Abstract

Abstract:

This essay excavates a subterranean medieval presence in Dickens that squares the uncanny presence-in-absence of the Middle Ages in the nineteenth-century mind with the absent-present sacramental logic that animated the medieval mind. Medievalism properly understood, then, is an exercise more subtle and pervasive than a modern artist’s biased appropriation of a particular medieval topos: I contend that medievalism as a practice is sacramental. I argue that Dickens’s mobilization of medieval sacramentality reveals his participation in a radical form of medievalism concerned with activating and inhabiting traditional symbolic categories, and his interest in making these categories live again according to the very conceptual formulas in which they were originally imagined.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2056-5666
Print ISSN
0148-3331
Pages
pp. 444-462
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-28
Open Access
No
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