Saturday, January 26, 2008

MIA and Dickens....

So sorry I've been missing-in-action this week. It's been a very busy one, filled with both the mundane stuff o'life and some great opportunities. Right now I'm reading Charles Dickens' Great Expectations for our Logos literary discussion group at Lake Murray. And as I'm only halfway through the novel and must be leading a discussion on it in less than 24 hours, I'm just jotting down a few thoughts.

First of all, not having read this book since 9th grade, I'm truly in awe of his wit and sarcasm -- it's quite a hilarious little book if one appreciates dry wit and biting sarcasm. As a high school freshman, I had missed this wonderful component of Dickens' writing.

Secondly, his insights into the human personality are, well, insightful. Each person, even the minor characters, is drawn with such perception and depth that I fell as if I could easily recognize a Herbert or a Mr. Jaggers walking down the street. Keen insight into human foibles and triumphs definitely mark the characters in Dickens.

Thirdly, watching Pip make mistakes makes me very uncomfortable. I felt the same way reading David Copperfield, Northanger Abbey, and Emma. It's just one of those things with me -- perhaps also why I can't stand watching "I Love Lucy" episodes either -- I want to scream at them, "Don't do it! Don't be a dolt! Don't go there! You'll make a fool of yourself!" I want to shut the book on such characters rather than watch them make such horrid mistakes, just like I have to leave the room when Lucy starts making stupid decisions. Don't know why -- it's just the way I am. I'm hoping that it won't be that way throughout the entire book; perhaps having Pip tell the tale from an adult point-of-view, well-aware of his foibles, may take the edge off. I hope.

So, I'd better get back to reading the last 240 pages as well as do a little research on Dickens himself for our meeting tomorrow after church. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the novel ... as long as Pip doesn't make a lot of poor choices -- which I know he will as I do remember quite a bit of the novel, even though I last read it in 1980.

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