GMG Classical Music Forum

The Back Room => The Diner => Topic started by: Bogey on July 17, 2015, 09:30:52 AM

Title: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 17, 2015, 09:30:52 AM
A number of us here greatly enjoy the writings of Charles Dickens and I have found that many of the thoughtful posts that folks took time to write are worth reading again from time to time.  This is especially true when one like myself picks up a Dickens' novel and enjoys hearing the thoughts of others after reading it and then being able to converse about this shared reading.  However, these Dickens posts are somewhat buried in 300 plus pages of the reading thread and I thought it would be nice to put them under one roof so that they are easy to reference.  So, anything dealing with Dickens is most welcomed here, especially the novels, but also news, movies, and whatever else you come across. 

So,

'That, with the view just mentioned, this Association has taken into its serious consideration a proposal, emanating from the aforesaid, Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., and three other
Pickwickians herein after named, for forming a new branch of United Pickwickians, under the title of The Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club.


Members to date

Members of the GMG Pickwick Club to date.  If you would like me to edit your name in some fashion or removed, just drop me a message.  (Names are listed in order of first posting.)   that

The bylaws (which we can make up on a whim to encourage participation on this thread, change if it encourages said participation, interpret freely to encourage the said said participation, etc, etc.) indicates that any person that submits a post on this page or requests to be a member in writing, in a text, through email, by telegraph, via a cheerful shout etc., etc. will be submitted into the Pickwick Club without hesitation.

Bogey (Bill)
Karl
aligreto
Archaic Torso of Apollo
Alberich
mc ukrneal (Neal)
Elgarian (Alan)
Jeffrey Smith
Florestan (Andrei)
-abe-
zamyrabyrd
North Star (Karlo)
'vandermolen' (Jeffrey)
Brian (a.k.a. Brian) ;D
Ken B.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 17, 2015, 09:40:58 AM
Alastair Sim as Scrooge is an annual inspiration for us at home.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 17, 2015, 10:10:43 AM
Alastair Sim as Scrooge is an annual inspiration for us at home.

I read to Linda each year the preparation of the meal by the Cratchits.  We never tire of the annual visit into their home.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 17, 2015, 10:11:19 AM
Lovely!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 17, 2015, 10:41:08 AM
I had just read Oliver Twist last month. That is a wonderful book to read; great characters and a good strong plot.
I had never thought of the difficulties of translating Dickes. How would the humour, wit and irony of Pickwick Papers translate?!?!

I need to read this again as it did not capture me like David Copperfield.  I compare the two here as I could not help doing so during my read of Oliver Twist.  I found the main character to be too meek at points and thee supporting cast was not at the same level as Dc imo.  However, what I really need to do is keep them both separate and enjoy each for what it is.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 17, 2015, 01:03:52 PM
I need to read this again as it did not capture me like David Copperfield.  I compare the two here as I could not help doing so during my read of Oliver Twist.  I found the main character to be too meek at points and thee supporting cast was not at the same level as Dc imo.  However, what I really need to do is keep them both separate and enjoy each for what it is.

Undoubtedly David Copperfield is a much stronger and more complete work than Oliver Twist. However I think that Oliver Twist is a strong enough work in its own right and will bear up to scrutiny. It is well worth a read/re-read. The plot of Oliver Twist is a good one I think but the characterisation in general can be a bit weak at times. However the cunning and manipulation of the Fagin character is well developed given that he is a central character.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 17, 2015, 01:08:13 PM
This is definitely a good idea for a thread.

What I like about Dickens are his real life characters and the infusion of humour, wit and irony into the comment and conversation; Pickwick being a classic example. I also like the comment and dissertations on the social injustices of the time which were reflected in quite a lot of his works. His lack of fear of open comment was laudable on these matters. He could also be a very good story teller even to the extent that there are stories within his stories. I find Dickens to always be an enjoyable read.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 17, 2015, 01:52:41 PM
This is definitely a good idea for a thread.

I agree. All things considered, and despite some notable flaws, he's still probably the overall greatest novelist in the English language.

My only real problem is that his novels are (with a few exceptions) enormous. There are some that I'd love to dive into, but I'm afraid I just don't have the time.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 17, 2015, 03:57:40 PM
I agree. All things considered, and despite some notable flaws, he's still probably the overall greatest novelist in the English language.

My only real problem is that his novels are (with a few exceptions) enormous. There are some that I'd love to dive into, but I'm afraid I just don't have the time.

I agree.  I am careful to make sure I do not start one of his novels if I know its going to be a busier than normal month.  I like to read his works with at least a 50 page clip per day.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 17, 2015, 03:58:10 PM
Undoubtedly David Copperfield is a much stronger and more complete work than Oliver Twist. However I think that Oliver Twist is a strong enough work in its own right and will bear up to scrutiny. It is well worth a read/re-read. The plot of Oliver Twist is a good one I think but the characterisation in general can be a bit weak at times. However the cunning and manipulation of the Fagin character is well developed given that he is a central character.
 

I will absolutely revisit it.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 18, 2015, 12:40:20 AM
 

I will absolutely revisit it.

Great; I look forward to your comments and it is not too big a volume relative to other novels  ;D
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 18, 2015, 01:54:32 AM
What I have noticed is that I really dislike the books where I saw a movie of it first. This includes Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and Tale of Two Cities. I would place the first two in my list of top 10 hated books.

Where I read the book first (regardless of whether I actually saw the film if there was one), I have loved his books. This includes David Copperfield, Bleak House, Pickwick Club, and Great Expectations. David Copperfield is a top 5 book for me. So it really is a tale of two cities!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 18, 2015, 03:24:28 AM
What I have noticed is that I really dislike the books where I saw a movie of it first. This includes Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and Tale of Two Cities. I would place the first two in my list of top 10 hated books.

Where I read the book first (regardless of whether I actually saw the film if there was one), I have loved his books. This includes David Copperfield, Bleak House, Pickwick Club, and Great Expectations. David Copperfield is a top 5 book for me. So it really is a tale of two cities!

Which of the film versions of the first three you listed do you enjoy, Neil? 

I have been avoiding watching any of the films of the novel I have not read first so I do not run into this, 
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2015, 04:29:21 AM
I entirely get that, Neil, partly because the actors create an image of the character, but more especially because film necessarily has an economy of pace (and incident) which is much more (to use a word very au courant in Europe these days) austere than Dickens's books.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 18, 2015, 06:31:11 AM
Speaking of Dickens being acted, one interesting early experience for me was the 9-hour stage version of Nicholas Nickleby, done in the 1980s. At the time I was in high school and didn't like Dickens very much, but this was a revelation to me. At least, it was clear that Dickens could have been an equally great playwright if he had chosen to go that way.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: mc ukrneal on July 18, 2015, 06:45:16 AM
Which of the film versions of the first three you listed do you enjoy, Neal? 

I have been avoiding watching any of the films of the novel I have not read first so I do not run into this, 
That's the thing. I don't enjoy any of those films.

I entirely get that, Neal, partly because the actors create an image of the character, but more especially because film necessarily has an economy of pace (and incident) which is much more (to use a word very au courant in Europe these days) austere than Dickens's books.
I think that is it too. The films have a hard time capturing the flare/essence of his language.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 18, 2015, 07:57:09 AM
However the cunning and manipulation of the Fagin character is well developed given that he is a central character.
¨
Agreed. Dickens is great in how he introduces characters that are in many ways diabolical, but, usually towards the end, he shifts into their perspective that really makes you empathize with the villain. Fagin is often compared to devil who has his former subordinates killed to avoid sharing the loot, deliberately has Nancy murdered and is certainly not the harmless old man Oliver! musical makes him out to be. Yet he seems to have genuine pride with Dodger (easily my favorite character in the book), is softened in this one peculiar scene where he doesn't dare to wake sleeping Oliver and finally, most importantly, chapter 52. Often considered very uncomfortable to read because of its blatant antisemitism, I nevertheless feel it also clearly shows sympathy for Fagin's torment. In that chapter you really feel Fagin's panic at the incoming execution. The crowd's bloodthirstiness is alarming and makes you feel that Fagin is not hanged for justice but for crowd's entertainment. Dickens himself often attended public executions and expressed contempt towards people in their lack of empathy towards condemned's agony. As mentioned in other thread, certain Jewish woman, Eliza Davis, objected to his portrayal of Fagin, which eventually lead Dickens to create a benevolent Jew in character of Riah in Our mutual friend. Unfortunately, he's not very interesting character, but it was regardless a nice gesture to try to make amends, which was noted by Davis who later gave him a copy of Benisch's Hebrew and English Bible inscribed: "Presented to Charles Dickens, in grateful and admiring recognition of his having exercised the noblest quality men can possess -- that of atoning for an injury as soon as conscious of having inflicted it."

My favorite part of Oliver Twist must be Fagin's witty explanation about "number one" in the beginning of chapter 43 and later, in the same chapter, trial of Dodger. Consensus seems to be that the criminal underworld is portrayed very powerfully and the world of benevolent characters is full of unbearable sentimentalism. I am inclined to agree, although I do like Mr. Brownlow from the good guys.

My favorite Dickens character used to be Ralph Nickleby from Nicholas Nickleby, but that was mostly due to having read an excellently translated copy of it. When I actually read it in english, his character's appeal to me was much reduced. Nowadays, my favorite character is either James Steerforth, the lovable Byronic hero from Copperfield or Bradley Headstone, the passionate schoolmaster from Our mutual friend. Dickens often succeeded well with Byronic heroes, after Steerforth came Harthouse from Hard Times, Henry Gowan from Little Dorrit, Sydney Carton from Tale of two cities, and Eugene Wrayburn from Our Mutual Friend. I love all of them but I feel Steerforth was his most fully realized and perfectly created one.

Btw, the best Scrooge, to me, is this one, amusingly enough:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jzsKJvWiEI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jzsKJvWiEI)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 18, 2015, 01:21:39 PM
¨

My favorite Dickens character used to be Ralph Nickleby from Nicholas Nickleby, but that was mostly due to having read an excellently translated copy of it. When I actually read it in english, his character's appeal to me was much reduced. Nowadays, my favorite character is either James Steerforth, the lovable Byronic hero from Copperfield or Bradley Headstone, the passionate schoolmaster from Our mutual friend. Dickens often succeeded well with Byronic heroes, after Steerforth came Harthouse from Hard Times, Henry Gowan from Little Dorrit, Sydney Carton from Tale of two cities, and Eugene Wrayburn from Our Mutual Friend. I love all of them but I feel Steerforth was his most fully realized and perfectly created one.

Btw, the best Scrooge, to me, is this one, amusingly enough:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jzsKJvWiEI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jzsKJvWiEI)



Hmmmm.  Favorite Dickens' character?  Well, in a supporting role, it must be Tommy Traddles for me.  When reading Copperfield, I just admired the friendship he showed David and just how he went about his world.

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRNlAsYBdpbAyxyNzXyLEqB2CZA_WegNdzCimJyPGrpgiPXNM8q5yiLdeo)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 19, 2015, 03:18:35 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.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 19, 2015, 03:48:10 AM

Hmmmm.  Favorite Dickens' character?  Well, in a supporting role, it must be Tommy Traddles for me.  When reading Copperfield, I just admired the friendship he showed David and just how he went about his world.

Interestingly, I always felt Steerforth's and David's friendship felt much more genuine because they actually had some quarrels and problems with their friendship, and their whole relationship 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's death. Similarly, I preferred David's first wife, Dora, to his second, Agnes.

In general, I like his villains/flawed characters more because they are the ones where Dickens really releases his psychological skills, when describing their state of minds and personalities. This is true with most other authors too but perhaps with no other author I feel about it so strongly as with Dickens.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich 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?"
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey 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

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Traddles,_Micawber_and_David_from_David_Copperfield_art_by_Frank_Reynolds.jpg)

Traddles, Mr. M. and David.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey 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:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516aF0Q%2BvzL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

* 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!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich 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.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich 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.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516aF0Q%2BvzL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

* 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!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 19, 2015, 04:54:04 AM
Mm, nice!

3 bones, Karl....3 bones!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich 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?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich 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 (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.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1YRgiHiSE8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey 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?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 20, 2015, 03:33:26 AM
Yes!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey 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?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey 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.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich 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
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey 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.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey 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
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 21, 2015, 04:23:03 AM
This thread is doing its job!  ;)  I am back in a Pickwick rhythm.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 21, 2015, 07:31:06 AM
Brief notes as I read Bleak House

The description of the weather and tying the fog back around into the court.

