Friday, January 28, 2022

The figure of a "Swiss snow-drift" on a summer evening in David Copperfield's childhood

When young David Copperfield runs away from London to Dover to search for his aunt Betsy Trotwood, he keeps going through a summer night even after he loses all his possessions: "In the midst of my distress, I had no notion of going back. I doubt if I should have had any, though there had been a Swiss snow-drift in the Kent Road." In this context, the "Swiss" nature of the imaginary show is appropriate in itself as a figure of the drift's size. But as an adult, Copperfield spends three years in Europe, mostly in Switzerland, so the adult is narrating his childhood experiences with figures from his adult life. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 28 January 2022)

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