Watch a Video on Charles Dickens and the History of Serialization

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Next time your favorite TV show ends with a cliffhanger, you can thank Charles Dickens. In a recent vlog, Evan Puschak — or The Nerdwriter — traces the fascinating evolution and longevity of serialized narratives, larger works that are published in installments rather than all at once. As Puschak explains, serialization began in the 19th century when Chapman & Hall commissioned Charles Dickens to write a series of linked “sporting stories,” The Pickwick Papers, that became enormously popular. With their sweeping casts of characters, many subplots, and wide appeal, comic books, soap operas, and even Star Wars all fall within the genre. Watch the full video above to hear Puschak discuss the history of serialization, and how it’s not only “the medium of delayed gratification,” but also of social engagement and inclusivity.

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