The overview of Mr. Tulkinghorn.

Both have justified a second read before I continue.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 21, 2015, 07:31:59 AM
This thread is doing its job!  ;)  I am back in a Pickwick rhythm.

Pickwikian in its own right, Karl.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 21, 2015, 07:32:41 AM
As I reported to my brother earlier today, I'm in a Pickwick state of mind.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 21, 2015, 12:04:34 PM
As I reported to my brother earlier today, I'm in a Pickwick state of mind.

Serene bliss  8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 21, 2015, 12:29:22 PM
Mr Pickwick could not resist so tempting an opportunity of studying human nature.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 23, 2015, 02:54:00 AM
In a way that reminds me variously of Irving’s Tales of a Traveller and of The MS. Found at Saragossa, every now and again there is a curious, dramatic tale inset in the Papers.  The latest has to do with a chap languishing in debtor's prison, and I find myself torn between feeling that it is a bit melodramatic for my own sensibilities, and reflecting that there was a then-current social injustice which Dickens was commendably protesting.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 23, 2015, 05:36:37 AM
The latest has to do with a chap languishing in debtor's prison, and I find myself torn between feeling that it is a bit melodramatic for my own sensibilities, and reflecting that there was a then-current social injustice which Dickens was commendably protesting.

Oh, just you wait for Little Dorrit...  8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 23, 2015, 05:57:15 AM
Oh, just you wait for Little Dorrit...  8)

Oh, I'm sure!  And probably the first Dickens I read (other than the deservedly ubiquitous A Christmas Carol, of course) was probably Hard Times.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 23, 2015, 10:35:00 AM
In a way that reminds me variously of Irving’s Tales of a Traveller and of The MS. Found at Saragossa, every now and again there is a curious, dramatic tale inset in the Papers.  The latest has to do with a chap languishing in debtor's prison, and I find myself torn between feeling that it is a bit melodramatic for my own sensibilities, and reflecting that there was a then-current social injustice which Dickens was commendably protesting.

A strong recurring theme which permeates most/all (?) of his writing. I remember reading that character vividly.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 23, 2015, 10:36:24 AM
Not to mention the five sisters of York in Nickleby.  Quite the bird walk, but nothing wrong with getting a little exercise.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 23, 2015, 10:44:30 AM
Not to mention the five sisters of York in Nickleby.  Quite the bird walk, but nothing wrong with getting a little exercise.

I just read through that tale two days ago and that one was just a tad over-sentimental.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 23, 2015, 11:16:08 AM
I just read through that tale two days ago and that one was just a tad over-sentimental.

Definitely a "insert short story here" moment.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 24, 2015, 03:50:01 AM
I just read through that tale two days ago and that one was just a tad over-sentimental.

Understatement of the year. :P
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 31, 2015, 06:11:12 AM
In reference to Mr. Tulkinghorn's library:

The titles on the backs of his books have retired into the binding; everything that can have a lock has got one; no key is visible.

It is lines like these that make Dickens, well, Dickens for me. What a great description of a setting, but in one stroke of the pen, Mr. Tulkinghorn.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 31, 2015, 07:30:50 AM
There are so many great parts in Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend I could quote, but I'd hate to spoil Karl... In quote thread I have actually mentioned a few of those. His satire is at its most brilliant in Little Dorrit, even if at couple of times he hammers the point in our skulls a bit too much. Appropriately enough, Little Dorrit's original title was "Nobody's fault". Dickens was at the time very infuriated by what he saw as government trying to avoid responsibility of any kind. And his understanding of human psychology is shown quite effectively when describing certain Mr. Henry Gowan...
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 31, 2015, 07:35:38 AM
In reference to Mr. Tulkinghorn's library:

The titles on the backs of his books have retired into the binding; everything that can have a lock has got one; no key is visible.

It is lines like these that make Dickens, well, Dickens for me. What a great description of a setting, but in one stroke of the pen, Mr. Tulkinghorn.

Even though I haven't completely read Bleak house, what I do know about Tulkinghorn would probably make him my favorite character/s in the book. It's interesting how often his lawyer characters are described as immoral or at the very least, shady personalities. One of the exceptions is found in Our mutual friend.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 31, 2015, 07:42:26 AM
Even though I haven't completely read Bleak house, what I do know about Tulkinghorn would probably make him my favorite character/s in the book. It's interesting how often his lawyer characters are described as immoral or at the very least, shady personalities. One of the exceptions is found in Our mutual friend.

It seems to be a long book.  I am reading from my Kindle as I vacation so do not have a paper copy in front of me.  Wonderful so far.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on July 31, 2015, 09:28:28 AM
One day when I was 14 years old, my English teacher (Mr Atherton by name, bless him) walked into the classroom and began to talk about the joys of secondhand bookshops. I'd never even (knowingly) seen a secondhand bookshop, let alone been in one, and I was intrigued. The reason he was talking about this was that just a few days earlier he'd found a nineteenth century copy of The Pickwick Papers, with all the original etched illustrations, and it had cost him next to nothing. Not surprisingly, he was thrilled, and wanted to share the fun of it.

Talk about influence! Something about this tale captured my imagination immediately, and I determined (a) to find a secondhand bookshop, and (b) to track down for myself an old copy of Pickwick with its original illustrations.  So began a lifetime infatuation with secondhand bookshops and old books. How much I owe that man. Rest in peace and gratitude, Mr Atherton.

Nice (but cheap) old copies of Pickwick are not that common, so although I found several old bookshops pretty quickly, I had to wait much longer for my C19th edition. I made do with a copy from the Library instead, and found it far more enjoyable than I expected, though I always felt it went off towards the end. What began as a delightfully comic tale became altogether too bleak, I thought; and I still would criticise the book for lacking coherence. Yes, I know, written in parts as it was, with its particular history, and its patchwork origin as a text to accompany a handful of etchings, coherence isn't exactly what one would expect from it; but still - he did spoil it, for me. I was still hung up on the theory of tittlebats and Dickens was asking me to confront the plight of Jingle in the Fleet.

Anyway, Pickwick would always find a place in any list of my top ten all-time favourite books, just because of my fondness for how it all began, though I wonder how many more re-readings lie ahead of me. Not so many, I think. The competition is a lot fiercer now than when I was 14.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick_zps74n8bwgs.jpg)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 31, 2015, 09:43:08 AM
Alan, how grand to see you again! And you remind me that I must get back to Pickwick's breach of promise suit . . . .
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 31, 2015, 09:54:52 AM
One day when I was 14 years old, my English teacher (Mr Atherton by name, bless him) walked into the classroom and began to talk about the joys of secondhand bookshops. I'd never even (knowingly) seen a secondhand bookshop, let alone been in one, and I was intrigued. The reason he was talking about this was that just a few days earlier he'd found a nineteenth century copy of The Pickwick Papers, with all the original etched illustrations, and it had cost him next to nothing. Not surprisingly, he was thrilled, and wanted to share the fun of it.

Talk about influence! Something about this tale captured my imagination immediately, and I determined (a) to find a secondhand bookshop, and (b) to track down for myself an old copy of Pickwick with its original illustrations.  So began a lifetime infatuation with secondhand bookshops and old books. How much I owe that man. Rest in peace and gratitude, Mr Atherton.

Nice (but cheap) old copies of Pickwick are not that common, so although I found several old bookshops pretty quickly, I had to wait much longer for my C19th edition. I made do with a copy from the Library instead, and found it far more enjoyable than I expected, though I always felt it went off towards the end. What began as a delightfully comic tale became altogether too bleak, I thought; and I still would criticise the book for lacking coherence. Yes, I know, written in parts as it was, with its particular history, and its patchwork origin as a text to accompany a handful of etchings, coherence isn't exactly what one would expect from it; but still - he did spoil it, for me. I was still hung up on the theory of tittlebats and Dickens was asking me to confront the plight of Jingle in the Fleet.

Anyway, Pickwick would always find a place in any list of my top ten all-time favourite books, just because of my fondness for how it all began, though I wonder how many more re-readings lie ahead of me. Not so many, I think. The competition is a lot fiercer now than when I was 14.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick_zps74n8bwgs.jpg)

A very fine and enjoyable post!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: kishnevi on July 31, 2015, 10:18:07 AM
It seems to be a long book.  I am reading from my Kindle as I vacation so do not have a paper copy in front of me.  Wonderful so far.

IIRC Bleak House is Dickens's longest book.  We read Hard Times in high school because it was the shortest, and our teacher hated Dickens.

Which allowed us to stage a good senior prank in the last term of our senior year, by "kidnapping" her and forcing her to listen to a reading from BH during lunch in the school cafeteria.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on July 31, 2015, 10:24:03 AM
Alan, how grand to see you again! And you remind me that I must get back to Pickwick's breach of promise suit . . . .

Yes, sorry Karl. I'm being very ... intermittent, aren't I? I'm not listening to very much classical music right now, so I don't often seem to have much to say - though I look in here most days, and read a bit even if I don't say anything. The movement I need is over your shoulder, or something (to misquote a Beatle).
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on July 31, 2015, 10:26:18 AM
A very fine and enjoyable post!

What a nice thing to say. Thank you. A glass of Guinness with you, Sir!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 31, 2015, 10:33:02 AM
What a nice thing to say. Thank you. A glass of Guinness with you, Sir!

You are most welcome Sir. I will pass on the Guinness but I will share a glass of the Red Grape and toast your good health Sir!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 31, 2015, 11:02:03 AM
IIRC Bleak House is Dickens's longest book.

The top5 in length usually comes down to Dombey, Copperfield, Bleak house, Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend, with differing reports about which of them is THE longest.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on July 31, 2015, 11:24:53 AM
You are most welcome Sir. I will pass on the Guinness but I will share a glass of the Red Grape and toast your good health Sir!

I thank you most kindly, Sir, and cordially invite you to join me for luncheon (roast tittlebat fricassee).
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 31, 2015, 11:44:10 AM
I thank you most kindly, Sir, and cordially invite you to join me for luncheon (roast tittlebat fricassee).

Your gracious invitation is indeed most kind Sir!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 31, 2015, 11:47:57 AM
The top5 in length usually comes down to Dombey, Copperfield, Bleak house, Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend, with differing reports about which of them is THE longest.

I am currently reading Nicholas Nickleby and it is in a two volume edition [Heron] and it seems pretty lengthy to me. It does not feature as one of his lengthier ones obviously?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on July 31, 2015, 11:49:58 AM
Your gracious invitation is indeed most kind Sir!

Mr Pickwick himself is otherwise engaged, I understand, but I am hopeful that Tupman, Winkle and Snodgrass will join us.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 31, 2015, 12:00:52 PM
Mr Pickwick himself is otherwise engaged, I understand, but I am hopeful that Tupman, Winkle and Snodgrass will join us.

Delighted with the proposed attendance of the honourable mentioned gentlemen. Unfortunate regarding the indisposition of Mr. Pickwick but I understand the great demand of our revered leader. I would be most appreciative if Mr. Sam Weller could deputize for Mr. Pickwick so that one could enjoy the charms of that gentleman's conversation and outlook.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on July 31, 2015, 12:07:38 PM
One day when I was 14 years old, my English teacher (Mr Atherton by name, bless him) walked into the classroom and began to talk about the joys of secondhand bookshops. I'd never even (knowingly) seen a secondhand bookshop, let alone been in one, and I was intrigued. The reason he was talking about this was that just a few days earlier he'd found a nineteenth century copy of The Pickwick Papers, with all the original etched illustrations, and it had cost him next to nothing. Not surprisingly, he was thrilled, and wanted to share the fun of it.

Talk about influence! Something about this tale captured my imagination immediately, and I determined (a) to find a secondhand bookshop, and (b) to track down for myself an old copy of Pickwick with its original illustrations.  So began a lifetime infatuation with secondhand bookshops and old books. How much I owe that man. Rest in peace and gratitude, Mr Atherton.

Nice (but cheap) old copies of Pickwick are not that common, so although I found several old bookshops pretty quickly, I had to wait much longer for my C19th edition. I made do with a copy from the Library instead, and found it far more enjoyable than I expected, though I always felt it went off towards the end. What began as a delightfully comic tale became altogether too bleak, I thought; and I still would criticise the book for lacking coherence. Yes, I know, written in parts as it was, with its particular history, and its patchwork origin as a text to accompany a handful of etchings, coherence isn't exactly what one would expect from it; but still - he did spoil it, for me. I was still hung up on the theory of tittlebats and Dickens was asking me to confront the plight of Jingle in the Fleet.

