Author Topic: The GMG Pickwick Club  (Read 17372 times)

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Offline Alberich

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2015, 03:56:25 AM »
One of my everlasting favourite character creations by Dickens is that of Sam Weller in Pickwick Papers. His sense of wit, irony and sometimes overt mockery have oten made me laugh ot loud. His is a very "natural" character which seems to organically grow and develop as the story line moves on.

I love Weller too, probably because his personality reminds me of Dodger, even though Dodger is a criminal. I adore Dodger's court scene, in most lovable way he mocks justice and complains "I am an Englishman, ain't I? Where are my priwileges?"
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 03:58:06 AM by Alberich »
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
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Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2015, 03:58:34 AM »
Interestingly, I always felt Steerforth's and David's friendship felt much more genuine because they actually had some quarrels and the whole friendship is so tragically powerfully portrayed. Steerforth actually feels despair in one scene how he is incapable of changing his villainous plans to take Em'ly and ironically, (in contrast to David's horrifying experiences with "firm" Murdstones) he actually hopes he would have had stern, firm father figure in his life. It is interesting that Dickens himself admitted he cried when he read about Steerforth. Similarly, I preferred David's first wife, Dora, to his second, Agnes.

In general, I like his villains/flawed characters more because they are usually much more powerfully portrayed. This is true with most other authors too but perhaps with no other author I feel about it so strongly as with Dickens.

I see where you are coming from with Steerforth.  His complexity to me equates to almost an unpredictability.  I wonder who in Dickens's life was the model for this character?  Either way, definitely well written when it comes to Steerforth.  My goodness, the list of wonderful characters in Copperfield is thick indeed.  As for Traddles, he has the heart of Micawber, but is rooted in reality. ;D



Traddles, Mr. M. and David.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2015, 04:15:33 AM »
Well, I am chomping at the bit to get into another of his novels, but heading on vacation with still a fourth of another book to read.  So, I decided I needed a Dickens set that I could easily take along with me and start reading as soon as I could.  (Though the idea of going out and finding an old trunk to transport my books seemed a bit appealing and fun.)  So, I just snagged this for under $ 3 for my Kindle.  Now, I much prefer a book to my Kindle for Dickens, but could not resist what this set had to offer:



* ALL 15 Novels and ALL illustrated with the original Victorian images
* Each text is annotated with concise introductions, giving valuable contextual information
* each novel and story collection has its own contents table
* Special Bonus text of Henry Morford’s classic continuation of Edwin Drood – finish the novel at last! IMPROVED text
* all of the Christmas stories and novellas with their original artwork
* the complete poetry, plays, letters and speeches
* ALL of the collaborative works with other authors – even the very rare ones
* beautifully illustrated with hundreds of Dickensian images
* rare images of how the monthly serials first appeared, giving your Kindle a taste of the original texts
* includes bonus Pickwickiana text – Montcrieff’s drama SAM WELLER, giving a taste of the Victorian craze – available nowhere else as a digital book
* includes John Forster's biography of Dickens; explore the great writer's amazing life!
* MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GRIMALDI by Thomas Egerton Wilks, which Dickens edited in his early career - first time in digital print.
* Charles Barnett’s 1838 dramatic adaptation of OLIVER TWIST, first time in digital print
* no less than FIVE more biographies, including Mamie Dickens’ memoir MY FATHER AS I RECALL HIM
* a special criticism section of 14 texts, with essays by writers such as G.K. Chesterton, Andrew Lang and Henry James, examining Dickens’ contribution to literature
* includes an Adaptations section, featuring Hallie Erminie Rives’ TALES FROM DICKENS
* UPDATED with improved spellings, introductions and images
* this truly is the Dickensian’s perfect choice!
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Alberich

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2015, 04:26:14 AM »
I wonder who in Dickens's life was the model for this character? 

