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Dickens at 200

February 11, 2012

So my favorite paper, The Guardian (UK), has a nice selection of pieces on Dickens’ 200th birthday: right here. The article that I found to be most interesting is this one by Jenny Diski. I like that Ms Diski takes a different approach and says “enough already” to the Dickens celebration. She makes the point that these sort of celebrations only serve to form an industry that “predigests” Dickens’ novels for us consumers. She states that novels must be created between the novelist and the reader, the influence of all hoopla be damned. I have to say that I agree, to a great degree. I am not really sure what an author’s bicentennial really means. It’s like going to a house that an author once lived in that has been turned into a museum. It is but dross. Books are fetish objects, yes. But fetishizing an author is rarely more than a distraction from what matters most. The best of a writer is in his work, perhaps we should keep the focus there. I can concur.



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One Comment
  1. I agree. Pretty interesting article and I like her take on the idea of celebrating. While I think that the 200 year celebrations can be fun, I do agree that the best way to get to know/honor an author is to truly appreciate their words.

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