d. If I were still in school, still a graduate student of literature, I would certainly not write, if I could possibly avoid it, on the novels of Dickens, particularly Bleak House. In fact, I almost (almost) regret the papers I wrote on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, the Gothic, the Victorian, the Sensation novels. Those books wherein young aristocratic ladies faint at the sight of their reputations, and are often “discommoded,” and the men kidnap and rape, all while speechifying about the well-deserved state of the underclass. These are wild generalizations, obviously. The only nineteenth-century novelist west of the Urals worth reading is Flaubert, anyway.