Anyway, Pickwick would always find a place in any list of my top ten all-time favourite books, just because of my fondness for how it all began, though I wonder how many more re-readings lie ahead of me. Not so many, I think. The competition is a lot fiercer now than when I was 14.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick_zps74n8bwgs.jpg)

Indeed an excellent post.  Unlike you, none of my teachers exposed me to Dickens.  My first exposure was a version of A Christmas Carol with Mr. Magoo.  Fortunately my wife bought me the 21 volumes of the Oxford Illustrated reprints.  Great use of bookshelf space in our home.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 31, 2015, 01:14:11 PM
I am currently reading Nicholas Nickleby and it is in a two volume edition [Heron] and it seems pretty lengthy to me. It does not feature as one of his lengthier ones obviously?

Nickleby is one of his longer earlier novels but I'm not sure it's quite as long as the five I mentioned. I could be wrong though.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 01, 2015, 12:22:27 AM
Delighted with the proposed attendance of the honourable mentioned gentlemen. Unfortunate regarding the indisposition of Mr. Pickwick but I understand the great demand of our revered leader. I would be most appreciative if Mr. Sam Weller could deputize for Mr. Pickwick so that one could enjoy the charms of that gentleman's conversation and outlook.

In celebration of the luncheon, Snodgrass has composed an Ode, which doubtless he will read to the assembled company:


Ode to the Pickwick Club

By Augustus Snodgrass

Ah Pickwick Club, if I could sing thy praise!
The very stars above would surely twinkle
Ever brighter, with companions such
As Tupman, Weller, Pickwick - yes, and Winkle!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 01, 2015, 01:08:15 AM
In celebration of the luncheon, Snodgrass has composed an Ode, which doubtless he will read to the assembled company:


Ode to the Pickwick Club

By Augustus Snodgrass

Ah Pickwick Club, if I could sing thy praise!
The very stars above would surely twinkle
Ever brighter, with companions such
As Tupman, Weller, Pickwick - yes, and Winkle!

An eminently fine composition from our embedded poet which touches the essence of our gathering!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 01, 2015, 04:02:07 AM
This is an occasion for toasting cheese, if ever there was one.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 01, 2015, 05:34:59 AM
This is an occasion for toasting cheese, if ever there was one.

I've always believed that ALL occasions are good for toasting cheese, myself. A slice of Toasted Roquefort with you, Sir.

As for Pickwickian Cheddamtittlebertzola ... now there's a cheese to be reckoned with.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 01, 2015, 05:58:05 AM
Coincidence as I read waiting for our flight from NYC after 10 days of being tourists back to Denver?

"London was a great wonder to us, and we were out for hours and hours at a time, seeing the sights, which appeared to be less capable of exhaustion than ewe were."
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 01, 2015, 06:16:45 AM
I've always believed that ALL occasions are good for toasting cheese, myself. A slice of Toasted Roquefort with you, Sir.

As for Pickwickian Cheddamtittlebertzola ... now there's a cheese to be reckoned with.

There are indeed cheeses to treat with no little respect.

Coincidence as I read waiting for our flight from NYC after 10 days of being tourists back to Denver?

"London was a great wonder to us, and we were out for hours and hours at a time, seeing the sights, which appeared to be less capable of exhaustion than we were."

Lovely!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 03, 2015, 04:28:53 AM
Poverty and oysters . . . times have changed!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 03, 2015, 06:02:54 AM
Poverty and oysters . . . times have changed!

Oy, Karl!

http://theoysterman.blogspot.com/2008/06/charles-dickens-secretive-self.html?m=1
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 03, 2015, 06:08:30 AM
Cheers, Bill!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 03, 2015, 09:04:04 AM
My top7 Dickens novels (still undecided about the order of the remaining 4 novels of his that I've read):

Little Dorrit
Our Mutual Friend (Yes, in my review I complained about two of the three storylines but really, they aren't that bad, it's merely that that one storyline is so incredibly powerful it overshadows them.)
David Copperfield
Great Expectations
The Old Curiosity Shop
Oliver Twist
Barnaby Rudge


The remaining 4 novels from 11 that I've read are a bit harder to define. Tale of two cities I can't remember clearly enough (having read it only once) but from what I recall, I enjoyed it. Hard times had some awesome things but the bad stuff reminds me of the bad stuff in Our Mutual Friend: convoluted and weird mess most likely written while smoking pot. I liked it more the first time I read it. When I first read Dombey in finnish, I didn't really like it but now reading it in english it is considerably more enjoyable, even though Dickens hammers the educational points in way way too hard (the shortened finnish translation, not surprisingly, had those omitted). With Nickleby the translation issue was pretty much the other way around: the finnish translation was so excellent I liked it for the most part (although I loathed the ending so much it turned me away from Dickens for a long time) but when I read it in english it felt disappointing. I liked the comedy in it, in particular the delicious satire concerning certain Mr. Gregsbury (who never reappears outside of this short scene, what a waste of a great character!):

'This is all very well, Mr. Nickleby, and very proper, so far as it goes—so far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. There are other duties, Mr Nickleby, which a secretary to a parliamentary gentleman must never lose sight of. I should require to be crammed, sir.'
'I beg your pardon,' interposed Nicholas, doubtful whether he had heard aright.
'—To be crammed, sir,' repeated Mr. Gregsbury.
'May I beg your pardon again, if I inquire what you mean, sir?' said Nicholas.
'My meaning, sir, is perfectly plain,' replied Mr. Gregsbury with a solemn aspect. 'My secretary would have to make himself master of the foreign policy of the world, as it is mirrored in the newspapers; to run his eye over all accounts of public meetings, all leading articles, and accounts of the proceedings of public bodies; and to make notes of anything which it appeared to him might be made a point of, in any little speech upon the question of some petition lying on the table, or anything of that kind. Do you understand?'
'I think I do, sir,' replied Nicholas.
'Then,' said Mr. Gregsbury, 'it would be necessary for him to make himself acquainted, from day to day, with newspaper paragraphs on passing events; such as "Mysterious disappearance, and supposed suicide of a potboy," or anything of that sort, upon which I might found a question to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Then, he would have to copy the question, and as much as I remembered of the answer (including a little compliment about independence and good sense); and to send the manuscript in a frank to the local paper, with perhaps half-a-dozen lines of leader, to the effect, that I was always to be found in my place in parliament, and never shrunk from the responsible and arduous duties, and so forth. You see?'
Nicholas bowed.
'Besides which,' continued Mr. Gregsbury, 'I should expect him, now and then, to go through a few figures in the printed tables, and to pick out a few results, so that I might come out pretty well on timber duty questions, and finance questions, and so on; and I should like him to get up a few little arguments about the disastrous effects of a return to cash payments and a metallic currency, with a touch now and then about the exportation of bullion, and the Emperor of Russia, and bank notes, and all that kind of thing, which it's only necessary to talk fluently about, because nobody understands it. Do you take me?'
'I think I understand,' said Nicholas.
'With regard to such questions as are not political,' continued Mr Gregsbury, warming; 'and which one can't be expected to care a curse about, beyond the natural care of not allowing inferior people to be as well off as ourselves—else where are our privileges?—I should wish my secretary to get together a few little flourishing speeches, of a patriotic cast. For instance, if any preposterous bill were brought forward, for giving poor grubbing devils of authors a right to their own property, I should like to say, that I for one would never consent to opposing an insurmountable bar to the diffusion of literature among the people,—you understand?—that the creations of the pocket, being man's, might belong to one man, or one family; but that the creations of the brain, being God's, ought as a matter of course to belong to the people at large—and if I was pleasantly disposed, I should like to make a joke about posterity, and say that those who wrote for posterity should be content to be rewarded by the approbation of posterity; it might take with the house, and could never do me any harm, because posterity can't be expected to know anything about me or my jokes either—do you see?'
'I see that, sir,' replied Nicholas.
'You must always bear in mind, in such cases as this, where our interests are not affected,' said Mr. Gregsbury, 'to put it very strong about the people, because it comes out very well at election-time; and you could be as funny as you liked about the authors; because I believe the greater part of them live in lodgings, and are not voters. This is a hasty outline of the chief things you'd have to do, except waiting in the lobby every night, in case I forgot anything, and should want fresh cramming; and, now and then, during great debates, sitting in the front row of the gallery, and saying to the people about—'You see that gentleman, with his hand to his face, and his arm twisted round the pillar—that's Mr Gregsbury—the celebrated Mr. Gregsbury,'—with any other little eulogium that might strike you at the moment. And for salary,' said Mr Gregsbury, winding up with great rapidity; for he was out of breath—'and for salary, I don't mind saying at once in round numbers, to prevent any dissatisfaction—though it's more than I've been accustomed to give—fifteen shillings a week, and find yourself. There!'


Other than this, the monstrous schoolmaster Squeers and lovable rascal Mr. Mantalini are very enjoyable, and Ralph Nickleby, despite some cardboard cutout-features, has certain charm in him. Same goes to often dismissed Sir Mulberry Hawk and his dupe, Lord Frederick Verisopht. Someone would add Kenwigses to that list, but I found them rather annoying. The one benevolent character in the book that was written enjoyably was John Browdie. Mrs Nickleby is a great comedic creation, although considering it was based on Dickens's own mother, it felt rather cruel. Nickleby's plot is awful.

Bleak House, Martin Chuzzlewit, Pickwick and Edwin Drood, I cannot review yet, not having read them.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 03, 2015, 01:09:37 PM
So far, Copperfield is at the top of my list for the novels.  Great Expectations and Nickleby are next, with Tale of Two Cities.  I still have much to read before making a solid favorite list.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 03, 2015, 01:11:28 PM
Members of the GMG Pickwick Club to date.  If you would like me to edit your name in some fashion or removed, just drop me a message.  (Names are listed in order of first posting.)

Bogey (Bill)
Karl
aligreto
Archaic Torso of Apollo
Alberich
mc ukrneal (Neal)
Elgarian (Alan)
Jeffrey Smith
Florestan (Andrei)
-abe-
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 03, 2015, 09:36:13 PM
So far, Copperfield is at the top of my list for the novels.  Great Expectations and Nickleby are next, with Tale of Two Cities.  I still have much to read before making a solid favorite list.

When comparing Great Expectations and Copperfield, I think Copperfield has better characters but Great expectations maybe has better structure as a book itself and more fully realized plot. It often bounces back and forth which one I like more. Currently it's Copperfield.
Title: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 04, 2015, 01:19:58 AM
"Wery queer life is a pike-keeper's, sir."
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 04, 2015, 11:55:25 PM
Members of the GMG Pickwick Club to date.  If you would like me to edit your name in some fashion or removed, just drop me a message.  (Names are listed in order of first posting.)

Bogey (Bill)
Karl
aligreto
Archaic Torso of Apollo
Alberich
mc ukrneal (Neil)
Elgarian (Alan)
Jeffrey Smith

What illustrious company. Gentlemen, may I propose:

That the Corresponding Society of the GMG Pickwick Club is therefore hereby constituted; and that Bogey (Bill), Karl, aligreto, Archaic Torso of Apollo, Alberich, mc ukrneal (Neil), Elgarian (Alan), and Jeffrey Smith [together with any others who shall hereafter be named], are hereby nominated and appointed members of the same; and that they be requested to forward, from time to time, authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations, of their observations of character and manners, and of the whole of their adventures, together with all tales and papers to which local scenery or associations may give rise, to the GMG Pickwick Club.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Florestan on August 05, 2015, 02:34:53 AM
To: The Corresponding Society of the GMG Pickwick Club

From: Mr. Florestan, gentleman

Well born, most highly respected Sirs!

The constitution of your society having come to my attention as of late, I hereby express my modest but ardent desire to join your most illustrious company; and I sincerely trust that my having read and enjoyed several Charles Dickens´ works, viz. Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, The Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol (and its accompanying stories), and holding A Tale of Two Cities in the most high esteem as my favorite production of the aforementioned gentleman, will be enough of a credential for my humble request to be granted and my nomination as a member of your most learned club to be approved.

Meanwhile I remain, Sirs, most respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

Florestan (Andrei)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 05, 2015, 04:01:00 AM
To: The Corresponding Society of the GMG Pickwick Club

From: Mr. Florestan, gentleman

Well born, most highly respected Sirs!

