham Greene , in his essay on the novel , has suggested that
Dickens was a Manichee amd was much more convinced of the reality of evil ...
Humour softens them ; it is as though Dickens has forgotten the full extent of the
viciousness he has set out to satirize in his sheer exuberant joy in the character
he has invented ; joy in turn has begotten a kind of sympathy , even a kind of love
It is when the obsessional strikes us as mechanically contrived , as with Captain
Cuttle , that Dickens ' s comic characters fail ; and it is then , incidentally , that the
resulting character is closest to Smollett ' s . The great psychopathic characters ...
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Remember when literary critics read books and wrote about them? No? Well, I do now. He got a few things wrong - what did these people ever see in H.G. Wells? In Meredith? That they should be put next ... Read full review
The Eighteenth Century
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