So I could not let this travesty go on any longer - Darwin Day has a thread, but no thread celebrating Dickens' 200th birthday this upcoming Tuesday? For shame. Darwin had his day in the sun three years ago - let the better Charles have his turn (ok, so maybe not better, but I certainly enjoy reading Dickens from a literary standpoint quite a bit more than Darwin).
I for one am incredibly excited. Excited enough that I assigned my class to read A Tale of Two Cities, even though it is only moderately well-suited for our class. I've also been to three different Dickens exhibits here in London, and am on the prowl for more. For his 100th birthday, every child in England got a piece of cake. I don't think they'll be doing that this time around, which is a shame, but perhaps understandable. I am hoping that there are at least some festivities though.
I thought that instead of coming up with games (I fear my celebration on the 7th may be somewhat solitary), we could share our best Dickens memory. I'm hoping this doesn't fall flat, but if it does, that's cool too.
For me (and I could be mixing this story up a bit - it's been a while and I tend to unfortunately blur these type of things together), it was my first year in college. My best friend, who would shortly become my girlfriend and then two years later my wife, knew I was feeling a bit lonely, so she sent me up a care package. It included a CD of smile songs, a cup from Bennigans that we had stolen years ago, a few other odds and ends, and more to the point of the story, my favorite chapter from A Tale of Two Cities (my favorite book). The chapter is called "The Fellow of No Delicacy", and we had had numerous conversations about it throughout the years. Or rather, I had extolled the virtues of it on many different levels while she listened .
She had cut it out of a cheap version of the book (which we still have). Granted, it is not exactly the most uplifting piece of literature you'll find, but it was the perfect gesture at the time. I can't really describe what it meant to me in words, or at least not words that do it justice. Suffice it to say that while it is an emotional chapter to begin with, I shed a few tears when I read it that day. Well, to be perfectly honest I get choked up every time I read it now. It made me feel suddenly not alone and miserable, but loved, knowing that there was someone out there who knew me and... well, loved me. In essence I suppose it made me feel not so much like Sydney Carton as I had been.
But yeah. That was probably my fondest moment with Dickens. Perhaps the credit is more to my wife than him or his writing, but it's his birthday, not hers .
Posts: 2826 | Registered: Jul 2005
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Oooh, good call! I am recent to the love of Dickens, having hated him until 2008, when Andrew Davies' BBC miniseries of Little Dorrit inspired a readthrough and conversion to headlong devotion.
Still not the biggest fan of all his work, but his prose is incredible, and when he's at his peak, there's very little to beat him (other than Jane Austen, but that's probably just me) :-)
Posts: 399 | Registered: Nov 2006
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The only Dickens books I have read are Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol, but I thoroughly enjoyed both. I should probably put A Tale of Two Cities on my reading list; my brother read it and recommended it to me.
We're also planning to watch this David Copperfield miniseries starring Daniel Radcliffe. No idea if it's any good, but it can't hurt to try.
Posts: 1028 | Registered: Apr 2007
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