The constitution of your society having come to my attention as of late, I hereby express my modest but ardent desire to join your most illustrious company; and I sincerely trust that my having read and enjoyed several Charles Dickens´ works, viz. Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, The Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol (and its accompanying stories), and holding A Tale of Two Cities in the most high esteem as my favorite production of the aforementioned gentleman, will be enough of a credential for my humble request to be granted and my nomination as a member of your most learned club to be approved.

Meanwhile I remain, Sirs, most respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

Florestan (Andrei)

Seeing that the bylaws (which we can make up on a whim to encourage participation on this thread, change if it encourages said participation, interpret freely to encourage the said said participation, etc, etc.) indicates that any person that submits a post on this page or requests to be a member in writing, in a text, through email, by telegraph, via a cheerful shout etc., etc. will be submitted into the Pickwick Club without hesitation.

Welcome aboard Andrei!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 05, 2015, 07:34:06 AM
Welcome aboard!

Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 05, 2015, 08:21:28 AM
Dickens has great satire and psychological understanding in Little Dorrit surrounding certain Mr. Merdle.

"This great and fortunate man had provided that extensive bosom which required so much room to be unfeeling enough in, with a nest of crimson and gold some fifteen years before. It was not a bosom to repose upon, but it was a capital bosom to hang jewels upon. Mr Merdle wanted something to hang jewels upon, and he bought it for the purpose. Storr and Mortimer might have married on the same speculation."

"Let Mrs Merdle announce, with all her might, that she was at Home ever so many nights in a season, she could not announce more widely and unmistakably than Mr Merdle did that he was never at home."

"Mr Merdle's words had been, that if they could have made it worth his while to take the whole Government he would have took it without a profit, but that take it he could not and stand a loss. That how it was not to be expected, ma'am, that he should lose by it, his ways being, as you might say and utter no falsehood, paved with gold; but that how it was much to be regretted that something handsome hadn't been got up to make it worth his while; for it was such and only such that knowed the heighth to which the bread and butchers' meat had rose, and it was such and only such that both could and would bring that heighth down."

"Waters of vexation filled her eyes; and they had the effect of making the famous Mr Merdle, in going down the street, appear to leap, and waltz, and gyrate, as if he were possessed of several Devils."

"The next man who has as large a capacity and as genuine a taste for swindling, will succeed as well. Pardon me, but I think you really have no idea how the human bees will swarm to the beating of any old tin kettle; in that fact lies the complete manual of governing them. When they can be got to believe that the kettle is made of the precious metals, in that fact lies the whole power of men like our late lamented."
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 05, 2015, 09:20:35 AM
What illustrious company. Gentlemen, may I propose:

That the Corresponding Society of the GMG Pickwick Club is therefore hereby constituted; and that Bogey (Bill), Karl, aligreto, Archaic Torso of Apollo, Alberich, mc ukrneal (Neil), Elgarian (Alan), and Jeffrey Smith [together with any others who shall hereafter be named], are hereby nominated and appointed members of the same; and that they be requested to forward, from time to time, authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations, of their observations of character and manners, and of the whole of their adventures, together with all tales and papers to which local scenery or associations may give rise, to the GMG Pickwick Club.

Honoured and delighted Sir!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 05, 2015, 09:21:53 AM
To: The Corresponding Society of the GMG Pickwick Club

From: Mr. Florestan, gentleman

Well born, most highly respected Sirs!

The constitution of your society having come to my attention as of late, I hereby express my modest but ardent desire to join your most illustrious company; and I sincerely trust that my having read and enjoyed several Charles Dickens´ works, viz. Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, The Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol (and its accompanying stories), and holding A Tale of Two Cities in the most high esteem as my favorite production of the aforementioned gentleman, will be enough of a credential for my humble request to be granted and my nomination as a member of your most learned club to be approved.

Meanwhile I remain, Sirs, most respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

Florestan (Andrei)

You are most welcome to our illustrious club kind Sir!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 05, 2015, 11:39:07 AM
To: The Corresponding Society of the GMG Pickwick Club

From: Mr. Florestan, gentleman

Well born, most highly respected Sirs!

The constitution of your society having come to my attention as of late, I hereby express my modest but ardent desire to join your most illustrious company; and I sincerely trust that my having read and enjoyed several Charles Dickens´ works, viz. Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, The Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol (and its accompanying stories), and holding A Tale of Two Cities in the most high esteem as my favorite production of the aforementioned gentleman, will be enough of a credential for my humble request to be granted and my nomination as a member of your most learned club to be approved.

Meanwhile I remain, Sirs, most respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

Florestan (Andrei)

What a noble addition to our ranks. Now the GMG Pickwick Club may have Great Expectations indeed.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: kishnevi on August 05, 2015, 05:40:54 PM
My word!  I now realize I have never read Little Dorrit, which is why I never took special note of a certain great English detective's mode of transport.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ac/DaimlerDoubleSixCorsicaCoupe.JPG/1600px-DaimlerDoubleSixCorsicaCoupe.JPG)
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Daimler_Double-Six.JPG)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 05, 2015, 06:45:12 PM
My word!  I now realize I have never read Little Dorrit, which is why I never took special note of a certain great English detective's mode of transport.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ac/DaimlerDoubleSixCorsicaCoupe.JPG/1600px-DaimlerDoubleSixCorsicaCoupe.JPG)
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Daimler_Double-Six.JPG)

Your post led me to a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang connection as well.  1908 Hutton 'Little Dorrit'!

(http://www.imcdb.org/i045859.jpg)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 08, 2015, 05:44:38 AM
I herewith submit to the GMG Pickwick Club for their perusal and approval my first account of a singular discovery. This accidental yet fortuitous discovery took place as I ambled with my beloved spouse along the shoreline of a local cove. It was, up to that point, an uneventful day, the elements being rather favourable and the highlight thereto having been an appetizing luncheon which was had at a local hostlery. Whilst we ambled along this shingle cove my attention was suddenly  arrested and attracted to a particularly interesting stone which lay directly in my path.

Now I do not mean to draw any analogy between this and a similar discovery once famously and historically documented by our beloved Mr. Pickwick but the relevant incidences do seem to be on a parallel and, like our beloved leader, I am convinced that I have stumbled upon a most important discovery, a pictorial representation of which now follows…


(http://i610.photobucket.com/albums/tt184/Aligreto/Miscellaneous/IMG_0002_zps5sns2xk4.jpg?t=1438957797)


As you will no doubt observe, my fellow Pickwickians, this is no ordinary stone. Indeed my good Sirs, it is a unique and remarkable stone! One cannot but be amazed at the unique and splendid markings inscribed thereon. However I am at a singular loss to identify or explain the cryptic message encoded on the surface of said exhibit. What is its origin? What is its meaning? What possible interpretation can we possibly ascribe to this engraving? Indeed I cannot ascertain whether it is indeed a hieroglyph or the representation of a visage.
 
I am advised by my learned colleagues at a local level that this unique specimen is of such importance that it should be immediately donated to a scientific institution for further and immediate examination and with this sagacious proposal I am inclined to agree. However, prior to undertaking any such action I would endeavour to elicit the thoughts and proposals of our esteemed and erudite membership with the intention of verifying that the proposed action is not only appropriate but also wise, for who knows what the subsequent consequences may be.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 08, 2015, 05:54:16 AM
Without wishing to detract in the least from the singular and indeed momentous discovery of our illustrious fellow member, it occurs to me that if I were to describe a day with my beloved spouse as uneventful until finding a rock, I should (and with a perhaps unwonted rapidity) become a divorcé.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 08, 2015, 06:23:54 AM
Without wishing to detract in the least from the singular and indeed momentous discovery of our illustrious fellow member, it occurs to me that if I were to describe a day with my beloved spouse as uneventful until finding a rock, I should (and with a perhaps unwonted rapidity) become a divorcé.

My illustrious colleague's point is indeed very well taken and I am indeed most repentant for the unfortunate turn of phrase. My only excuse is that my thinking was much clouded by my momentous discovery and the need to report such with the utmost urgency and rapidity.
Perhaps it would indeed be beneficial to my marital status if I did not expose my beloved spouse to this particular detail of my missive to the GMG Pickwick Club.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 08, 2015, 06:38:44 AM
I move we send a bouquet to the esteemed member's well-loved spouse.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 09, 2015, 01:12:05 AM
I move we send a bouquet to the esteemed member's well-loved spouse.

Wonderful Karl!!  8)  :laugh:  :laugh:
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 09, 2015, 05:19:17 AM
I herewith submit to the GMG Pickwick Club for their perusal and approval my first account of a singular discovery. This accidental yet fortuitous discovery took place as I ambled with my beloved spouse along the shoreline of a local cove. It was, up to that point, an uneventful day, the elements being rather favourable and the highlight thereto having been an appetizing luncheon which was had at a local hostlery. Whilst we ambled along this shingle cove my attention was suddenly  arrested and attracted to a particularly interesting stone which lay directly in my path.

Now I do not mean to draw any analogy between this and a similar discovery once famously and historically documented by our beloved Mr. Pickwick but the relevant incidences do seem to be on a parallel and, like our beloved leader, I am convinced that I have stumbled upon a most important discovery, a pictorial representation of which now follows…


(http://i610.photobucket.com/albums/tt184/Aligreto/Miscellaneous/IMG_0002_zps5sns2xk4.jpg?t=1438957797)


As you will no doubt observe, my fellow Pickwickians, this is no ordinary stone. Indeed my good Sirs, it is a unique and remarkable stone! One cannot but be amazed at the unique and splendid markings inscribed thereon. However I am at a singular loss to identify or explain the cryptic message encoded on the surface of said exhibit. What is its origin? What is its meaning? What possible interpretation can we possibly ascribe to this engraving? Indeed I cannot ascertain whether it is indeed a hieroglyph or the representation of a visage.
 
I am advised by my learned colleagues at a local level that this unique specimen is of such importance that it should be immediately donated to a scientific institution for further and immediate examination and with this sagacious proposal I am inclined to agree. However, prior to undertaking any such action I would endeavour to elicit the thoughts and proposals of our esteemed and erudite membership with the intention of verifying that the proposed action is not only appropriate but also wise, for who knows what the subsequent consequences may be.


Sir, I suggest that the Opinion of The British Museum should be sought immediately. It is surely worthy of being exhibited alongside the Rosetta Stone, and indeed, may well supercede it as a prime Source of Wonderment.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 09, 2015, 07:06:10 AM
It seems to almost eminate powers unknown.  I should say that members of the Ghost Club should be consulted immediately.  One can never be sure of its true origin!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 09, 2015, 07:58:30 AM
It seems to almost eminate powers unknown.  I should say that members of the Ghost Club should be consulted immediately.  One can never be sure of its true origins!

This, Sir, was my initial cause for reservation and concern! However, perhaps to elicit a consultation from the revered establishment duly named above by an honourable member may perhaps throw some light on the origins of the exhibit. However, as another honourable member has pointed out, perhaps we do not want to bring the exhibit into proximity or indeed collusion with another source for fear of unknown consequences.
Gentlemen all, more ruminating needs to be employed prior to proceeding one step further.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 09, 2015, 09:56:59 AM
I continue my journey through Bleak House.  Have just sat down to lunch with Guppy, Joblings and Smallweed.  I'm only missing a copy of the London Times to complete my afternoon.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 16, 2015, 08:53:11 AM
Had a moment and thought I would raise an afternoon cup of coffee to all of you in a moment of kind deportment. 
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 16, 2015, 09:07:08 AM
If you have not made a visit to David Perdue's web site on Dickens, then I recommend that you take a self-guided tour.  Not only is it set up in an easy to navigate fashion, but the information there is wonderful. 

http://charlesdickenspage.com/index.html

For example:

Another factor contributing to Dickens meteoric rise in popularity was the way in which he and his publishers, Chapman and Hall, chose to publish his books. All of Dickens major novels were published serially, in monthly (or weekly) installments. A full length novel was out of the price range of most of his readers ( a novel cost 31 shillings in 1836, average worker earned 6 to 20 shillings per week) but a monthly installment, 32 pages with 2 illustrations and advertisements, could be sold for a shilling.

Also, take time to read about David as well. 

http://charlesdickenspage.com/faq_email.html

Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 16, 2015, 10:21:46 AM
If you have not made a visit to David Perdue's web site on Dickens, then I recommend that you take a self-guided tour.  Not only is it set up in an easy to navigate fashion, but the information their is wonderful. 

http://charlesdickenspage.com/index.html

For example:

Another factor contributing to Dickens meteoric rise in popularity was the way in which he and his publishers, Chapman and Hall, chose to publish his books. All of Dickens major novels were published serially, in monthly (or weekly) installments. A full length novel was out of the price range of most of his readers ( a novel cost 31 shillings in 1836, average worker earned 6 to 20 shillings per week) but a monthly installment, 32 pages with 2 illustrations and advertisements, could be sold for a shilling.

