I’m not sure if it comes from reading modern Lit, like Waiting for Godot, which is dry, sparse, and unfriendly to the alliterative and assonance-loving eye, or if it’s the fun and fabulous festive season that is leaving me suddenly longing for Dickens.
Yes, I’m talking about our dear little friend Charles. You know, that guy from 19th century England who got paid by the word, causing his novels to be telephone directory sized, and the bane of the existence of all high school students for decades. I’m sure we all can boast of reading at least one of his works, or falling asleep during one of the obnoxious BBC dramatizations. I myself can boast of reading his A Christmas Carol as well as A Tale of Two Cities. Both of which are some of his most famous works and contain some of the best of his infamously penned lines. They also include some of the most hysterical, interesting, and sympathy invoking characters in the history of English literature.
Yes, I am longing for his excellent and melodious prose. I never thought I would say those words. It really seems that you don’t appreciate genius like Dickens’ until you find it lacking in the courses taught on the dry, hopeless and Godless modern English literature. I have the heart that longs to live in the magically flowing rhythm of a Dickensian sentence.
For instance: “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge. a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.”–A Christmas Carol.
This line flows lyrically off the tongue and instantly creates the perfect image of Scrooge’s cruelty, making him one of the most infamously characterized selfish villains in literature, which also makes his conversion at the end of the novel all the more beautifully touching. It’s a story we come back to year after year. It’s been retold in numerous ways, in particular, by my favorite troop of varied and lovable actors, the Muppets.
A Muppet Christmas Carol has definitely been one of my favorite Christmas classic movies to pull out and dust of when that time of year rolls around. The Muppets are in part responsible for introducing me to much of the great literature today (Wishbone and Bugs Bunny supplied the other half of the introduction).
One of the most creatively pulled of escapades of the muppet rendition of Dicken’s classic novel, is having Gonzo the great supply the narration under the guise of calling himself Mr. Dickens. Included in the muppet fun and frolick of the tale, Gonzo, er Mr. Dickens, narrates in the lovely flowing style of Charles Dickens own words used in the original novel itself. How wonderful. This truly is literary culture at work. I cannot wait to pull out the old, time-worn, recorded off the Disney Channel VHS tape and watch it again this Christmas.