Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dickens at 200

stained glass portrait at London's Charles Dickens Museum
Dickens was a story teller, who wrote enjoying colorful and descriptive words. He was always popular. His social commentary caused attention to be paid to living conditions, especially in London, for Dickens the City of London was a character. He used comedy to show that an ass was an ass, and sometimes worse. For these reasons he has been looked down upon by certain breeds of critics.
Ebeneezer Scrooge before Christmas is to-day's capitalist, and in the US, the Republican party domestic policy architect. But, Scrooge as a fictional character was written to be redeemed. The sufferings of the poor, and the cruelties they endured was not what 'society' wanted to read. Notice the television soap operas (yes they have been reduced, because cheaper dreck can be aired) are filled with the grand bourgeoisie, and other than their servants, the only 'poor' characters are poor for a month or so. Dickens wrote in installments, and kept his audience's appetites whetted.
In England, Dickens' bicentennial is being observed. One of many ways to be reminded is on BBC News Magazine page which has a 'Dickens of the day' quote this year. (click here too)

Dickens of the day

3 February

“Strip the bishop of his apron, or the beadle of his hat and lace; what are they? Men. Mere men. Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine” -- Dickens takes aim - in Oliver Twist - at officialdom and its pretensions

23 January

"Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more." The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle - The orphan Oliver Twist bucks the system at the workhouse, delivering his immortal line
13 January
"A good, contented, well-breakfasted juryman is a capital thing to get hold of. Discontented or hungry jurymen, my dear sir, always find for the plaintiff" - Mr Perker, attorney for Samuel Pickwick, shares his legal knowledge

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