Also, take time to read about David as well. 

http://charlesdickenspage.com/faq_email.html

Thank you for the link; I will investigate in due course.  8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 16, 2015, 11:48:54 AM
Had a moment and thought I would raise an afternoon cup of coffee to all of you in a moment of kind deportment.

Aye, Sir, I'll gladly join you in a cup, and thank y'kindly.

There is a rumour that Snodgrass is composing an epic Ode to a Dewdrop, and is currently halfway through his 100th page of script. Winkle I believe to be recovering from a broken leg, which ailment he incurred while attempting to mount a horse, and falling off the other side in the process. Tupman is In Love again. Mr Pickwick was last observed near a Hampstead pond, carrying a net and a large preserves jar.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: -abe- on August 16, 2015, 12:53:05 PM
Big Dickens fan.

Dickens novels read:

Oliver Twist
Nicholous Nickleby
A Christmas Carol
Martin Chuzzlewit
Dombey and Son (did not like this one!)
Hard Times
David Copperfield
Bleak House
A Tale of Two Cities
Great Expectations


I avoided reading The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge because they were considered the lesser of his works, though I wish I had also not bothered with "Dombey and Son" which I simply didn't like. The rest of the works I've read range from good to excellent. And too much video-game/internet nonsense has kept me from completing the last two of his novels I've intended to read -- "Little Dorrit" and "Our Mutual Friend."

I love most of the above novels as all time great reads. I experienced Great Expectations purely as an audiobook and it was a captivating experience. Unfortunately I forget who the reader was -- it was either Martin Jarvis or Simon Vance!

All time favorite Dickens experience? Perhaps my second reading of Bleak House, likely his magnum opus.



Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: -abe- on August 16, 2015, 01:01:50 PM
It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no_elVGGgW8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no_elVGGgW8)

 ;D
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 16, 2015, 01:08:52 PM
It will be interesting to see where I rate Bleak House when I have finished it.  It will be difficult to beat out Copperfield, but has a chance of trumping the others. 

And welcome to the club -abe-!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 16, 2015, 11:18:56 PM
I avoided reading The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge because they were considered the lesser of his works

I recommend them. They are probably his most underrated novels and definitely worth a read. There was actually a time when Barnaby was my favorite Dickens novel of all time.

Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 16, 2015, 11:20:41 PM
And too much video-game/internet nonsense has kept me from completing the last two of his novels I've intended to read -- "Little Dorrit" and "Our Mutual Friend."

Read them. Now.  $:)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 17, 2015, 12:24:03 AM
I realise I haven't made a clear statement of Dickensian commitment, so here goes:

Pickwick comes top of the pile by a huge distance.
Tale of Two Cities kept me up all night when I was living in a bedsit 45 years ago.
Great Expectations grabbed me enough to make me seek out the 'old forge' that had partly inspired the tale.

Honourable mentions to:
David Copperfield
Christmas Carol
Oliver Twist
Old Curiosity Shop

Have started others (Nickleby, Chuzzlewit) but never finished them.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 17, 2015, 12:28:55 AM
(http://www.foodsubs.com/Photos/polishsausage.jpg)

It was the best of times, it was the wurst of times ...
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 17, 2015, 02:10:28 AM
Knack it off, brat!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 17, 2015, 03:44:56 AM
Ironic how I'm part of the Pickwick club, yet I never have actually read Pickwick all the way through. :P After having finished re-reading Dombey and Copperfield in english (much more enjoyable that way), I'll perhaps give it a try.

Btw, Christmas carol technically isn't a novel... not that this fact diminishes its value in any way.  0:) Apart from Carol, Dickens's best Christmas stories are Dr. Marigold and Wreck of the golden Mary, IMO.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 17, 2015, 04:01:38 AM
Ironic how I'm part of the Pickwick club, yet I never have actually read Pickwick all the way through. :P

I'm still working on it.  The fact that both Alan and my dear brother Kurt think so highly of it, is keeping me on task.  Or, would, if these bits of music did not demand that I write them (cf. Evil plans don't hatch themselves).
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 17, 2015, 04:52:23 AM
Ironic how I'm part of the Pickwick club, yet I never have actually read Pickwick all the way through.

Well, it's full of flaws, of course (I have big flaws too, but my Grandma still loved me.) It started out in such a 'conventional' way, as words to run alongside the etchings of a popular artist; then it became a success in itself, with accompanying etchings from Phiz; then Dickens started to twist the emphasis of the tale away from the comic towards something more serious and moralistic etc. So it isn't in any way a classic example of what a great novel should be because it lacks a sense of overarching unity. But when push comes to shove, you can't help loving the things you love, and it's stuck with me as a valued companion for a big chunk of my life.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 17, 2015, 04:59:30 AM
then Dickens started to twist the emphasis of the tale away from the comic towards something more serious and moralistic etc.

Aye, though even then I've heard that there is a pretty big leap from Pickwick's mostly gentle humor to biting satire of Oliver Twist (I actually started my Dickens journey with that novel).
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 17, 2015, 05:25:30 AM
it lacks a sense of overarching unity.

Yes, it wasn't until Dombey that Dickens began to systematically plan his novels ahead. Before that, it was picaresque, kind of improvisation, instead of solid plot and goal from the beginning. In some cases, the plot wasn't very strong even in his more mature novels (as much as I love Little Dorrit, that inheritance mumbo jumbo was stupid, just stupid, with a capital S) and Dickens tends to rely more on fortunate coincidences and secret inheritances rather than clever plot development. But it doesn't matter because Dickens creates capital characters, shows remarkable atmosphere handling, handles humor with great, even exaggerated satire and is tremendously "quotable" author, with several witty lines or philosophical remarks.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 17, 2015, 07:41:43 AM
Aye, though even then I've heard that there is a pretty big leap from Pickwick's mostly gentle humor to biting satire of Oliver Twist.

Yes, but that's alright because it's a different book with a different aim. When you pick up Pickwick you go on for ages thinking, oh yes, this is a fun book; then much, much later you think 'Hang on, this isn't what I bargained for!' A bit like laughing with your favourite comedian for half an hour and then finding him delivering a sad moral homily for the final 15 minutes. But of course the book is what it is, and you take it for what it is, or leave it. I chose to take it.

It's the kind of situation that causes me to remind myself from time to time of Paul McCartney's response to criticism of the Beatles White album - you know, of being too long, or too uneven in quality, or self-indulgent, or whatever. His response: 'It's the Beatles White album. Shut up.'
Same with Pickwick, really.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 17, 2015, 07:47:53 AM
Btw, I am not implying Pickwick is going to suck when I read it. Anything that launched 24-year old author to such a fame cannot be a bad book, right?  8) I was merely commenting on Pickwick's "early installment weirdness".
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 17, 2015, 07:53:32 AM
Well, it's full of flaws, of course (I have big flaws too, but my Grandma still loved me.) It started out in such a 'conventional' way, as words to run alongside the etchings of a popular artist; then it became a success in itself, with accompanying etchings from Phiz; then Dickens started to twist the emphasis of the tale away from the comic towards something more serious and moralistic etc. So it isn't in any way a classic example of what a great novel should be because it lacks a sense of overarching unity. But when push comes to shove, you can't help loving the things you love, and it's stuck with me as a valued companion for a big chunk of my life.

When (with an eye to what I might read next) I asked my brother which Dickens work was his favorite, right away he said Pickwick.  Much as he likes practically all the Dickens he has read, when Kurt got the end of Pickwick, he felt the pang of good friends having passed out of his life.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 17, 2015, 10:45:34 AM
When (with an eye to what I might read next) I asked my brother which Dickens work was his favorite, right away he said Pickwick.  Much as he likes practically all the Dickens he has read, when Kurt got the end of Pickwick, he felt the pang of good friends having passed out of his life.

Yes, that's pretty much how I saw it too; except, I'm delighted to say, they stayed pretty close.

My Top Pickwickian Tip: If you read it, Karl, make sure you get an edition with all the illustrations (mostly by Phiz, with a few by Seymour at the start). A whole dimension will be missing if you don't.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 17, 2015, 04:53:50 PM
Well, it's full of flaws, of course (I have big flaws too, but my Grandma still loved me.)


It's the kind of situation that causes me to remind myself from time to time of Paul McCartney's response to criticism of the Beatles White album - you know, of being too long, or too uneven in quality, or self-indulgent, or whatever. His response: 'It's the Beatles White album. Shut up.'

I'm just trying to figure out which quote I enjoyed more. :)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 18, 2015, 11:36:18 AM
All this chat has inspired me to take my Pickwick off the shelf again, and I wondered if anyone would mind if I indulged myself by posting a few photos? Flashing back to my earlier post about the search for a nice edition, I ought to say that it took me many years to stumble across a nice early edition that was an affordable bargain, and this is the one I eventually settled for. It's an 1887 edition, with a nice 19th-century feel to it. Of course by this date the original etched plates were long worn to a frazzle, and these I think must be lithographed facsimiles of the originals. They're of very high quality; as long as you don't take a magnifying glass to them, they're good enough to give the feeling of the actual etchings.

So it's not a first edition, and not even published in Dickens's lifetime, so there's a lot of itch still to scratch - but still it's a Chapman & Hall publication, and it has lovely crisp crinkly 19th-century paper, and it's a smashing thing to have.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%201_zpseqxkcr0s.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%202_zpse7svcrxm.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%204_zps9gywrots.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%203_zpsnnq9k8rr.jpg)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 18, 2015, 12:11:16 PM
Very nice indeed; a lovely asset to have on your shelf  8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 18, 2015, 02:17:57 PM
All this chat has inspired me to take my Pickwick off the shelf again, and I wondered if anyone would mind if I indulged myself by posting a few photos? Flashing back to my earlier post about the search for a nice edition, I ought to say that it took me many years to stumble across a nice early edition that was an affordable bargain, and this is the one I eventually settled for. It's an 1887 edition, with a nice 19th-century feel to it. Of course by this date the original etched plates were long worn to a frazzle, and these I think must be lithographed facsimiles of the originals. They're of very high quality; as long as you don't take a magnifying glass to them, they're good enough to give the feeling of the actual etchings.

So it's not a first edition, and not even published in Dickens's lifetime, so there's a lot of itch still to scratch - but still it's a Chapman & Hall publication, and it has lovely crisp crinkly 19th-century paper, and it's a smashing thing to have.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%201_zpseqxkcr0s.jpg)



(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%202_zpse7svcrxm.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%204_zps9gywrots.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/Pickwick%203_zpsnnq9k8rr.jpg)

Wow!  Very nice.  Funny, at work today I decided to read Pickwick again during my lunches....on my iPad Kindle App!  Would have been cool to have Dickens see both of these formats happening at once.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: kishnevi on August 18, 2015, 06:55:48 PM
Yes, that's pretty much how I saw it too; except, I'm delighted to say, they stayed pretty close.

My Top Pickwickian Tip: If you read it, Karl, make sure you get an edition with all the illustrations (mostly by Phiz, with a few by Seymour at the start). A whole dimension will be missing if you don't.

My copy is a stout paperback from the Everyman's Library with not merely  the original illustrations, but four samples of Browne/Phiz's revisions to some of his earlier engravings.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on August 18, 2015, 11:26:20 PM
Wow!  Very nice.  Funny, at work today I decided to read Pickwick again during my lunches....on my iPad Kindle App! Would have been cool to have Dickens see both of these formats happening at once.

