Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens

There is a nicely done tribute to Charles Dickens on YouTube.

What always strikes me about Charles Dickens is his capacity to make minor characters as memorable as the major ones. We would be a better society if more people read Dickens.


John said...

NPR also did a nice tribute this morning.

"After Shakespeare, Dickens is the great creator of characters, multiple characters," says Claire Tomalin, author of the new biography Charles Dickens: A Life. "He did these great walks — he would walk every day for miles and miles, and sometimes I think he was sort of stoking up his imagination as he walked, and thinking of his characters. The way he built his novels was through the voices of his characters."

Dickens liked to walk, as he said, "far and fast," gathering his thoughts and his strength to pour into his novels. The books were published as cliff-hanging serials in magazines or pamphlets before they became bound books — so nothing could be rewritten or reorganized.

"He would write these quite rapidly," Tomalin explains. "And very little was changed when they came out in book form, in volume form, afterwards. ... He was writing books that would become classics, and no other writer has done this."

The audio is about eight minutes.

Michael Wade said...


Thanks for the link!


The Cynical RPh said...

We would be a better society if more people read Dickens.

We're too busy Dickens around to read.

Michael Wade said...

The Cynical RPh,

I'm passing that on to some friends!