Miriam’s Research Interests

When reading “Hard Cash,” one of the things that struck me most was the dialogue of the characters and their use of jargon and slang. How odd, I thought, that a book that begins with a description of how much one of the characters hates both of these things would be so filled with jargon and slang, to the point that some pieces of dialogue were nearly unreadable. After reading more about Reade’s perspectives on writing and the use of facts, these inclusions became more understandable, though from a literary perspective, they still felt jarring, and not all of the dialogue felt true to me.

As such, I hope to look at the notecards where Reade collected pieces of slang and dialogue. I’m interested in what sort of sources he used. Were they primarily secondary sources, such as lists of dictionaries and lexicons of slang? Did he collect pieces of dialogue that he overheard? Some of this has already become clearer to me from skimming the transcripts, but I think working with them in person will help me. I’m particularly interested in Vespasian’s dialogue and characterization, as well as that of Ramgolam. However, through my skimmings and my use of the find function, I wasn’t able to find any cards about these characters and where their dialogue and mannerisms came from. Does this mean that he didn’t research these subjects? That seems hard to believe, though it might explain why Vespasian’s dialogue is so, um, racist. Or did he use research he had done for other books, which is thus not included with the Hard Cash notecards? Or did I just miss something? If he did take notes on race and for the Vespasian and Ramgolam’s dialogue, I’d be very interested to see it.

In the event that such notecards don’t exist, I’m interested in looking at, well, a lot of them, but 6 F1, 14 N.1 and Mat. Fict. 2.