Do you get the pictures on that, Bill?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 29, 2015, 12:18:23 PM
I have recently finished reading Nicholas Nickleby. It took me quite a long time to finish it not because it is a very long book [which it undoubtedly is] but simply because I did not find it compulsive reading. I found myself putting the book down and not returning to it for a few days at a time. Although there were obvious allusions to social justice issues I felt that this aspect was not as hard hitting as in other novels by Dickens. I also felt that the plot was not very strong nor was the character development particularly in-depth. These issues are all relative of course when compared with his obviously greater works but one particular gripe that I have with the book is the two Cheeryble brothers who assume an almost fairy godfather status.
The impression that I am left with after my read is a relatively light hearted read of a not too credible set of circumstances and personages all of whom live an existence with an almost predetermined outcome and a happy ever after conclusion with the obvious exception of poor Smike who was the token casualty after all of the bad guys got their just deserts.
Am I being a bit too harsh here?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 29, 2015, 01:22:16 PM
I have recently finished reading Nicholas Nickleby. It took me quite a long time to finish it not because it is a very long book [which it undoubtedly is] but simply because I did not find it compulsive reading. I found myself putting the book down and not returning to it for a few days at a time. Although there were obvious allusions to social justice issues I felt that this aspect was not as hard hitting as in other novels by Dickens. I also felt that the plot was not very strong nor was the character development particularly in-depth. These issues are all relative of course when compared with his obviously greater works but one particular gripe that I have with the book is the two Cheeryble brothers who assume an almost fairy godfather status.
The impression that I am left with after my read is a relatively light hearted read of a not too credible set of circumstances and personages all of whom live an existence with an almost predetermined outcome and a happy ever after conclusion with the obvious exception of poor Smike who was the token casualty after all of the bad guys got their just deserts.
Am I being a bit too harsh here?

Not really.  I have yet to finish this one, but am able to pick it up a year later and read some of it.  Help me out, but I do not remember the settings being described in the detail that Dickens sometimes affords them.  Is my memory correct on this?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: -abe- on August 29, 2015, 01:35:19 PM
I remember reading that one and enjoying it. It was all so very lighthearted. And do I remember correctly...the main character's mother was hilariously long-winded? That made me laugh every time.


Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: -abe- on August 29, 2015, 01:36:55 PM
The 2002 film is a decent flick. It changes some things around but all in all it's one of the better Dickens cinematic adaptations.

Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 30, 2015, 02:43:24 AM
Not really.  I have yet to finish this one, but am able to pick it up a year later and read some of it.  Help me out, but I do not remember the settings being described in the detail that Dickens sometimes affords them.  Is my memory correct on this?

Your memory is fine in this regard. That, in fact, is one of the points of issue with the novel; a good deal of editing would have done no harm. I understand the periodical nature of the publication of the Dickens novels from a commercial point of view, but when the novel is presented as a single edition the flow is inhibited [IMHO] by its very length.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 30, 2015, 02:51:17 AM
I remember reading that one and enjoying it. It was all so very lighthearted. And do I remember correctly...the main character's mother was hilariously long-winded? That made me laugh every time.

You are certainly correct there. Just to reiterate my point she was one of my bugbears; her monologues got me irritated after a while and I found myself skipping over almost a whole page at a time! Yes it was character building technique but, for me, it was over elaborately done and ultimately ineffective for me as it just made her character tiresome and I just wanted to ignore her! Funny the way something can have such opposite effects on two people; part of the joy of Art I suppose.  :)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 30, 2015, 03:48:17 AM
but one particular gripe that I have with the book is the two Cheeryble brothers who assume an almost fairy godfather status.

Yes and the eleventh-hour-appearance of their nephew who serves no other purpose than to be husband to Kate. Apparently even back when this book was serialized, it bugged the critics, which made Dickens defend this coincidence in the novel itself by having Tim Linkinwater to contemplate on it in chapter 43. I agree, the plot is a mess. I enjoy Mrs. Nickleby but it bothers me a bit how cruel it was of Dickens to base the character on his own mother. Tragi-comically, Charles's mother apparently didn't recognize herself and asked him whether he thought there ever could be such a woman in existence. Dickens made fun of this in a letter to his friend. His novels are remarkably full of bad or incompetent mothers. His mother problem run deep.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on August 30, 2015, 03:57:02 AM
The 2002 film is a decent flick. It changes some things around but all in all it's one of the better Dickens cinematic adaptations.

Agree whole heartedly.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on August 30, 2015, 04:30:28 AM
Yes and the eleventh-hour-appearance of their nephew who serves no other purpose than to be husband to Kate. Apparently even back when this book was serialized, it bugged the critics, which made Dickens defend this coincidence in the novel itself by having Tim Linkinwater to contemplate on it in chapter 43. I agree, the plot is a mess. I enjoy Mrs. Nickleby but it bothers me a bit how cruel it was of Dickens to base the character on his own mother. Tragi-comically, Charles's mother apparently didn't recognize herself and asked him whether he thought there ever could be such a woman in existence. Dickens made fun of this in a letter to his friend. His novels are remarkably full of bad or incompetent mothers. His mother problem run deep.

Interesting; I was not aware of that.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 27, 2015, 07:17:31 AM
Hi, I just bought a complete set of Dickens BBC vids from Amazon.uk. The odd part is that the box and subtitles are in Dutch (that one can get rid of). However, this was the best buy for the films I actually wanted to see, tried different combinations but this was the cheapest and most inclusive by far. I am finally getting around to catch up on those novels I never read from a complete set that has been sitting in a box for years. Just finished Little Dorrit, Martin Chuzzlewit and am now doing Our Mutual Friend.
Naturally, I wanted to see how they depicted the debtors' prison in Dorrit. Apparently, the actual building, Marshalsea, was renovated shortly before Dickens' time. Before that it was a notoriously abusive and unsanitary place. 
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 27, 2015, 10:03:57 AM
Hi, I just bought a complete set of Dickens BBC vids from Amazon.uk. The odd part is that the box and subtitles are in Dutch (that one can get rid of). However, this was the best buy for the films I actually wanted to see, tried different combinations but this was the cheapest and most inclusive by far. I am finally getting around to catch up on those novels I never read from a complete set that has been sitting in a box for years. Just finished Little Dorrit, Martin Chuzzlewit and am now doing Our Mutual Friend.
Naturally, I wanted to see how they depicted the debtors' prison in Dorrit. Apparently, the actual building, Marshalsea, was renovated shortly before Dickens' time. Before that it was a notoriously abusive and unsanitary place.

I have Vol. 2 of this set.  The Vol. 1 set is on my wishlist.  Welcome to the club.  I took the liberty of adding your name to the list on the very first post. :)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on November 27, 2015, 10:18:18 AM
Hi, I just bought a complete set of Dickens BBC vids from Amazon.uk. The odd part is that the box and subtitles are in Dutch (that one can get rid of). However, this was the best buy for the films I actually wanted to see, tried different combinations but this was the cheapest and most inclusive by far. I am finally getting around to catch up on those novels I never read from a complete set that has been sitting in a box for years. Just finished Little Dorrit, Martin Chuzzlewit and am now doing Our Mutual Friend.
Naturally, I wanted to see how they depicted the debtors' prison in Dorrit. Apparently, the actual building, Marshalsea, was renovated shortly before Dickens' time. Before that it was a notoriously abusive and unsanitary place.

Yes indeed, welcome to the club and enjoy your reading and viewing  :)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 27, 2015, 11:15:32 PM
Thanks for the hospitality. My re-entry to the world of Dickens is having some freed up time to read and a box of the complete works that has a strange history, but fortuitous in that it ended up with me rather than on the garbage heap.

Right now on eBay, the same 36 volume collection published by Heron is selling for $195 but I saw it listed for more in the past. The point is the people getting rid of it, since they allegedly "didn't have room" are not uneducated, one of them being a lawyer. My husband took this unwanted baggage off their hands and waited for some holiday, don't remember which, to give me as a present!

Many years in between since I read David Copperfield and Tale of Two Cities in high school, and of course other popular novels of his along the way, I am more appreciative now of his artistry as a wordsmith. The way he evokes scenery as in the beginning of Martin Chuzzlewit, is really exceptional. I was also impressed by the fact that most of his novels were done in installments, imposing a kind of structure and discipline like musical form. It might be that Our Mutual Friend is a weaker link, but I am not finished that yet, so will not form an opinion yet.

Right now there is an enticing vintage collection on eBay with bids starting from £1.50! If I didn't have one already, I would be sorely tempted. I just tell myself as with the lawyer's family, I don't have room for more in already groaning bookcases, filled with two and three deep with volumes also on top of one another, not to mention music scores that compete for space...

ZB
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on November 28, 2015, 02:31:42 AM
Thanks for the hospitality. My re-entry to the world of Dickens is having some freed up time to read and a box of the complete works that has a strange history, but fortuitous in that it ended up with me rather than on the garbage heap.

Right now on eBay, the same 36 volume collection published by Heron is selling for $195 but I saw it listed for more in the past. The point is the people getting rid of it, since they allegedly "didn't have room" are not uneducated, one of them being a lawyer. My husband took this unwanted baggage off their hands and waited for some holiday, don't remember which, to give me as a present!

Many years in between since I read David Copperfield and Tale of Two Cities in high school, and of course other popular novels of his along the way, I am more appreciative now of his artistry as a wordsmith. The way he evokes scenery as in the beginning of Martin Chuzzlewit, is really exceptional. I was also impressed by the fact that most of his novels were done in installments, imposing a kind of structure and discipline like musical form. It might be that Our Mutual Friend is a weaker link, but I am not finished that yet, so will not form an opinion yet.

Right now there is an enticing vintage collection on eBay with bids starting from £1.50! If I didn't have one already, I would be sorely tempted. I just tell myself as with the lawyer's family, I don't have room for more in already groaning bookcases, filled with two and three deep with volumes also on top of one another, not to mention music scores that compete for space...

ZB


That is the set that I also own. They are well made, nicely bound and wonderfully illustrated and lovely to handle. Interestingly, somewhat like his novels, the set was originally offered in inatallments, one book each month, and that was the way that I collected it.  :)


(http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjAw/z/ozcAAOSwsFpWTwAi/$_57.JPG)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: North Star on November 28, 2015, 03:50:27 AM
Hm, reminds me of Abelardo Morell (http://www.abelardomorell.net/posts/books/)'s work...  8)

(http://dev.abelardomorell.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Tale-Two-Cities_01_slide.jpg)

(http://dev.abelardomorell.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Four-Old-Books_95_slide.jpg)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 28, 2015, 03:56:27 AM
That is the set that I also own. They are well made, nicely bound and wonderfully illustrated and lovely to handle. Interestingly, somewhat like his novels, the set was originally offered in inatallments, one book each month, and that was the way that I collected it.  :)

After perusing all the collections on eBay just now, I think we got the best lot. Even more so, if the collection were patiently built up bit by bit, how could this family get rid of it so carelessly? Oh well, their loss is my gain!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 28, 2015, 04:29:52 AM
Hm, reminds me of Abelardo Morell (http://www.abelardomorell.net/posts/books/)'s work...  8)

(http://dev.abelardomorell.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Tale-Two-Cities_01_slide.jpg)

(http://dev.abelardomorell.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Four-Old-Books_95_slide.jpg)
OK the first is Tale of Two Kitties (Cities) but what is the 2nd picture?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2015, 05:09:29 AM
Hm, reminds me of Abelardo Morell (http://www.abelardomorell.net/posts/books/)'s work...  8)

(http://dev.abelardomorell.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Tale-Two-Cities_01_slide.jpg)

(http://dev.abelardomorell.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Four-Old-Books_95_slide.jpg)

Love that second shot!  Added your name to the registrar as well, North Star.  Anyone who contribute to this page is in!  And your insights on topics across this forum are always top shelf so your name is a plus to put with ours. :)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2015, 05:11:19 AM

That is the set that I also own. They are well made, nicely bound and wonderfully illustrated and lovely to handle. Interestingly, somewhat like his novels, the set was originally offered in inatallments, one book each month, and that was the way that I collected it.  :)




Does this set have the original illustrations?  Any intros at the start of each book by a Dickens' expert/fan?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: North Star on November 28, 2015, 05:32:25 AM
Love that second shot!  Added your name to the registrar as well, North Star.  Anyone who contribute to this page is in!  And your insights on topics across this forum are always top shelf so your name is a plus to put with ours. :)

Thank you for your much too kind words, Bill. However, I strongly suspect that I am not worthy of the honour, as I have only read half of Bleak House in translation almost a decade ago (I don't remember exactly why I let it slide, although I suspect that the impatience of youth, school work and wanting to read it in the original language all played a part) and a couple of sentences from the opening of A Tale of Two Cities. I do intend to acquaint myself with the Victorian writer's work in due course, naturally.

Karlo
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2015, 05:44:41 AM
Thank you for your much too kind words, Bill. However, I strongly suspect that I am not worthy of the honour, as I have only read half of Bleak House in translation almost a decade ago (I don't remember exactly why I let it slide, although I suspect that the impatience of youth, school work and wanting to read it in the original language all played a part) and a couple of sentences from the opening of A Tale of Two Cities. I do intend to acquaint myself with the Victorian writer's work in due course, naturally.

