Talk:Charles Dickens

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Former featured article candidate Charles Dickens is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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March 19, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
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Current status: Former featured article candidate
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Semi-protected edit request on 20 November 2014[edit]

78.32.40.42 (talk) 11:48, 20 November 2014 (UTC)gykfuyof6u76or89.d56l,e3 et789

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Stickee (talk) 13:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

charles dickens was not agood person.he jikll — Preceding unsigned comment added by 103.227.116.19 (talk) 06:59, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

"anti-americanism"[edit]

I removed that addition due to being unsourced. However after searching around a bit, it seems there is indeed some scholarly literature making the claims described in the addition. However according to a recent scholarly publication by Max Paul Friedman, such claims are questionable/disputable and somewhat outdated as well (see: M. P. Friedman: Rethinking Anti-Americanism. Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 13-15, 30-39 (excerpt at Google)).

This means if the claims are readded with proper sources, they should be contextualized with disagreeing more recent scholarly assessment's like Friedman's.--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:16, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

@CJK: If you are simply adding those claims again without proper sources I will remove them again. Such information needs to sourced even more if it is challenged. And it needs to be sourced in this article rather than possible elsewhere in Wikipedia. Also note that Wikipedia can never be a source for Wikipedia content. However if those two Wikipedia articles containing those claims do have proper sources, you may reuse/copy them in this article.--Kmhkmh (talk) 20:49, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I didn't think that we needed a source for simply describing the contents of his works. It seems to be a matter of common knowledge. Many of the plot summaries of Dickens's novels, for example in Oliver Twist are unsourced. The article Morrill Tariff has long contained the claims of Dickens (citing his own publication), so I don't see the issue mentioning it here as well. I don't have any other sources immediately at hand.
CJK (talk) 21:12, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Well for simple plot summary of those books, I'd agree that no explicit source would be required and that you might consider it "common" knowledge" or simply consider the books themselves as sufficient sources. Describing those books as "anti-american" however falls more in the domain of analysis/interpretation/(value) assessment, for which scholarly or reputable literature review source is required, even more so if as I pointed out above such an assessment is disputed in recent scholarly publications.
There is no rush, but without a source thst conntent will have eventually to removed again or at least significantly rewritten following the scholarly source (Friedman) I referenced above. The other two Wikipedia articles will eventually need a source as well if the analysis/assessment there is unsourced--Kmhkmh (talk) 02:34, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

It seems that scholars have been questioning his perceived anti-Americanism for some time. [1].And here (all of Chapter 4) is another recent evaluation of it. In fact, as far back as 1843, C.A. Bodelson said "If Dickens's American critics had read Martin Chuzzlewit with a lower blood pressure they would have discovered that the American and English scenes are used as parallel examples of two societies that have both, though in different ways, erected acquisitiveness onto a principle" (Monod p.52). Dickens was, after all, a satirist, and no-one was spared his barbed comments. Richerman (talk) 10:58, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the additional sources, I'm really nor a Dickens anr anti-americanism expert. Friedman was just the first reputable scholarly source I came across, when quickly researching/checking the anti-americanism claims. In any case the current formulation in the article would need to be significantly revised or deleted. In addition the two articles on the Dickens novels from which those claims were apparently taken may need a revision as well.--Kmhkmh (talk) 12:21, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

I didn't explicitly say it was anti-American, I wrote "he repeatedly attacks Americans" in Martin Chuzzlewit which I believe is an uncontroversial fact. He actually went out of his way to write the republic was so maimed and lame, so full of sores and ulcers, foul to the eye and almost hopeless to the sense, that her best friends turn from the loathsome creature with disgust. Later one his characters says he would draw an American Eagle like a Bat, for its short-sightedness; like a Bantam, for its bragging; like a Magpie, for its honesty; like a Peacock, for its vanity; like a ostrich, for its putting its head in the mud, and thinking nobody sees it— How on earth is that not anti-American?

Dickens so profoundly hated the U.S. that he leaned toward the slave-owning Confederacy, ignoring their own public admissions that they were fighting at least in part to defend slavery.

CJK (talk) 18:59, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

That wasn't what Dickens said about America, those were words spoken by his fictional characters. As American critic Albert J. Guerard said later, he took a "pure creative joy in grotesque invention". His characters weren't saying what he thought, they were over the top caricatures using hyperbole for comic effect. Yes, he was annoyed and disappointed with the Americans after his first visit but if, as you say, he profoundly hated the US he would hardly have gone on a second tour some years later. Richerman (talk) 00:42, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

The first quote was not from a character and the second quote came in the context of summing up the experience in America. Every single American character is portrayed in a negative light. That it was anti-American was universally acknowledged at the time. Obviously when relations between the two countries grew closer in the 20th century there was a strong interest to sweep this under the rug. Dickens could hardly ignore the fact that at most English speakers (hence much of his readership) lived in the U.S., which is why he visited it again. He did, however, either during or shortly after the visit take cheap shots at the policy of enfranchising blacks (see Racism in the work of Charles Dickens). The same article notes he "nearly" sided with the Confederacy. It appears that his criticism of slavery was so could take cheap shots at white Americans, not because he genuinely sympathized with blacks.

