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Thread: What do you think about Dickens realism?

  1. #16
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    And maybe at his time the middle classes were not so conscious of the urban misery and poverty around them.
    There wasn't much of a safety net, Danik. The middle classes lived in fear of the workhouses or worse. Everyone knew.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 10-13-2016 at 06:25 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  2. #17
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Anyway I read that his books motivated important changes in several instituitions for the poor. He certainly contributed to a different view of these places and the people that lived in it specially the children and the women.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  3. #18
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Yes, Nicholas Nickleby was probably responsible for the closing of the notorious Yorkshire "schools" where unwanted and illegitimate children were sent to die. That was some good he did in any case.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  4. #19
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I was curious if there was anything on the theme in the web. I picked out two links but there is much more.
    1-An overview on the social aspects of his work
    http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/.../diniejko.html
    2-An BBC article:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16907648
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  5. #20
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    Danik, I think it would be taught differently today, combining literature and history. I just think it doesn't work to force children to read stuff that they are not mature enough to enjoy.

  6. #21
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience with Brazilian and Portuguese Literature at school. I only got to love them much later when I realised their importance.
    But Dickens was my own discovery. He made me want to learn English.
    He isn´t much read here.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  7. #22
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    Everyone has the chance to change a decision taken in childhood. But for me, I am now old and count the years left to me. I don't feel any urge to use that time re-discovering Dickens, to re-read the books of my childhood that I thought were boring. But I can accept that his works comprise a excellent introduction to English and that he had much to say on topics of the time, like the French Revolution, and poverty and discrimination. Who knows, perhaps when I am bed-bound and need books to read I may turn to Dickens' work as a source of pleasure.

  8. #23
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Don´t worry about Dickens, DW. I´m am sure that there are authors who really are a source of pleasure to you.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  9. #24
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Yes, Dickens was not realistic like Gustav Flaubert was (at least Madame Bovary). Like you say, he incorporates fairy tale elements in his stories, and like Pompey Bum says, many of the characters are a little over the top.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  10. #25
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    Yes, Dickens was not realistic like Gustav Flaubert was (at least Madame Bovary). Like you say, he incorporates fairy tale elements in his stories, and like Pompey Bum says, many of the characters are a little over the top.
    Why (at least Madame Bovary)? L’Éducation sentimentale, is also one of the truly great works of French literature and, in my view, Bovary's equal.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  11. #26
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Miller View Post
    Why (at least Madame Bovary)? L’Éducation sentimentale, is also one of the truly great works of French literature and, in my view, Bovary's equal.
    Because Madame Bovary is the only book of Flaubert's that I have read. I don't know whether his other books were as realistic.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  12. #27
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    Because Madame Bovary is the only book of Flaubert's that I have read. I don't know whether his other books were as realistic.
    I'm sorry for being presumptuous but I would recommend 'A Sentimental Education' to anyone interested in great writing.
    Last edited by Emil Miller; 02-02-2017 at 01:46 PM.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Miller View Post
    I'm sorry for being presumptuous but I would recommend 'A Sentimental Education' to anyone interested in great writing.
    I tried reading that book years ago. To me it was extraordinarily slow. It probably is great writing but it was not the kind that appeals to me. Turning a dooknob had all kinds of significance related to masturbation, according to one critic. I had just finished reading Salambo, which I found found engrossing.

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