I’d been wanting to commemorate the Dickens bicentennial, but Gerry’s That’s How the Light Gets In blog has done so far better than I could. Enjoy.
Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812. To mark the bicentennial, here’s Simon Callow’s superb appreciation of the novelist, from last Saturday’s ‘My Hero’ feature in The Guardian:
You start with the work, of course. In my case The Pickwick Papers, thrust into my hands at the age of 13. It danced before my eyes, a great hokey-cokey of eccentrics, conmen, phony politicians, amorous widows and wily, witty servants, somehow catching an essence of what it is to be English, celebrating companionship, generosity, good nature, in the figure of Samuel Pickwick, Esq, one of the great embodiments in literature of benevolence. This quality mattered a great deal to me then, and it does now.
A tear sprang to my eyes when I read the book’s great closing words: “Some men, like bats or owls, have better eyes for the darkness than for the light. We, who have…
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