I recall having read that he was based on one of Dickens's own childhood friends. Did you know that Micawber was based on Dickens's own father, John Dickens? In Nicholas Nickleby, the titular character's mother is a caricature of Dickens's mother. Dickens never forgave his mother for one certain incident in his childhood and thus had rather cruel revenge on her in immortalizing her as one of the stupidest women ever in literature. Interestingly, Micawber is portrayed as much more capable person who is lovable in his weaknesses. Dickens did come to adore his father at the time he wrote Copperfield. After Steerforth, my favorite character in the book is Rosa Dartle, easily the best woman character Dickens ever created. As cruel as her treatment of Em'ly was, her passion felt much more human than Em'ly's unbearable sentimentalist exclamations. I also love the way she both sternly chastises Steerforth's mother for having ruined her son and the next moment hugs her and speaks to her tenderly. And it actually feels natural!

Dickens was once asked by one of his friends which of his books did he consider his best. He answered: "Unquestionably David Copperfield". He also called it his "favorite child" in the preface of the book. I have heard he also considered Martin Chuzzlewit and Great expectations as his best ones at the time he wrote them but ultimately always returned to Copperfield.
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
 - Victor Hugo

Offline Alberich

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2015, 04:29:23 AM »
* includes John Forster's biography of Dickens; explore the great writer's amazing life!

Forster's biography is a great one, even if bit idolized.
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
 - Victor Hugo

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2015, 04:46:37 AM »
Well, I am chomping at the bit to get into another of his novels, but heading on vacation with still a fourth of another book to read.  So, I decided I needed a Dickens set that I could easily take along with me and start reading as soon as I could.  (Though the idea of going out and finding an old trunk to transport my books seemed a bit appealing and fun.)  So, I just snagged this for under $ 3 for my Kindle.  Now, I much prefer a book to my Kindle for Dickens, but could not resist what this set had to offer:



* ALL 15 Novels and ALL illustrated with the original Victorian images
* Each text is annotated with concise introductions, giving valuable contextual information
* each novel and story collection has its own contents table
* Special Bonus text of Henry Morford’s classic continuation of Edwin Drood – finish the novel at last! IMPROVED text
* all of the Christmas stories and novellas with their original artwork
* the complete poetry, plays, letters and speeches
* ALL of the collaborative works with other authors – even the very rare ones
* beautifully illustrated with hundreds of Dickensian images
* rare images of how the monthly serials first appeared, giving your Kindle a taste of the original texts
* includes bonus Pickwickiana text – Montcrieff’s drama SAM WELLER, giving a taste of the Victorian craze – available nowhere else as a digital book
* includes John Forster's biography of Dickens; explore the great writer's amazing life!
* MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GRIMALDI by Thomas Egerton Wilks, which Dickens edited in his early career - first time in digital print.
* Charles Barnett’s 1838 dramatic adaptation of OLIVER TWIST, first time in digital print
* no less than FIVE more biographies, including Mamie Dickens’ memoir MY FATHER AS I RECALL HIM
* a special criticism section of 14 texts, with essays by writers such as G.K. Chesterton, Andrew Lang and Henry James, examining Dickens’ contribution to literature
* includes an Adaptations section, featuring Hallie Erminie Rives’ TALES FROM DICKENS
* UPDATED with improved spellings, introductions and images
* this truly is the Dickensian’s perfect choice!

Mm, nice!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2015, 04:54:04 AM »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Alberich

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2015, 05:20:28 AM »
Karl, if I may ask, have you read/started to read any other books of Dickens's other than Pickwick, which you left off, IIRC?
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
 - Victor Hugo

Offline Alberich

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2015, 06:09:05 AM »
My favorite Steerforth is most likely Anthony Andrews in this 1974 Copperfield adaptation. This last meeting of "Daisy" and "Steery" (I wonder why David never gave Steerforth a pet-name)  is particularly touching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqnovpZNWT4

For some reason, the actor of David doesn't look quite the way I imagine David to be. He seems bit awkward (which, granted, is a part of David's personality in the book too). Interestingly, 26 years later, Andrews would play Mr Murdstone, David's sadistic stepfather.

