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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Begin the Wrap on A CHRISTMAS CAROL!

HAPPY NEW YEAR READERS!


2012 began for us with our neighbors setting off fireworks.  It looks like Jim will have some competition on the 4th of July!  Love the fireworks!  


So, lets begin the wrap up of the Dickens classic: A Christmas Carol
I must admit that I still haven't finished the book.  I am reading it on my iPad and it seems to be taking me much longer than expected.  The second spirit  has my attention at the moment.  Does any one else think that Dickens goes on and on with description?  My thought is that James Michener got his style from Dickens.  It makes for wonderful movies but not my preferred reading style.  


I found this via the Guardian today by writer John Mullan:

When Dickens's biographer Claire Tomalin came to the Guardian Book Club to discuss A Christmas Carol, it seemed inevitable that we would begin with its author's influence on Christmas as we now know it. His story has, as one member of the audience observed, become an endlessly revisited myth, from the early dramatisations that soon followed its publication, to the various film versions. Its peculiar mixture of horror and comedy seemed to accommodate adaptations – even the Muppet version was not thought a travesty. One reader advocated Scrooged, the 1988 imitation in which Bill Murray is a sour TV executive who, in the course of a broadcast of A Christmas Carol, is himself visited by three spirits who convert him to benevolence and the joys of Christmas. Tomalin thought that Dickens, ever the populist, would have relished the proliferation of film and TV versions.
Another questioner wondered about Scrooge's complete change of heart at the end of the story, and whether his creator had ever experienced such a transformation in his own sentiments. Tomalin pointed out that Scrooge's transformation begins very early in the tale, set in motion by his painful compassion for his younger self. But this was a book whose author "set himself up to be an exceptionally good man", even if his feelings about himself would later change. A Christmas Carol was the work of a morally confident writer.

You can check out the entire article if you want at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/30/book-club-christmas-carol-dickens?newsfeed=true


Some questions you can ponder:
Why did Dickens call this book A Christmas Carol?  
What character is your favorite and of course why?
Do you think Scrooge was changed still by the beginning of the New Year?
Can you believe that  Bob Crachitt and Fred refuse to speak against Scrooge?  Is that normal?  Do you think you could remain as loyal or unjaded in the face of cruelty and hardheartedness?  (didn't realize that was a word - will save that one for WWF!)
I already mentioned 3 movie versions of the book - have you watched any this Christmas season and do you have a favorite?  


Please share your responses even if you too haven't yet finished the book.  The new book will be announced very soon in a separate post.


Happy New Year to all and may 2012 bring you many blessings, books and beautiful experiences!


With best regards,
Barbara













1 comment:

  1. I finished A Christmas Carol within and hour or so of our moderator. I was amazed that most of the traditional "movie versions", seemed to pull their script right from Dickens. The George Scott version (my favorite) seemed particularly close to Dickens story. Hint for those who may be afraid to admit they did not read this month....watch that version, it would be better than cliff notes!

    I assume since a carol is a "celebratory song" related to Christmas (per Webster)that Dickens title was meant to celebrate Scrooge's redemption, much as Christ birth became the source of redemption to we of the Christian faith? I don't know about other blog members but I have always been fascinated that Dickens story is very secular. Christ is not the redeemer here-redemption comes from within (with a little supernatural assist. Even the supernatural beings that visit Scrooge seemed more in line with the pagan aspects of Christmas at least as I envision. Holly Wreath's Yule Logs etc.
    Makes me wonder if Dickens was a humanist, with little faith in traditional religion? I will need to explore that a little further!
    Thanks Barbara for motivating me to finish. Reading a classic like this was not on my bucket list-but I am glad I had the chance!

    Jim

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