Karlo

Karlo, it is a pleasure to have you post here when you can.  And it does not have to be only reading.  Movies, tv, artwork, or anything that may connect to the author is most welcome.  And as you might see from other posts, not all of his work thrill us all at the same levels, if at all and this is a perfect page to criticize or hold different opinions of different works.  In fact, those differing opinions and most welcomed.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 28, 2015, 06:16:49 AM
Does this set have the original illustrations?  Any intros at the start of each book by a Dickens' expert/fan?

Our Heron collection has introductions by noted writers and scholars. The illustrations are by "Phiz" I just looked over some books on eBay from 1867 and there are different pictures for Little Dorrit so am not sure when and where they come from. At any rate, here is something about his chief illustrator, "Phiz":

"Perhaps the most significant illustrator for Charles Dickens was Hablot Knight Browne (b. 1815) who contributed, over a twenty three year period, his work and dedication to illustrating his work...Browne most benefited from the untimely death of Robert Seymour, when he succeeded him as Dickens’ illustrator for the Pickwick Papers, 1836... Browne was one of Dickens’s chief illustrators, who contributed to more than 700 designs in both steel and wood to 10 out of 15 of Dickens’ major novels. Browne illustrated for Dickens for over a course of twenty-three years, between the periods of 1836 to 1859."

http://capping.slis.ualberta.ca/cap07/KathyConn/index4.htm
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on November 28, 2015, 06:30:31 AM
Does this set have the original illustrations?  Any intros at the start of each book by a Dickens' expert/fan?

Currently reading Edwin Drood [Heron] with an introduction by Malcolm Elwin and illustrations by Luck Fildes if that is of any help to you.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2015, 07:30:50 AM
Currently reading Edwin Drood [Heron] with an introduction by Malcolm Elwin and illustrations by Luck Fildes if that is of any help to you.

Thanks!  From David Purdue's Dickens site:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood was published in monthly parts Apr 1870 - Sep 1870.

Dickens asked his son-in-law Charles Collins to illustrate Edwin Drood. Collins, who married Dickens' daughter Kate, and was the brother of Dickens' friend Wilkie Collins, produced the cover design and the title page vignette before bowing out due to ill health. Dickens then turned to Luke Fildes to illustrate the monthly numbers. Fildes produced 12 illustrations before the novel abruptly ended when Dickens died on June 9, 1870.

Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on November 28, 2015, 07:38:00 AM
Thanks!  From David Purdue's Dickens site:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood was published in monthly parts Apr 1870 - Sep 1870.

Dickens asked his son-in-law Charles Collins to illustrate Edwin Drood. Collins, who married Dickens' daughter Kate, and was the brother of Dickens' friend Wilkie Collins, produced the cover design and the title page vignette before bowing out due to ill health. Dickens then turned to Luke Fildes to illustrate the monthly numbers. Fildes produced 12 illustrations before the novel abruptly ended when Dickens died on June 9, 1870.


Great; thank you for that intetesting information. They are fine illustrations and I particularly like them.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: North Star on November 28, 2015, 07:42:26 AM
Karlo, it is a pleasure to have you post here when you can.  And it does not have to be only reading.  Movies, tv, artwork, or anything that may connect to the author is most welcome.  And as you might see from other posts, not all of his work thrill us all at the same levels, if at all and this is a perfect page to criticize or hold different opinions of different works.  In fact, those differing opinions and most welcomed.
Well, there's always this bit from The Simpsons - a few years before they hired the writers shown here...
https://www.youtube.com/v/no_elVGGgW8
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2015, 08:06:28 AM
My best friend worked on the show off and on for a number of years.! I'll have to see if that episode is one that he worked on! :laugh:
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: North Star on November 28, 2015, 08:11:44 AM
My best friend worked on the show off and on for a number of years.! I'll have to see if that episode is one that he worked on! :laugh:
I hope it was in the early years  ::)

It's from this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Exit_to_Springfield) episode, with Homer as the trade union leader in a strike.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2015, 08:29:00 AM
I believe his earliest is from '97.

Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: North Star on November 28, 2015, 08:40:18 AM
I believe his earliest is from '97.
Now we know who to blame.  ;)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 28, 2015, 08:50:19 AM
I hope it was in the early years  ::)

It's from this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Exit_to_Springfield) episode, with Homer as the trade union leader in a strike.

Cartoons pushing social agenda again. The question is WHO makes the decisions?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: North Star on November 28, 2015, 08:54:51 AM
Cartoons pushing social agenda again. The question is WHO makes the decisions?
Huh? Mr. Burns revoked the union's dental plan, offering a keg of beer for the union meeting instead, and Homer didn't accept - naturally only because Lisa needed braces.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2015, 10:00:08 AM
Cartoons pushing social agenda again. The question is WHO makes the decisions?

This is actually an interesting question, and here a connection between social commentary and Dickens.

http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/dickens/diniejko.html
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Jo498 on November 28, 2015, 10:42:28 AM
Naturally, I wanted to see how they depicted the debtors' prison in Dorrit. Apparently, the actual building, Marshalsea, was renovated shortly before Dickens' time. Before that it was a notoriously abusive and unsanitary place.

I think I have seen the BBC "Little Dorrit" on German TV  a year or two ago. The prison actually looked quite o.k. in that show...

Also "Great expectations", but I am not sure if that one was the BBC one.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 28, 2015, 09:25:37 PM
This is actually an interesting question, and here a connection between social commentary and Dickens.
http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/dickens/diniejko.html

At least one knew who was the author back then, Dickens, but cartoons frequently promote one side of a social issue, usually the politically correct one. What a great way to indoctrinate children! There are too many instances to count in the Simpsons but the most recent I saw by chance as I don't normally watch cartoons, was pooh-poohing creationism over evolution as though you really have to be stupid to believe in the first. Family Guy is even worse.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 28, 2015, 09:33:15 PM
I think I have seen the BBC "Little Dorrit" on German TV  a year or two ago. The prison actually looked quite o.k. in that show...Also "Great expectations", but I am not sure if that one was the BBC one.

The oppression of the debtor's prison was more psychological: "give up hope all you enter here". As opposed to the workhouse, the inmates were seemingly idle. Little Dorrit was able to inject some sanity and hope into her family, as well as some money, by working on the outside and finding positions for her siblings. Otherwise, those like her uncle, lost interest in taking care of himself, to the extent of not washing. Her father, like Dickens' escaped into a fantasy world. There may have been a minimum of cleanliness and order compared to the miserable conditions of the first Marshalsea, but the mental depression was too heavy to bear and so expressed itself in a devil-may-care environment.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 29, 2015, 05:09:25 AM
I have yet to read Little Dorrit.  I started reading Dickens a number of years ago and decided that it was my goal to read all his works at least once.  (However, I usually read a few books between his works as well.)  Some of the novels I have been spacing apart so there is still what some consider his "best" stuff spread out through my journey.  The other piece I have put into play was making sure to veer away from any film depictions of his stories until I have read the book.  I am a bit over 600 pages into Bleak House and cannot wait to watch the mini series with Gillian Anderson.  However, I did allow myself this morning only this preview of the characters:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/bleakhouse/whos_who.html
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on November 29, 2015, 05:21:45 AM
I have yet to read Little Dorrit.  I started reading Dickens a number of years ago and decided that it was my goal to read all his works at least once.  (However, I usually read a few books between his works as well.)  Some of the novels I have been spacing apart so there is still what some consider his "best" stuff spread out through my journey.  The other piece I have put into play was making sure to veer away from any film depictions of his stories until I have read the book.  I am a bit over 600 pages into Bleak House and cannot wait to watch the mini series with Gillian Anderson.  However, I did allow myself this morning only this preview of the characters:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/bleakhouse/whos_who.html

Well, I thought similarly, not to hear too many recordings of a piece before I assimilated it myself. But like Bleak House, the interpretation came first and spurred my interest to read it. This particular mini series is worth waiting for however.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 29, 2015, 05:36:09 AM
Well, I thought similarly, not to hear too many recordings of a piece before I assimilated it myself. But like Bleak House, the interpretation came first and spurred my interest to read it. This particular mini series is worth waiting for however.

Good to hear.  My wife loved the series.  She has not read the novel, but I am begging her to, though I believe David Copperfield would be a better entry point for her as I can see now that it was for me.  The one thing I am enjoying about the novel at this time is that Dickens seems to be less inclined to get off on tangents that do not connect well with the novel itself.  It has been described as a labyrinth of plot lines by the director of the mini series, but I have been enjoying that part of the journey.  However, because of this maze, I would not recommend it for an intro into Dickens.  Either way, it's one heck of a book and one that I will revisit again once all of his works have been read. 
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on December 07, 2015, 03:17:48 AM
I have recently started to read Edwin Drood and I must admit that I am finding it difficult to continue to pick it up or to motivate myself to continue reading. I have just finished chapter seven and we are still being introduced to new characters but without any perceptible development of a plot. Does it develop into anything interesting?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on December 07, 2015, 06:03:42 AM
Does it develop into anything interesting?

No-one knows since Charles never lived to finish it. Dickens planned some epic condemned cell scene in the end with the murderer (do I really need to mention the name of that person, it's pretty blatantly obvious) a la Fagin in Oliver Twist. In fact, some critic noted that Dickens probably was going to go even further than with Bradley Headstone, in depicting murderer's psyche and dual-personality. The murderer of this book was probably going to literally have several personalities. Drood is one of the only novels of his that I have yet to read so I can't form an opinion about the book yet. But I must admit that the previous book, Our Mutual Friend, had pretty slow development at times, which often enough works great but then there are pages and pages where he keebs blabbing about "Our lords and gentlemen and honorable boards" when praising Betty Higden. Hell, it took until book 2 to introduce Fascination Fledgeby and Bradley Headstone, two of the four major villains of the book. But it's still one of my favorite books from him.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 07, 2015, 06:10:36 AM
Most interesting, thanks.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on December 07, 2015, 07:10:10 AM
No-one knows since Charles never lived to finish it. Dickens planned some epic condemned cell scene in the end with the murderer (do I really need to mention the name of that person, it's pretty blatantly obvious) a la Fagin in Oliver Twist. In fact, some critic noted that Dickens probably was going to go even further than with Bradley Headstone, in depicting murderer's psyche and dual-personality. The murderer of this book was probably going to literally have several personalities. Drood is one of the only novels of his that I have yet to read so I can't form an opinion about the book yet. But I must admit that the previous book, Our Mutual Friend, had pretty slow development at times, which often enough works great but then there are pages and pages where he keebs blabbing about "Our lords and gentlemen and honorable boards" when praising Betty Higden. Hell, it took until book 2 to introduce Fascination Fledgeby and Bradley Headstone, two of the four major villains of the book. But it's still one of my favorite books from him.

Thank you for that. Yes, I understand that Dickens did not live to complete it so perhaps he was ruminating more as he got older. There are 299 pages in this edition [Heron] and so far it has taken 74 pages to indroduce [I hope] the main protgonists. However, I will persist!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 09, 2015, 08:38:03 AM
I've been writing Christmas cards the last couple of days, and thought maybe a little touch of Pickwickian Christmas might be appropriate at this point?

See you in Dingley Dell on 25th.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/pickwick001a_zpsuyxqwqch.jpg)

Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on December 09, 2015, 02:02:10 PM
Looking forward to a Yule tide punch and some mince pies  8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 20, 2015, 05:33:35 PM
I've been writing Christmas cards the last couple of days, and thought maybe a little touch of Pickwickian Christmas might be appropriate at this point?

See you in Dingley Dell on 25th.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Alan_/pickwick001a_zpsuyxqwqch.jpg)

Excellent!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 20, 2015, 05:35:15 PM
And to been at this table:

http://blog.oup.com/2012/12/cratchits-dinner-christmas-carol/
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 20, 2015, 08:11:58 PM
Inspector Bucket is on the case!  About 100 pages from completing my first read of Bleak House.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 21, 2015, 01:02:44 AM
And to been at this table:

http://blog.oup.com/2012/12/cratchits-dinner-christmas-carol/

Oh yes, more pudding, please. And God bless us, every one.

