Sunday 24 December 2017

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens, 1835-1854
(December 2017)
Every year I mean to read this book at Christmas, and every year I forget until about December 29th, at which point the moment has rather passed. I finally got the pitifully small affair that represents my act together this year, and it was in no way worth the wait.
He’s not subtle as a writer, is he? Soporific at points, certainly (though this is as much about the influence of the passage of time on prose style as Dickens’s writing itself), but never afraid to assert and reassert and rereassert the Moral of the Story until the reader has been bludgeoned into shame-faced coma of ethical contrition. The most notably thing about reading A Christmas Carol—having obviously been exposed to adaptations of it in various other media for as long as I can remember—was how Scrooge has basically repented of all his sins by the midway point of the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Past, yet we’ve still got two-and-a-half more apparitions’ worth of spectral hectoring to go.

Friday 1 December 2017