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Thread: Which is your favorite Dickens novel?

  1. #31
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    I am not sure I'd regard myself as an expert on Victorian novels, but everything's relative. It was Great Expectations that got me into reading Victorian novels. I thought Dickens was rather stodgy and turgid at school, but on his 200th anniversary in 2012 I thought I'd give him another chance. I still think it's the best Victorian book I have read. I agree with you about Hard Times. It is quite an interesting book, but not a lot of fun. It is one of the very few industrial novels, but North and South, and Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell are better.
    This is not an impersonal voice, and truth be told, it makes no claim as to its pertaining to the discourse of an ascetic, given the charm of its predilect element, the dialectical, but even with all these taken into account, isn't such a claim just the enunciation of an ill-mannered hedonism? Isn't vulgarity looming over? Because otherwise, it is non-sense throughout. Any partaking to an instance of bad faith notwithstanding, try as I might I cannot see what would qualify those works as better in an unequivocally non-paradigmatic comparison: for we cannot resist the temptation to compare works pertaining to certain arts, even if our senses against philistinism are vigilant. We just lack the means to an ethics of arts.
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

  2. #32
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    Cher, of Sonny and Cher, had or possibly has a loft conversion nearby, which shows you how it has changed.
    Yes, I see. It got worse.

    When I was doing this research, I found online comments by elderly people who remembered combing the Ratcliffe riverside for lumps of coal for during their (obviously impoverished) childhoods. It's not exactly Our Mutual Friend but still quite moving. You may also know a watercolor (I'm not sure whose) called The Ruins of Ratcliffe. Apparently the neighborhood burned in a major London fire in 1794 and was never much rebuilt. That would have been the area Dickens was talking about--a ruined shanty town inhabited by London's poorest people.

    The man I was researching had a warehouse and ship in Ratcliffe long before the fire. He was a tobacco trader and spent much of his time in Virginia, where my father's family comes from. I suspect we are descended from an illegitimate son of his--but try proving something like that for 17th century America. So I am at what Taylor Stately will recognize (if he is reading this) as a brick wall.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  3. #33
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmptySeraph View Post
    This is not an impersonal voice, and truth be told, it makes no claim as to its pertaining to the discourse of an ascetic, given the charm of its predilect element, the dialectical, but even with all these taken into account, isn't such a claim just the enunciation of an ill-mannered hedonism? Isn't vulgarity looming over? Because otherwise, it is non-sense throughout. Any partaking to an instance of bad faith notwithstanding, try as I might I cannot see what would qualify those works as better in an unequivocally non-paradigmatic comparison: for we cannot resist the temptation to compare works pertaining to certain arts, even if our senses against philistinism are vigilant. We just lack the means to an ethics of arts.
    Why, I'll have you know Kev67's hedonism is perfectly well mannered. As he has confessed to me: "Literature is my porn."
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 06-11-2019 at 05:20 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  4. #34
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    You're submitting to a convention of pejoration regarding this term. In itself, it is worthy of some more consideration.
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

  5. #35
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    There is nothing conventional, sir, about my pejoration. If you would prefer my majoration, you can just apologize to Kev.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  6. #36
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Elizabeth Gaskell lived in Manchester. Dickens didn't know the city or area nearly as well as he knew London. As a evidence of what life was like for the industrial poor in Manchester, Mrs Gaskell provides far more detail.

    kev is perfectly entitled to say he enjoyed her two books more than Hard Times.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  7. #37
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I notice the following from his profile:

    EmptySeraph has not made any friends yet
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  8. #38
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    I notice the following from his profile:

    EmptySeraph has not made any friends yet

    ES is a good guy, though, and an old LitNetter. I think I'll send him a friendship request and see if he'll have me. Is it time for the group hug yet?
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  9. #39
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    A "group hug" or an "entwining of the assemblage"?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    A "group hug" or an "entwining of the assemblage"?
    Just a hug. We don't want to risk getting our assemblages entangled at this point.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  11. #41
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmptySeraph View Post
    This is not an impersonal voice, and truth be told, it makes no claim as to its pertaining to the discourse of an ascetic, given the charm of its predilect element, the dialectical, but even with all these taken into account, isn't such a claim just the enunciation of an ill-mannered hedonism? Isn't vulgarity looming over? Because otherwise, it is non-sense throughout. Any partaking to an instance of bad faith notwithstanding, try as I might I cannot see what would qualify those works as better in an unequivocally non-paradigmatic comparison: for we cannot resist the temptation to compare works pertaining to certain arts, even if our senses against philistinism are vigilant. We just lack the means to an ethics of arts.
    Gaskell definitely renders Mr Higgins' accent and speech patterns better than Dickens' did Stephen Blackpool's. Dickens did Mr Bounderby well though. He reminds me of a certain Mr T. I thought Hard Tines was philosophical, but a bit confused. I did not know whether his main criticism was the living and working conditions in factory towns, or neglecting humanities subjects in school curricula. Elizabeth Gaskell was brilliant at letting intelligent, working class people speak for themselves. It was like being in the same room with them.
    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. #42
    leea
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    I am not a huge Dickens fan. I have maybe read three novels by him which are the basics, Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities. Out of those three I definitely liked A Tale of Two Cities the best (I read it as a young adult and enjoyed the gruesomeness of it) Based on others responses I think I need to pick up Bleak House and give it a try.

  13. #43
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    My favorite novel is David Copperfield because of how well the characters are created, but I am also thinking I need to reread Tale of Two Cities again. Maybe when I find sometime...Though I was planning on reading the Iliad next because I know the story and had to read the Odyssey at school long ago so I really should start at the beginning of this series of conflict.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkMage7790 View Post
    My favorite novel is David Copperfield because of how well the characters are created, but I am also thinking I need to reread Tale of Two Cities again. Maybe when I find sometime...Though I was planning on reading the Iliad next because I know the story and had to read the Odyssey at school long ago so I really should start at the beginning of this series of conflict.
    David Copperfield is one of those novels I haven't read since High School and keep meaning to pick up again. I just have so many other projects and it always looks like it will interfere. I'm rereading Twain at the moment (another one of those High School reads). I was hoping it would help me to envision the nineteenth century trans-Mississippi world for some related work I'm doing--and it has without interfering with my writing time. I suppose I could slip David Copperfield in at some point--but there are a few others before him in line.

    The Iliad and the Odyssey don't share much of a continuum, by the way. They are not concurrent in time (the Iliad ends with Hector's funeral games, not Troy's fall), they were probably not composed by the same poet, and they have very different tones (The Iliad's is much darker). But read what you like next. I always do.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by leea View Post
    I am not a huge Dickens fan. I have maybe read three novels by him which are the basics, Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities. Out of those three I definitely liked A Tale of Two Cities the best (I read it as a young adult and enjoyed the gruesomeness of it) Based on others responses I think I need to pick up Bleak House and give it a try.
    A Tale of Two Cities was the first book that ever made me cry (a strange experience for a Middle School boy--at least oin those days). In rereading it now, I love the metaphor of the red wine spilled in the streets of Paris at the novel's start--a portent of all the blood to come. Read Bleak House for the zany characters and magnificent writing--but not the plot exactly. With the exceptions of A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens isn't really about his plots.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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