Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

Timeless Tales from a Victorian Pen

4 Jun

Recently I feel as though I have been cheating on Mr Blake with Charles Dickens.

For the past few years I have been pretty obsessed with William Blake. From reciting his poetry to anyone who will begrudgingly listen, to seeking out the home where the young William lived when he saw his first vision.

I have now shifted my energies to Mr Dickens. Much to my delight, I recently stumbled across the Great Expectations episode of South Park.

Yet, I was left disappointed. Trey Parker and Matt Stone managed to stay close to the actual story, recreating Pip’s loveable optimism. But it seemed that they felt too restricted to the original plot, failing to delve into the weird and wonderful world viewers are used to.

I can’t imagine viewers who hadn’t read the book would find much of the episode amusing.

However, it reminds us of Dickens genius. His stories written over a hundred years ago are still accessible to the modern readership. A Christmas Carol being the obvious choice, recreated in countless ways from my personal favourite, The Muppets Christmas Carol, to a Doctor Who adaptation.

Like Shakespeare, Dickens creates timeless plots that can be appreciated and understood for generations to come.

Wizard of Odd

25 May

I simply cannot wait for Helen Bonham Carter to play Miss Havisham in Great Expectations; a combination of my favourite actress and one of my favourite books.

Miss Havisham, along with ‘Danny’ from Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ has always been one of my favourite characters in English Literature.

Both wonderfully wicked, I recall lying in an Austrian bed laughing out loud at Danny with her ‘skeleton skull’, although I’m pretty sure ‘Rebecca’ isn’t supposed to be a comedy. The unnamed protagonist is incredibly boring, as they so often are. I became particuarly fond of Rebecca when she turned out to be so layered.

I know Helena will portray Miss Havisham’s eccentricity perfectly in Great Expectations. I can’t wait to see her forcing little Pip to push her round her house in a chair as she shouts lurid comments in her fading wedding dress. Whilst Helena’s been the subject of many ‘worst dressed lists’ I personally applaud her individuality and beauty.

I think I’m going through a Dicken’s phase at the moment. I’ve chosen to centre my dissertation for my Masters on his journalistic work. I really believe that he was a crusader for the kind of social investigative journalists we see in programmes such as Unreported World; an exposure of the poverty and suffering that the wealthier classes have no insight.