Btw, at times it seems to me that the true love of David's life was Steerforth, not Dora or Agnes. To modern reader there certainly is a sense of homoeroticism in their relationship.
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
 - Victor Hugo

Offline Alberich

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2015, 06:24:38 AM »
Okay, after watching this scene I like David's actor a lot more. It certainly displays his foolishness in this perhaps greatest scene about intoxication ever written:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1YRgiHiSE8
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
 - Victor Hugo

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2015, 02:24:49 AM »
Karl, if I may ask, have you read/started to read any other books of Dickens's other than Pickwick, which you left off, IIRC?

I've since made some progress with Pickwick, but ought indeed to wrap it up!

You mean generally, over the years?  I've read Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and of course A Christmas Carol.  Hey, I have also read Oliver Twist, but rather peculiarly, I seem hardly to remember much of it;  very strange, since I remember so much of (say) both Great Expectations and David Copperfield perfectly vividly.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2015, 03:32:06 AM »
I've since made some progress with Pickwick, but ought indeed to wrap it up!

You mean generally, over the years?  I've read Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and of course A Christmas Carol.  Hey, I have also read Oliver Twist, but rather peculiarly, I seem hardly to remember much of it;  very strange, since I remember so much of (say) both Great Expectations and David Copperfield perfectly vividly.

Karl is it your brother that is a Dickens scholar?
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2015, 03:33:26 AM »
Yes!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2015, 03:34:44 AM »
How did he fall into that and where has it led him?  Does he still do work in this area?
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2015, 03:39:21 AM »
How did he fall into that and where has it led him?  Does he still do work in this area?

Well, next I visit him, I should draw him out on the question of how he fell thereinto.  After he was graduated, he taught English Lit, but at the last was denied tenure;  and he has been Otherwise Employed since.  His is a lively mind, and he has wide interests;  whenever we might arrange a visit, Bill, you would enjoy getting to know him.  For instance, I owe my getting involved in Columbo to him, much more than to any other factor (or combination of factors)  8)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2015, 03:54:15 AM »
Well, next I visit him, I should draw him out on the question of how he fell thereinto.  After he was graduated, he taught English Lit, but at the last was denied tenure;  and he has been Otherwise Employed since.  His is a lively mind, and he has wide interests;  whenever we might arrange a visit, Bill, you would enjoy getting to know him.  For instance, I owe my getting involved in Columbo to him, much more than to any other factor (or combination of factors)  8)

Sounds like a neat guy.  I'm sure the three of us would not be wanting for conversation.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Alberich

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2015, 04:01:00 AM »
Interestingly, Hard Times has never been translated in my language (finnish). Neither has The Old curiosity shop, Barnaby Rudge, Martin Chuzzlewit and Our mutual friend. I had some trouble reading HT last time. It's boring/downright odd at times while at the next moment it may jump into unbelievably good-category.

If I may suggest, Karl, try Our Mutual Friend or Little Dorrit. Little dorrit has very strong characterization (except the titular character herself) and even the clumsy plot reveal towards the end doesn't diminish its value. Our Mutual Friend is a bit tougher to read, but still, the stuff that is good is so unbelievably good, that I can forgive the man for all that poppycock. :P
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 04:02:34 AM by Alberich »
"Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars."
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Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2015, 04:08:26 AM »
Just finished up my crime novel, so on to a Dickens read.  I believe it will be Bleak House.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2015, 04:16:02 AM »
Just finished up my crime novel, so on to a Dickens read.  I believe it will be Bleak House.

I need to read that 'un;  the ladies here greatly enjoyed the Masterpiece Theatre dramatisation.  But I may first take up Alberich's suggestion of Little Dorrit . . . once I have finally finished the Papers, I mean, of course!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Pickwick Club
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2015, 04:42:29 AM »
I need to read that 'un;  the ladies here greatly enjoyed the Masterpiece Theatre dramatisation.  But I may first take up Alberich's suggestion of Little Dorrit . . . once I have finally finished the Papers, I mean, of course!

Just told Linda I was starting it.  She said without knowing your post that I needed to watch the Masterpiece take of it as soon as I  finished as it is "ridiculously good!" ;D
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz