Lorentzen Presents Conference Talk on Dickens and Wordsworth

Portrait of Professor LorentzenProfessor Eric Lorentzen gave the talk, “‘Spots of Time’: Wordsworthian Spirits and Dickensian Hauntings,” for the special Dickens Society panel at the 50th Annual Northeastern Modern Language Association Conference in Washington, DC. Eric examined this Romantic influence in Dickens’ work as a part of the panel “Dickens and the Influences of the Past.” In his paper, he traced the ways in which Dickens’ incorporation of the Wordsworthian philosophies of time, memory, and continuity transformed over the length of the Victorian novelist’s career. He detailed the many echoes of “We Are Seven” (Dickens’ favorite Wordsworth poem) in the early novels, and the darker cooptation of the poet’s ideas in moments of traumatic memory in the latter novels, as Dickens transformed Wordsworth from the poet of Nature, to a much more haunting figure that informs some of the more deeply psychological “spots of time” in Victorian fiction.