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Thread: Charles Dickens Describes My Home Town . . . What a Douchebag.

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    I have a close friend in Edwardsville, but I'm not sure if we've ever been to Belleville when I've visited. Besides dusty plains, is there anything interesting to see there? Or good food?
    Aside from our annual art fair, which is pretty good and definitely the biggest thing Belleville does . . . no and no. Don't get me wrong. It's not a horrible town. The downtown area has really improved, especially in terms of music clubs for young people and aspiring artists (99% of which are indie bands), and there are good restaurant like any town has . . . but nothing I can think if to go out of your way for. We do have Eckert's farm, where they do all kinds of hokey crap. People from St. Louis like to think of it as "going to the country" when it's really just a great way to make money off of saps from the city.

    Crime is becoming more and more of a problem, due to our close proximity to East St. Louis. It's worst on the west end (I live on the very eastern edge of town, which still isn't too bad) and it keeps moving east. What I dislike most about this town is the rampant racism (something not unfamiliar to Edwardscille), something not altogether unrelated to East St. Louis, incidentally.

    In general, Edwardscille is a much nicer town. (I just happen to go to SIUE.)

  2. #17
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandi View Post
    Did you read the thread, or are you just blithely agreeing because he had a disparaging view of America?
    Oh, so MortalTerror can make the same comment, but I cannot because I am not American, hmm? No, the 19th century in the New World, especially in the middle of nowhere (and that was the middle of nowhere), was not the least bit interesting, or uplifting. It was wet, cold, boring.

    Dickens, in going out that way was probably influenced by strange books he read as import, and found himself disappointed, as almost anybody would be - be that going to Toronto or that place you happen to be from.

    People seem to forget that a) they probably are not the people Dickens is talking about, unless they have been there that long, in which case he was quite right to write unfavorably, b) things were different, and anybody who has had to go to any Americana museum knows how boring and dreadful things were back then, and c) Dickens wrote as unfavorably about more than half of England, London included.

    Some people need to get off their high horse, especially people who would consider that place the centre of the world in 1850.

  3. #18
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    Haha, don't mind JBI: he was tragically born without a sense of humour (reminder: Mrs. Doubtfire).
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperWoolf View Post
    Haha, don't mind JBI: he was tragically born without a sense of humour (reminder: Mrs. Doubtfire).
    But humor is a vice which amongst drunken peasants may be tolerated, but for a super serious scholar it is an iridemable flaw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Oh, so MortalTerror can make the same comment, but I cannot because I am not American, hmm? No, the 19th century in the New World, especially in the middle of nowhere (and that was the middle of nowhere), was not the least bit interesting, or uplifting. It was wet, cold, boring.

    Dickens, in going out that way was probably influenced by strange books he read as import, and found himself disappointed, as almost anybody would be - be that going to Toronto or that place you happen to be from.

    People seem to forget that a) they probably are not the people Dickens is talking about, unless they have been there that long, in which case he was quite right to write unfavorably, b) things were different, and anybody who has had to go to any Americana museum knows how boring and dreadful things were back then, and c) Dickens wrote as unfavorably about more than half of England, London included.

    Some people need to get off their high horse, especially people who would consider that place the centre of the world in 1850.
    I asked if you even read the thread because I made it quite obvious that my complaints arose from the innacuracy of Dickens's claims about my crappy locale, not that I was offended he disparages it in the first place. I disparage it all the time. Then you come on here and make a snide comment that he was probably accurate enough, when I pointed out that was exactly what he wasn't.

    And thanks for that reminder, Juniper. That movie suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.

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    M&M is anti-canadian. He will describe Canada as a sunny place full of life, emotions, people and guns in a dickensonian way as his revenge now.

  7. #22
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Oh, you haven't seen his description of Venice! It was the biggest pile of filth you had ever seen: after the glorious 17th and 18th centuries, 20% of the population had syphilis, lived in squallor and had no money (they even prostituted themselves in the street to be able to gamble!) and he describes it as the most wonderful place. I swear to you, it is unrecognisable. He went there though, several times. I think he was selectively blind, to be honest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandi View Post
    The thing is that this land isn't in any way a swamp. I live in the Great Plains. It's quite boring, but not in the way he describes.

    And, don't get me wrong. This article in no way angered me. It had me laughing. I rather like that Dickens saw my hometown with such disdain. I don't like it much, either.
    Well, he visited my home town once as well (I live in England) and described it as "the dullest, stupidest place on Earth"! It has changed a lot since then of course- it's bigger

    Dickens didn't like America, but I'm not sure he liked it here much either. His Victorian England is a place of cruelty, hypocrisy and stupidity. Bear in mind that by the time Dickens visited the USA Britain had banned slavery, while the USA had not. He was really shocked and disgusted by that and it kind of poisoned his view of the place. Had he written a couple of generations later I think he'd have considered the States to be a great force for good in the world, which in my opinion it still is.
    Last edited by WICKES; 02-12-2012 at 11:30 AM.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperWoolf View Post
    Haha, don't mind JBI: he was tragically born without a sense of humour (reminder: Mrs. Doubtfire).
    That you do not like Mrs. Doubtfire betrays your lack of a sense of humour. As for me, I will take the funniest movie ever made and keep on enjoying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    That you do not like Mrs. Doubtfire betrays your lack of a sense of humour. As for me, I will take the funniest movie ever made and keep on enjoying it.
    Not sure if unable to read

    Or...

    Blinded by stuborness

  11. #26
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    Good idea for a thread Mutatis. Places dissed by famous writers. Here's one about Slough in England. Not sure i agree with the sentiment as the Mars factory was there.

    http://www-cdr.stanford.edu/intuition/Slough.html

  12. #27
    Yes I'm familiar with that one. I love Orwell's description of Sheffield from his Road to Wigan Pier. It's here, it won't let me copy and paste it, I'm referring to the third and fourth paragraphs in particular. He really hated the place! It would be teaming with steel works at the time of writing of course, not many of those left.

    http://www.george-orwell.org/The_Roa...an_Pier/6.html

  13. #28
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=WICKES;1114675]


    Well, he visited my home town once as well (I live in England) and described it as "the dullest, stupidest place on Earth"! It has changed a lot since then of course- it's bigger
    Then it must be Basingstoke, Romford or Billericay. Otherwise it's Bognor or Bodmin.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Defoe had us hillbillies down to a T

    "Here, tho' it was but the middle of August, and in some places the harvest hardly got in, we saw the mountain covered with snow; but we found the people had a way of mixing warm with cold together, for the store of good ale which flows plentifully in these mountainous parts of the country make up for all the inclemency’s of the weather."
    ay up

  15. #30
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    Speaking of hillbillies, maybe Dickens got to Belleville via the Mississippi. In which case he would’ve seen plenty of watery wastelands on his way up from New Orleans, and also plenty of shoeless toothless hillbillies lining the shores and brandishing axes, pitchforks and other implements of destruction.

    I heard a story that he didn’t much care for our eastern cities either. In Boston, New York, or Philly (I forget which one) he got particularly cheesed when he noticed they were selling bootleg copies of his books. Barbarians!
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