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.



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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