Class List: Victorian Fiction

Victorian Fiction

Girl pulling a coal tub in mine. From official report of Lord Ashley's Mines Commission. [Parliamentary Papers, 1842]

 No. 116.--Sarah Gooder, aged 8

I'm a trapper in the Gawber pit. It does not tire me, but I have to trap
without a light and I'm scared. I go at four and sometimes half past three
in the morning, and come out at five and half past. I never go to sleep.
Sometimes I sing when I've light, but not in the dark; I dare not sing
then. I don't like being in the pit. I am very sleepy when I go sometimes
in the morning. I go to Sunday-schools and read Reading made Easy. 
....I would like to be at school far better than in the pit. 

From class, Friday, Sept. 12.
Here's one (problematic, but provocative) way of thinking about race that we discussed in terms of Oliver Twist. From Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew:

The Jew is one whom other men consider a Jew....for it is the anti-Semite who makes the Jew.

Roland Barthes, S/Z:

Every literary description is a view. It could be said that the speaker, before describing, stands at the window, not so much to see, but to establish what he sees by its very frame: the window frame creates the scene. To describe is thus to place the empty frame which the realistic author always carries with him (more important than his easel) before a collection or continuum of objects which cannot be put into words without this obsessive operation (which could be as laughable as a "gag"); in order to speak about it, the writer, through this initial rite, first transforms the "real" into a depicted (framed) object; having done this, he can take down the object, remove it from his picture: in short de-depict it . . . . Thus, realism (badly named, at any rate often badly interpreted) consists not in copying the real but in copying a (depicted) copy of the real . . . . (p54-5)