‘In All Manner of Places, All at Wunst’: Writing, Gossip and the State of Information in Bleak House



The outside weather with which Bleak House commences clearly has as its corollary an interior, discursive climate wherein an opaque ‘wall’ of writing shuts out the still, small voice of advocacy as surely as the implacable sheets of London fog obscure the noonday sun, and Dickens’s own writing, as a surrogate for omniscience, often works to obscure the voice of Esther Summer(son). We have scarcely begun reading the first chapter when we become aware of the systematic repression of voice at the hands of writing. For Chancery is an institution where even ‘briefs’ are given a longevity and ‘shorthand writers’ (BH 1, p. 50) struggle to enclose voice within an overly condensed, compressed system of inscription that chokes all vestige of tonality:


Discursive Practice General Equivalent Social Reproduction Ontic Status Legal Family 
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Copyright information

© Jan B. Gordon 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tokyo University of Foreign StudiesJapan

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