By B. Finney
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Additional resources for English Fiction Since 1984: Narrating a Nation
And Dickens’s Hard Times; or between the name of Kafka’s protagonist in The Castle, Joseph K, and that of Bentley’s protagonist [K——], or even of Harrison Bentley and William Bentley, Galvanauska’s disciple in Charles Palliser’s Betrayals (1994), a novel that shares interesting traits in common with Chatterton” (69). 2 Even Mean Time is a pun on “meantime” which hints at the intermediary nature of all narratives caught between their indebtedness to the past and their becoming in turn a source of indebtedness to work in the future.
In Albion Ackroyd claims that “Chatterton composed as many fine lines of medieval poetry as came out of the medieval period itself” (427). In other words Chattterton’s poetry was not simply an imitation of the past; it evokes a new past in the present. Brought up in the Age of Reason, Chatterton restored an earlier sense of mystery and wonder, “a world of vision and dreams” (Albion 431). Is Chatterton collapsing time in his forged poems? Or is he rather revealing the presence of the past in the present?
Is a circle of stage fire” (30). ” Susana Onega shows how Ackroyd’s allusions can continue to be traced in the striking resemblance “between Mean Time, the title of the novel written by Andrew Flint . . and Dickens’s Hard Times; or between the name of Kafka’s protagonist in The Castle, Joseph K, and that of Bentley’s protagonist [K——], or even of Harrison Bentley and William Bentley, Galvanauska’s disciple in Charles Palliser’s Betrayals (1994), a novel that shares interesting traits in common with Chatterton” (69).
English Fiction Since 1984: Narrating a Nation by B. Finney