Highlights of the final part of the ‘Our Mutual Friend Tweets’ project can now be found on Storify, in which the characters explore their own alternative endings to the story! Click here to catch up on our tweeters’ final reflections on the narrative.
You can also now find all 20 Storify installments of the novel here.
If you missed our round-table discussion on 21st November, ‘Defining Digital Dickens: Mutual Friends/Virtual Friends’, then you can now listen to a podcast of the event.
The 10th anniversary edition of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Century features articles on the Our Mutual Friend reading/blogging project and our Twitter retelling of the novel, written by participants.
Please join us Friday 11 December for a reception in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Birkbeck’s free online journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century and the publication of the journal’s tenth-anniversary special issue, edited by Luisa Calè and Ana Parejo Vadillo.
The event will feature a special performance from students on Birkbeck’s MA Text and Performance, performing tweets from Birkbeck’s recently completed Our Mutual Friend Tweets project, which retold Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend via Twitter (@DickensOMF #omftweets).
Date: Friday 11th December 2015.
Time: 6pm onwards, with the Twitter performance at 7pm.
Venue: The Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square. The Twitter performance will take place in our Theatre Studio (room G10).
Please email an RSVP to C19@bbk.ac.uk (Please indicate if you would like to attend the performance, as spaces are limited.)
On Saturday 21st November, Birkbeck’s Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies hosted the third and final workshop of the Defining Digital Dickens series, in which several of our tweeters discussed their experiences of tweeting in character over the course of the project. You can now listen to a recording of this event here.
Following sell-out performances of Dickens’s one-act burletta Is She His Wife? or, Something Singular! at King’s College London and the Charles Dickens Museum in September 2015, the film of the production is now available on YouTube. The play aimed to recreate the style, music, and performance techniques of Dickens’s early theatricals as closely as possible, and features an introduction from Professor Michael Slater.
See below for the full production:
Over on Twitter, some of the novel’s characters are reaching the end of their stories:
Highlights of the eighteenth part of the ‘Our Mutual Friend Tweets’ project can now be found on Storify! Click here to catch up on the latest developments.
And don’t forget to bookmark ‘Our Mutual Feed‘ to keep up with the story day-to-day.
Here are some of our anonymous tweeters, revealing their secret identities at this year’s Dickens Day.
Brett Beasley is a Graduate Student Instructor in the Department of English at Loyola University Chicago.
Penultimate: pene + ultimate; the last one before the last one, the end just before the end, finality – but with a qualifier. Such is the curious quality of any penultimate instalment of a novel. The author, having stretched a narrative across many iterations, now pauses and gathers the strands of the narrative, not yet for the end but for one final deferral.
In the case of Our Mutual Friend, the penultimate instalment is especially important because it is a deferred ending in a novel about deferred endings, specifically deferrals of death. On its broadest level, the narrative follows the effects of the [non-]death of John Harmon, his afterlife as John Rokesmith, and his final resurrection as John Harmon once again. The novel’s minor characters and sub-plots manifest this leitmotif as well: the Boffins’ fortune is born out of discarded materials as are the scraps Jenny Wren reclaims for her dolls’ dresses and Mr. Venus turns bones and bodies into what he calls the ‘“trophies of his art.”’ Critics have identified this curiously undead quality variously as ‘postmortem consciousness’, ‘death in abeyance’, ‘suspended animation’, or simply, ‘limbo’, and have taken correspondingly varied takes on the theme’s ethical, political, religious, and economic implications.