Dickens Birthday

I have to thank Shaun Usher at Letters of Note for bringing this to my attention. Now, I’m not one to get sucked in to all the hype about Charles Dickens – the dude wrote some really good novels (in some peoples’ opinions, I for one don’t like them) – and it’s his 200th birthday. Alright, alright, I’m being dismissive – he’s one of the most influential writers of British history. But I’m going to be honest, I’m not that fussed about it… I only enjoyed A Christmas Carol when the Muppets were in it, and I got three pages in to A Tale of Two Cities before I literally fell asleep (honestly, I woke up two hours later with it on my face). But I can understand what he did for British literature, culture and history, and I appreciate that. So, I’m not a little amused when I read this:Because, you know he was really buried in Westminster Abbey, right? Okay, so it was a “quiet affair”, but not exactly how he imagined his funeral. And now, there’s worldwide hysteria about his novels.

So… happy birthday Mr Dickens. But I’m still not reading your books.

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2 Comments

Filed under Booky things, Writing

2 responses to “Dickens Birthday

  1. Crestfallen

    You’re SO right! Dickens is an overrated hack whose books were magazine serials drawn out to stupid lengths by editors who wanted to keep a public with a taste for grubby sentimentalism (rather than true full-blown romanticism) buying their crappy pre-pulp magazines. Characters with absurd names, incidents that would seem corny in even the naffest genre fantasy and pat morals make Dickens little more than a sacred cow whose only virtue was the occassional ability to turn in a decent sub-Gothic set piece. A massively overrated writer and compared to an authentic social realist like his contemporary Zola, an embarrassment. I’m not reading him either!

    • David - the diabeticman

      Considering Charles Dickens is probably in the top two of English writers surpassed only by William Shakespeare. I feel I should admit that I have not read a book by either. Is this my schools fault or mine? With the bicentenary anniversary of Dickens’s birth change this? Doubtful.

      Should we celebrate the birth or the actual works of a writer, or both?
      So roll on 2033 anniversary of his first published work A Dinner at Poplar Walk or a little longer for his first novel Pickwick Papers in 2036, and so the list goes on.

      For people like me perhaps I shall continue to avoid reading Dickens’s books and wait for the next adaptation to appear on the BBC. Hmmm maybe I will give those a miss too.

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