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Thread: Pickwick papers

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    Pickwick papers

    This book is quite long and drawn out. I understand that he was paid by the word but it is not easy to get into a book that takes four paragraphs to characterise a carraige. None of these chapters really connect to each other. They are individual from each other and contain no common thread in which people can follow the story. The only thing that is the same is the characters, but this book needs more than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    . They are individual from each other and contain no common thread in which people can follow the story. The only thing that is the same is the characters, but this book needs more than that.

    I liked Pickwick Papers. It was not written as a novel or book. It was published as a series in a news paper, if I remember correctly.

    Obviously the book isn't narrating some single plot line. That was not the writer's purpose. A lot of chapters are stand alone kind or narrate some particular incident and then move one. It never was about a common thread other than comic caricature of the general eccentricities of the society.

    It's different, humorous and just fine as it is. The language is purple at times but that is something only Dickens could get away with.

    (ESL here, so please ignore grammatical mistakes in the post)

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I am currently reading it. I am quite enjoying it. I liked the coach chase when Mr Wardle and Mr Pickwick were after Mr Jingle and Miss Wardle. The coach was moving at 15 mph. I expect that did feel quick on those roads.
    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

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    The book mentions Bury St Edmunds and the Angel Hotel. I lived in Bury St Edmunds from 7 to 12, and I was sorry to leave. My mother lives there. The Angel Hotel seemed very grand to me when I was a boy.
    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

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I am sorry that I remember so little about Pickwick. I must have read the book more than once. I remember enjoying the dialogues between Pickwick and Sam Weller.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Pickwick first meets Sam Weller as a shoe cleaner at a hotel. I wonder if Dickens thought, 'He's a good character. Can't let him go to waste,' and several chapters later Pickwick engages him as his valet. I wondered whether Pckwick and Weller were forerunners of Jeeves and Wooster. Then I wondered whether Don Quixote and Sancho Panzer were forerunners of Pickwick and Weller. There must be a thesis in that, or at least a dissertation.
    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

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Good finds.

    Two things have struck me. considering this is Dickens' first novel. One is that Dickens sometimes has a rich, late middle-aged man who fixes things. Mr Pickwick is an archetype. Two is that Dickens disliked lawyers, and that comes across in this book too.
    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

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I agree with you. The "rich, late middle-aged man who fixes things" is a recurrence in Dickens´ stories. Just to name some, beside Mr. Pickwick you have in A Christmas Carol the converted Scrooge, John Jarndyce in Bleak House, Mr Brownlow in Oliver Twist. There are more. In Nicholas Nickleby one has the Cheeryble twins and in David Copperfield you have a rich lady, David´s aunt, Betsey Trotwood.

    As for the lawyers I suppose there are some good lawyers too. At least one, Sydney Carton, A Tale of Two Cities. But as Dickens worked at the Bar he was very familiar with the environment.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    But Mr Picwick is a comic figure who gains depth and dignity unlike Mr Brownlow and the Cheerybles. And although he fixes things for others, he is constantly getting into trouble himself.

    My advice is to skip the introduced tales except for the two tales told by the bagman and the Christmas tale of Gabriel Grub.

    The book has the advantages of not having a convoluted plot and if you skip the tale no melodrama and sentimentality.
    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

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "But Mr Picwick is a comic figure who gains depth and dignity unlike Mr Brownlow and the Cheerybles."
    Sure, he is the protagonist. I think the novel also inherited from the Quixote, the loose, episodic narrative. It is also a kind of road movie.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    There was a good bit in one of the chapters in which Mr Pickwick is trying to find his solicitors. He gets to the office after working hours and the only person they can find id the cleaning woman. The main man is not in town. His clerk is not in the office. Pickwick asks the old lady where he can find the clerk, because he wants to get things going as soon as possible. At first she says she knows where he is, but that he wouldn't thank her for telling them. Then she thinks again after remembering the clerk had told her where he could be contacted in emergencies, which was the Magpie and Stock public house. She just seemed like such a real person.

    I was struck with Sam Weller and his father. They have almost an Irish turn of phrase. However, I am not sure how my father would have reacted if I had called him 'My ancient' or 'Old Fellow'. Sam Weller is very familiar for a servant. At one point he is almost too familiar with Mr Pickwick, who asks him what he said in annoyance, but then it is all forgotten about. I thought it was a good touch.

    I think Pickwick and Weller are more like Don Quixote and Sancho Panzer than Jeeves and Wooster. I think P.G. Wodehouse ripped off Oscar Wilde's Importance of Being Earnest for Jeeves and Wooster. Jeeves is very much like Lane and Wooster is very much like his employer. I don't suppose Oscar Wilde based those characters on Pickwick and Weller or Don Quixote and Panzer even subconsciously.
    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

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    This books seems like a preview of Bleak House:
    * Rich older bachelor benefactor
    * Grasping lawyers
    * Charitable fundraising for projects in faraway places
    * Glutinous nonconformist lay preachers

    I am only half way through the book.
    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

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    But Mr Picwick is a comic figure who gains depth and dignity unlike Mr Brownlow and the Cheerybles. And although he fixes things for others, he is constantly getting into trouble himself.

    My advice is to skip the introduced tales except for the two tales told by the bagman and the Christmas tale of Gabriel Grub.

    The book has the advantages of not having a convoluted plot and if you skip the tale no melodrama and sentimentality.
    I see what you mean about the introduced tales, but I still read 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

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Chapter 28 in which a big wedding takes place confused me. I don't know what Pickwick is doing there. He is a friend of Mr Wardle, who is the father of the bride. I might be remembering wrong, but I thought he was a recent friend; not withstanding that Pickwick and his three friends, Winkle, Tupman and Snodgrass stay as his guests for quite some time. If Pickwick has any relationship with the bridegroom, it is not very clear, but it is as if Pickwick is paying for the wedding.
    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

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