Abstract

This essay investigates the cosmological implications of Charles Dickens’s Bleak House to argue that the novel’s narrative seems to come undone by its methodical attention to its characters, to their objects and properties, and to the unending associations among them. I read Esther Summerson’s narrative as a model for navigating the novel’s dense cosmos, paying particular attention to how Esther attempts to secure her place in that cosmos through a rigorous practice of metonymy. I pursue this practice to its most literal end, where trope gives way to trait and trait opens upon the novel’s enigmatic conclusion.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 793-813
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-01
Open Access
No
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