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date: 22 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A Tale of Two Cities is one of Dickens’s shortest and possibly one of his most atypical and puzzling novels. For French readers in particular—whose history this novel purports to reinterpret—the novel proves especially challenging. This chapter provides new insights into the understanding of this perplexing work. It argues that the complexity of the novel stems from its interculturality—especially in relation to translation—as well as from the historical, political, philosophical, and sociological perspectives it engages with, and the interdisciplinary connections it thus establishes. The novel’s puzzling quality also derives from its intricate handling of the concept of identity and its multifarious ramifications that involve gender but also revolutionary crowds. Moreover, the elaborate combination of strong visual elements, added to an as yet underexplored but just as intense and multi-faceted kinaesthetic dimension, enhance our reading of A Tale of Two Cities, and open up new possibilities for performing and adapting the novel.

Keywords: interculturality, translation, history, politics, visual studies, identity, crowds, kinaesthesiaperformance, adaptation

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