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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

F*cking Dickens

Not the quaintly old-fashioned expletive, the author.

After 3 months, I finally finished reading Crime and Punishment and have vowed never to make that mistake again. It was itself a punishing experience. So I took a quick break and read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking in two or three sittings, and since I have to actually teach Great Expectations in a few weeks, I figured I'd give it another go and attempt to actually read it beforehand. Well, it's still dumb.

Sorry, Dickens fans, but if he were a person, he'd be the guy at the coffee shop who comes over and talks to you and won't go away, and you pretend to be interested for a while just to be polite, and then you start to look around and make sure no one you know is eavesdropping on this conversation and thinks you actually want to talk to this goober.

7 comments:

Erica said...

That's funny. I tried to read Great Expectations on my own once and got really bored--I think they were on a boat when I quit, but I don't remember why. We were supposed to read C&P in 12th grade--Tim gave me an excellent summary of it.

I decided to re-read the first two Adrian Mole books today. More on my level.

Elaine said...

I do like Dickens... but I totally get what you mean, Erin. And, I am pretty sure I wouldn't want to have to teach Great Expectations.

I am so glad you are posting again. This is the only new post I have time for right now... but I will be back tomorrow!

Tammy said...

And all this time I thought you truly enjoyed our talks at the coffee shop...

DBB said...

I think the main problem with Dickens is that he was paid by the word.

Erin said...

See, I always thought that was a joke. Like, "ha ha, Dickens is so overwritten it's like he was paid by the word!"

Plus, come to find out he was dirt poor as a kid--his whole family even moved in to debtors' prison with his dad because they didn't have anywhere else to go--so he has that whole MC-Hammer-gotta-make-money-hand-over-fist-to-make-up-for-my-upbringing-then-try-to-help-out-all-my-peeps thing going on.

DBB said...

See, I never thought it was a joke - I think Dickens literally was paid by the word, so he had to be prolific in the word department to make a living.

I like long stories that are long because the story is long - I dislike when things just drag on. So I rather like Goodkind, though his books are long - but I did not like Tolkein that much, because I felt like so much was just senseless filler that never went anywhere. (Thus, I enjoyed the movies because the filler was taken out).

Erin said...

At the risk of totally geeking out by still having this 4-month-old thread going AND using it to digress about fantasy-fiction, you must read George RR Martin. This is non-negotiable dork fiction. Be sure to re-read all the Goodkind and Weiss/Hickman and Robert Jordan and Shanarra stuff on your bookshelf because you will never go back to that stuff ever again.

And if you have read the Song of Ice and Fire series, well then pretend I was just like, "ok, good" instead of all excited and preachy about what is the best fantasy series ever. I have an image to maintain around here.