We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
He made a real study of the city. He was impressed by the vitality, appalled by the squalor. But what angered him was the lack of international copyright. It figures. Writing was not a hobby for him. He wrote to get rich.
There are still many of us Dickens fans in the Anglosphere. That he tossed off a novelette about Christmas which captured the meaning of Christmas - the joyful spiritual rebirth - is the least of his achievements. He was just fascinated by human behavior.
We find much of the joy at Christmastime in all of the parties and festive get-togethers. Connecting and re-connecting with people in a festive and cheery atmosphere, from neighborhood pot-lucks to fancy and formal. There is a magic to it all. Dickens got that.
Dickens was a man ahead of his time when it came to International Copyrights. The number of ideas that the rest of the world has stolen from the inventors in America is mind-boggling. Even the method to make the Icicle lights that everyone hangs on their houses - invented by two Ohio ladies and promptly stolen by the Chinese.
I grew up on Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol and loved it. I did a production of it in high school. I later learned that no less a figure than G K Chesterton had rescued the story from oblivion. We did it as a group reading in with parts about 20 years ago.
But that started the downturn. I didn't like it much as it was being read, and I have liked it less every year. It is part of our culture, certainly. We cannot separate how we celebrate Christmas from A Christmas Carol cleanly. But we should start. It's not that good, and its one positive is an encouragement to be generous.
Assistant Village Idiot
Headed off on a tangent in re Mr. Magoo.
I grew up on it as well. There was a whole series of Mr Magoo episodes, and they were all forgettable . . . except for the, A Christmas Carol episode.
It was far and away my favorite, the only episode where Magoo's intense near-sightedness was not an issue.
I would argue there is another positive from the book aside from generosity, and that is that people can change and redeem themselves, even if it is under the threat of a premature death.
English Major here. I am a big fan of Dickens. One of my favorite authors. Great Expectations is divine. Loved it. Oliver Twist also a great read. Hated 'The Pickwick Papers' as it bored me to tears when I was a teen.
Otherwise, I love his characters, his descriptions, his tropes of mysterious backgrounds and amazing coincidences, secret relationships and unmasked identities. Keeps you reading.
If you think his writing style is heavy and wordy, gives it a few chapters to steep yourself in his style, and you will get lost in the story. Trust me.
Dickens is certainly one of the great writers in the English language. His popular appeal has sometimes grated the critics, but his stories reveal a genuine sensitivity to human nature, his characters veritably leaping off the page. Once having turned the pages of Dickens, who could ever forget Ebenezer Scrooge or Wilkins Micawber or Miss Havisham or Oliver Twist?