Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Going Back

Delighted today to hear the Guest of Honour in an oratorical competition at my place of work recommend the reading of Dickens to the assembled students (along with Tolstoy, Shakespeare and the Authorised Version - a pretty formidable line-up methinks.) The greatest of the Victorian novelists (in the English language) doesn't seem to get much of a look-in in Lit courses these days. Can't remember any text being offered for Paper 2 in all my years as an examiner. A writer once central to the popular canon seems to be out on the periphery these days. (The last time I taught Dickens was for A level, in the early 90s - Our Mutual Friend - and what a blast that was.)

But then I have to remind myself that my own reading of the Inimitable came after university, strange as that might seem for someone with a degree in Lit. So I missed out on Dickens in my youth, though making up for it since. And sitting there today, listening to the sage advice, I must say I felt like revisiting the whole glorious sequence of novels some time soon.

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