CJK (talk) 15:35, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, yes, you're right, I misread that, he said it as the narrator. However, according to this article his view of America changed after his second tour. As for his views on slavery, the article about his racism also quotes Moore as saying "overemphasising Dickens' racism obscures his continued commitment to the abolition of slavery". It's not surprising that he didn't think that blacks should have the vote - women in Britain didn't get the vote until 1918 and then they had to be property owners. However, there's nothing to sweep under the carpet - he was a man of his time and, although enlightened in many ways he was flawed in others. But this all just shows why we have to be careful about not letting our own opinions creep in when we're editing and only add information that can be supported with reliable sources. Richerman (talk) 16:44, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
In any case one cannot really assess his (real or perceived) anti-americanism based only on a few individual quotes (bing possibly out of contet as well), but one need to look at the overall person. More importantly however any such assessment needs to be done by reputabke eternal sources rather than by Wikipedia editors themselves. We avoid analysing/assessing such things by ourselves, but instead report/summarize the assessments of reputable eternal sources. That is "the" cornerstone of writing Wikipedia articles and exactly the reason why edit in its current form is problematic. Its is an (from a certain perspective reasonable/justified) assessment by a Wikipedia editor rather than report of the assessments of reputable external sources and what is worse, it is even contradicting various recent scholarly sources. From the Wikipedia perspective that's a clear no-go.--Kmhkmh (talk) 21:09, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

The only thing I wrote was that he attacked Americans in Martin Chuzzlewit and published an article blaming the Civil War on high tariffs. That really isn't too controversial.

CJK (talk) 17:06, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

  • We should use summary style here. I've rewritten that section according to a Dickens scholar using a chapter from The Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens. It's best to keep plot summaries and lit. crit. on the individual subpages. Victoria (tk) 17:50, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Citation markup[edit]

I noticed that the citation markup in this article is such that a cite to a single source such as, <ref>{{harvnb|Black|2007|p=735}}.</ref> includes the ref brackets. Theses are not necessary, as {{sfn|Black|2007|p=735}} accomplishes the same thing, and it's arguably better because there is no need to name each citation in order to indicate multiple cites to the same reference. I think it would be better to remove the unnecessary reference brackets, but I don't want to do that only to be reverted, as it's a lot of busywork, so I'm seeking guidance here. Rationalobserver (talk) 17:26, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

IMBD[edit]

John, per this edit, I wanted to double-check the reliability of IMBD, as I've seen more than one editor suggest that the site should not be cited to here. Rationalobserver (talk) 19:33, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, it's not a great source. I am sure better ones can be found. --John (talk) 19:44, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, so you think it's fine for now, since this isn't even GA yet. I might be wrong, but I've seen a couple of people remove it. Is there a page that lists unreliable sources, as this can be difficult to keep track of? Rationalobserver (talk) 19:48, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
No, it's not considered reliable see: Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources#Self-published sources (online and paper) it's listed there. Richerman (talk) 20:10, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes but it depends on the actual content you source. You certainly cannot use use the IMDB for biographic information. However using it for filmography information is usually ok and the IMDB tends to be relatively reliable in that regard.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:55, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

spelling of instalment[edit]

The article uses the British spelling of "installment"; whereas, the standard U. S. English is used throughout Wikipedia. Please correct me if I'm wrong. For that reason, we should change the spelling of "instalment" to "installment" to follow standard US English spelling. Right? I changed one of spellings in the article but will hold off doing more until I get feedback on this issue from TALK. thnx, Primofacts (talk) 21:39, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

One template included at the top of the article is Template:Use British English, so 'instalment' is correct. Wikipedia uses different English spellings in different articles, please read National varieties of English in the Manual of Stylefor more information. Thanks, Stephenb (Talk) 11:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Template stack[edit]

I've added twelve book templates, in chronological order by year of publication, after the expanded Charles Dickens template at the bottom, and would like to propose they be kept in view without a navbox stack. My reasoning is on the size of what can be called the template section. It is not that big, measured up and down, and is comparable with other sections of this article. This section contains a very large amount of information contained within, comparably, a not very large top to bottom space. We on Wikipedia have gotten used to not having a lot of templates stacked up, and hide them within a single section (which I doubt is looked at as much as the templates would be if are visible). Charles Dickens wrote many influential and literarily important books, and to show them in a visible template stack seems like the best way to go for information sharing and data flow. Randy Kryn 00:40, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Actually not that I feel that strongly about it, but to me they look fairly displaced. We already have separate articles for those books and the bibliography and that's where those templates belong, here they imho just add unnecessary clutter at thend. The data flow you seem to be concerned about is already provided in a sufficient manner by the first template and the bibliography section.--Kmhkmh (talk) 07:36, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, keeping the stack as is probably isn't feasible. The disjointedness likely comes from the repetition of Dickens' name, and readers here aren't used to seeing large template stacks being visible. As for keeping them on the page, the templates themselves have value, and at a minimum should be kept in some form. If the present form doesn't work then maybe this would do, placed above the main Dickens' expanded template:

Some of these templates themselves need additional entries, and maybe regular Dickens editors can expand them. Others are well done and full. Randy Kryn 10:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)