Eco, Dickens, who else?

hallieod at hallieod at
Mon Feb 10 04:25:41 EST 2003

Melissa replying to Robyn:

>>>experience was great on another level, because it helped me get over my
>>>feelings of inadequacy at not liking Dickens.  :)  Clearly I hadn't reached
>>>that level of maturity yet.
>>Not liking Dickens is a sign of a highly developed mature literary taste,
>>in my opinion. Just because a pot boiler is 150 years old doesn't make it
>>any less of a pot boiler.
>I sure hope it's a sign of mature taste, because I don't think I'll ever
>appreciate Dickens.  It feels too much like work to me.

ARGH!  I go off to bed, exhausted from a couple of days of what has 
become virtually running a hospital ward, and wake up to find this. 
Melissa, I thought at least you'd be consistent in not letting people 
dismiss writers and books this way. :-)

And just to attempt to make you feel properly guilty (assuming that 
the fact that I like Dickens, and think the way he used popular 
traditions of the time was great, is nowhere near enough to 
accomplish this), I offer you a quote from the dread Leavis:

	We may reasonably... see some Dickensian influence in 
Conrad's use of melodrama, or what would have been melodrama in 
Dickens; for in Conrad the end is a total significance of a 
profoundly serious kind.  The reason for not including Dickens in the 
line of great novelists  is implicit in this last phrase.... The 
adult mind doesn't as a rule find in Dickens a challenge to an 
unusual and sustained seriousness.

Does that accomplish the task?


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