Charles Dickens: Bleak House

(1954 words)
  • Grahame Smith (University of Stirling)

In a recent critical book, Dickens Redressed: The Art of Bleak House and Hard Times, Alexander Welsh refers to Bleak House as being “an impressive work of montage, which ought by now to have earned Dickens the reputation of composing in 1852-53 a distinctly modernist text” (125). This is part of a fairly recent shift in the interpretation of Dickens's work which sees it anticipating the novels of Joyce, Faulkner, Conrad and other major figures in literary modernism. One aspect of this daring originality is the invention by Dickens of what might be called the fictional institution, major examples being Bleak House's Court of Chancery and the Circumlocution Office of Little Dorrit. But what Welsh has …

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Smith, Grahame. "Bleak House". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 March 2001
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]