Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Dose of Dickens

It's the holidays and Dickens is on my mind, especially since I went to see a comedy/musical version of A Christmas Carol a couple of weeks ago.
It was OK. The writer threw in some political jokes, modern social commentary, broadway bits, and a few guys walked on impersonating the "Occupy" movement for good measure.

Then I read USA Weekend's  Scrooge vs Aliens: A Christmas Carol Mashup

 Let's just say I prefer the old version.

I was in ninth grade when my teacher passed out a photocopy of Great Expactations. (Imagine! I still don't own a bound copy of this. What is WRONG with me?) I muddled through the first half, and then the teacher told us we didn't need to read further. (What was wrong with HER? The story was just getting good, at that point.) I didn't stop, and I remember Great Expectations as even more interesting than alllll the Austen I was reading at the time.

I loved Miss Havisham. The whole wedding feast gone wrong, the details, the decay. Then I picked up paperback version of A Tale of Two Cities, and then ohh, I was into Dickens, big time then.

I guess reading his work has shaped my writing style, if I think about it. Lots of details, some of them messy, a little bit raw. I would love to use some more dry wit and social commentary like his, but apparently that's a no-no in my genre. So I was thinking, I really want to read some Dickens this winter.

How about you?


Old Kitty said...

Big big celebrations in London for Dicken's 200th birthday anniversary for next year underway here! Lovely jubbly stuff going on (tours around the thames etc) and lots and lots of amazing telly too - the much awaited Great Expectations starring the stunning Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham next week - hoorah!!! So yay!! Go Dickens!! I LOVE Dickens! But must admit - studying Great Expectations at 14 years old in an inner city London school here was not a good experience! LOL! It was only in my later more mature years when I re-read it that I begun to appreciate the complexities of the book! Yay!! Take care

Sarah said...

I remember Great Expectations getting better as it went on. I haven't read Dickens since high school, though. I think it's cool that he influenced your writing--I agree, you write beautiful, fascinating details!

Deniz Bevan said...

Photocopy? Don't need to read further? Goodness!
Although I have to say, Miss Havisham really scared me when I read that story for the first time.
I loved A Tale of Two Cities also. And speaking of Christmas, I also love one of his other Christmas stories, The Chimes.
But there's still so much Dickens I haven't read yet!

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