Incidentally (and almost irrelevantly, although it does refer to the possible consequences of a meal rather than the meal itself), I've always enjoyed the brilliance of this bit of Scroogean conversation with Marley's ghost:

"You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 21, 2015, 02:36:02 AM
Gentlemen, the refreshed vigor of this thread has been an example, and I have resumed my perusal of The Papers.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on December 21, 2015, 02:37:38 AM
A great admirer of Dickens here. A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and David Copperfield are the ones I know and love most. My favourite character is Betsy Trotwood in David Copperfield, although I also have a soft spot for Mr Dick and his kite. Favourite film version has to be the David Lean movie of Great Expectations, in a class of its own in regard to Dickens adaptations. When I was at university I also liked the TV serialised version of David Copperfield with Martin Jarvis as a terrific Uriah Heep and Arthur Lowe (Mr Manwering of 'Dad's Army' fame to British audiences) wonderful as Mr Micawber. The 30s movie version with W.C. Fields in the same role is also great. As for versions of A Christmas Carol the one I like best featured George C. Scott as Scrooge. I saw this with my wife at the cinema when we were first going out so maybe that colours my view of it but it is a fine version and usually available dirt cheap on DVD. A Happy Christmas to us all, one and all.  :) Recently I enjoyed visiting the Dickens House and Museum in Broadstairs, Kent.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on December 21, 2015, 02:45:52 AM
Amusingly enough, my favorite christmas carol is the one with Muppets (admittedly I haven't seen that many adaptations of it).
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on December 21, 2015, 05:15:01 AM
Amusingly enough, my favorite christmas carol is the one with Muppets (admittedly I haven't seen that many adaptations of it).
I've heard that that is good (with Michael Caine I think). Must look out for it, especially as I enjoy 'The Dark Crystal'.  8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 21, 2015, 05:15:39 AM
Amusingly enough, my favorite christmas carol is the one with Muppets (admittedly I haven't seen that many adaptations of it).

Funny.  On CBS Sunday Morning some experts tend to agree with your assessment as it being the best:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-story-of-a-christmas-carol/
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 21, 2015, 05:17:54 AM
A great admirer of Dickens here. A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and David Copperfield are the ones I know and love most. My favourite character is Betsy Trotwood in David Copperfield, although I also have a soft spot for Mr Dick and his kite. Favourite film version has to be the David Lean movie of Great Expectations, in a class of its own in regard to Dickens adaptations. When I was at university I also liked the TV serialised version of David Copperfield with Martin Jarvis as a terrific Uriah Heep and Arthur Lowe (Mr Manwering of 'Dad's Army' fame to British audiences) wonderful as Mr Micawber. The 30s movie version with W.C. Fields in the same role is also great. As for versions of A Christmas Carol the one I like best featured George C. Scott as Scrooge. I saw this with my wife at the cinema when we were first going out so maybe that colours my view of it but it is a fine version and usually available dirt cheap on DVD. A Happy Christmas to us all, one and all.  :) Recently I enjoyed visiting the Dickens House and Museum in Broadstairs, Kent.

Copperfield, even with me still needing the end of Bleak House to wrap up, is still my favorite.  And like you. it probably comes from the fact that there are too many characters that are my "favorite" and too many moments that I cannot wait to re-read again.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 21, 2015, 05:23:34 AM
Jeffrey, you may pull up a chair as we propose a toast, to you, the newest member of the Pickwick Club!  Huzzah!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 21, 2015, 05:24:00 AM
Huzzah!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 21, 2015, 07:22:57 AM
More huzzahs! Gentlemen, let us rejoice in the Pickwickian progress being made.

Am I alone in having a soft spot for the version of A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 21, 2015, 07:24:18 AM
More huzzahs! Gentlemen, let us rejoice in the Pickwickian progress being made.

Am I alone in having a soft spot for the version of A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge?

I've not seen it, so my response is a non-signifier  8)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 21, 2015, 07:33:01 AM
More huzzahs! Gentlemen, let us rejoice in the Pickwickian progress being made.

Am I alone in having a soft spot for the version of A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge?

Loved his audio version....LOVED it!  However, I thought the film version fell short.  Just my take, though.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on December 21, 2015, 07:41:14 AM
Copperfield, even with me still needing the end of Bleak House to wrap up, is still my favorite.  And like you. it probably comes from the fact that there are too many characters that are my "favorite" and too many moments that I cannot wait to re-read again.

Dickens himself thought Copperfield was his best one (not sure if I've already mentioned it). Couple of times he changed his mind momentarily (Chuzzlewit was his favorite before he wrote Copperfield and while writing Great expectations he seemed to prefer it) but ultimately always returned to David Copperfield as his "favorite child".
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on December 21, 2015, 10:36:57 AM
Jeffrey, you may pull up a chair as we propose a toast, to you, the newest member of the Pickwick Club!  Huzzah!
Am delighted to be in such distinguished company - Hurrah!  :) :) :)
Mulled Wine in celebration I think.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 21, 2015, 01:24:02 PM
Loved his audio version....LOVED it!  However, I thought the film version fell short.  Just my take, though.

Oh the film is uneven, certainly. But I found my mental image of Scrooge was changed after I saw Patrick Stewart acting the role - I hear his voice, and see his face, in my imagination.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 25, 2015, 07:34:40 PM
And I will mark part of this Christmas Day as remembering that I finished with Bleak House between dinner and desert.  A wonderful read for sure.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on December 26, 2015, 09:52:35 AM
I am right now into the 2nd volume of "Our Mutual Friend", having never read it before. It is not an easy work to penetrate, some of the prose is rather turgid and it does get a little tedious at times with intricate satires of genteel society and the circumlocutions of anything official. His facility for fitting the characters to their names is virtuosic. Maybe Scott Fitzgerald took a cue from Dickens in some of his inventive appellations.
I read that some think this is one of his best works. Has anyone read it and what do you think of it?
ZB
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2015, 10:11:16 AM
I am right now into the 2nd volume of "Our Mutual Friend", having never read it before. It is not an easy work to penetrate, some of the prose is rather turgid and it does get a little tedious at times with intricate satires of genteel society and the circumlocutions of anything official. His facility for fitting the characters to their names is virtuosic. Maybe Scott Fitzgerald took a cue from Dickens in some of his inventive appellations.
I read that some think this is one of his best works. Has anyone read it and what do you think of it?
ZB

Interesting.  I still need to get through a handful of more mainstream titles like Little Dorrit and such before I tackle this one.  However, after finishing Bleak House, I will move to a different author for some reading and then come back to Dickens in the spring or early summer.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on December 26, 2015, 10:22:08 AM
Has anyone read it and what do you think of it?
ZB

Along with Little Dorrit, Copperfield and Great Expectations OMF is one of my favorites. It has several pages that are among the worst that he ever wrote but also countless pages where he seems to be on the very height of his literary powers and are absolute joy to read.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 26, 2015, 12:16:41 PM
And I will mark part of this Christmas Day as remembering that I finished with Bleak House between dinner and desert.  A wonderful read for sure.

Congratulations! May I pass you the port and nuts?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 26, 2015, 03:53:52 PM
Congratulations! May I pass you the port and nuts?
Allow me to assist, dear fellow.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 26, 2015, 06:09:34 PM
Congratulations! May I pass you the port and nuts?

Allow me to assist, dear fellow.

Thank you, gents!
(http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/abbey/5b.jpg)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: The new erato on December 27, 2015, 04:01:23 AM
Congratulations! May I pass you the port and nuts?
Stilton with port! But that may be a post for the nitpick club?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 27, 2015, 05:29:31 AM
Stilton with port! But that may be a post for the nitpick club?

Did we invite Miss Pross as well. :) 

(Google Stilton and Miss Pross together as I did.)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 27, 2015, 08:39:13 AM
Stilton with port! But that may be a post for the nitpick club?

Stilton most welcome - either instead of, or as well as nuts. Just pass 'em all along the table to Bill (via Karl).
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 27, 2015, 08:41:52 AM
Did we invite Miss Pross as well. :) 

(Google Stilton and Miss Pross together as I did.)

A timely warning! We must all take care not to put cheese on our heads by mistake ...
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 27, 2015, 04:09:34 PM
A timely warning! We must all take care not to put cheese on our heads by mistake ...
I don't always put cheese on my head; but when I do, 'tis no mistake.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 28, 2015, 01:05:50 AM
I don't always put cheese on my head; but when I do, 'tis no mistake.

Glad to hear it Karl. It's sometimes the only sensible thing to do: but we're in agreement that whenever we take such a step, we have to mean it.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 28, 2015, 05:35:17 AM
The intentionality is all.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Brian on December 28, 2015, 11:34:08 AM
It's time for my annual Dickens read! The question is: which one should I choose next? GMGers, help me decide!

Over the last three years I've read Bleak House, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. Did A Tale of Two Cities quite a many years ago.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on December 28, 2015, 01:25:06 PM
It's time for my annual Dickens read! The question is: which one should I choose next? GMGers, help me decide!

Over the last three years I've read Bleak House, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. Did A Tale of Two Cities quite a many years ago.

Have you read Pickwick Papers?
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on December 28, 2015, 01:44:43 PM
It's time for my annual Dickens read! The question is: which one should I choose next? GMGers, help me decide!

Over the last three years I've read Bleak House, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. Did A Tale of Two Cities quite a many years ago.

Possibly Oliver Twist?  I believe my next round will be The Old Curiosity Shop.  Probably will start it in the spring.  More importantly, Brian, welcome to the Pickwick Club. 

Raise your glasses, folks!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on December 28, 2015, 02:24:01 PM

Raise your glasses, folks!

Glass raised to our latest member  :)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Elgarian on December 28, 2015, 04:12:07 PM
It's time for my annual Dickens read! The question is: which one should I choose next? GMGers, help me decide!

Well Brian this is the Pickwick Club, and you seem to me to be a man who would warm to a deeper understanding of the theory of tittlebats ... so my tip would be The Pickwick Papers. But it is like no other Dickens. In a category of its own, one might say. Still, the companionship of Sam Weller, Tupman, Snodgrass and Winkle is something not to be without.

A hearty welcome to the Club!
Title: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 28, 2015, 04:23:04 PM
I am in the agreeable throes of finishing at last the Papers of the Pickwickians. Join in, Brian!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on December 29, 2015, 06:53:21 AM
Read either Little Dorrit or Our Mutual Friend (or both), Brian. OMF requires more patience from the reader but the stuff that is good is astonishingly good. Little Dorrit is superb in most parts, except for

a) one rather moustache-twirling villain (literally) who has one of the most unlikely ends ever, even by Dickens's standards.

b) The big "secret" that is so convoluted that Wagner's essays start to feel like books made for children.

c) The title character.

And I guess at times the satire in both novels hammers the point in bit too much.

From early novels I would probably pick Old Curiosity Shop. Kind of a guilty pleasure to me.

And welcome aboard!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on January 02, 2016, 07:03:58 AM
Read either Little Dorrit or Our Mutual Friend (or both), Brian. OMF requires more patience from the reader but the stuff that is good is astonishingly good.

Just winding up Our Mutual Friend. The end was worth waiting for, almost too neat, but gratifying to know that the good guys prevail in the end. Dickens is a virtuoso word artist in any case.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on February 08, 2016, 09:17:56 AM
I have just started to read Master Humphrey's Clock.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 08, 2016, 09:21:54 AM
I am in the agreeable throes of finishing at last the Papers of the Pickwickians. Join in, Brian!

Oops! (In my partial defense, my Nook™ died, and I needed to replace the device . . . that said, I must have done so before that last post . . . .)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on February 08, 2016, 05:03:15 PM
Oops! (In my partial defense, my Nook™ died, and I needed to replace the device . . . that said, I must have done so before that last post . . . .)

Cheers, Karl!
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Brian on February 08, 2016, 07:03:19 PM
I did read Pickwick Papers this January! It was a bundle of fun, sort of like a jolly English version of Don Quixote, replacing the mean-spirited pranks with gentle satire of upper-class fools. The barbs directed at the legal system and debtor's prison struck me - all these years before Bleak House, Dickens already had his lifelong target in his sights.

But of course mostly the book is a load of fun, particularly the rival newspapers, Mr. Winkle's attempts at sport, and Sam Weller's father's concerns about the perils of marriage. I had a good time. :)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 09, 2016, 02:22:38 AM
Yes, it is good fun!  After I've cleared the snow off the cars, I'll read some more on the train . . . .
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on February 12, 2016, 08:53:27 AM
Yes, it is good fun!  After I've cleared the snow off the cars, I'll read some more on the train . . . .

Dickens and trains?  Hmmmm.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on February 23, 2016, 09:43:46 AM
I have just finished reading Master Humphrey’s Clock, a book containing great characterization and wonderful, evocative storytelling. The added bonus is, of course, the appearance and important contributions of both Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Weller senior during the course of the proceedings.



(http://www.dickens.jp/archive/mhc/mhc.gif)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on April 18, 2016, 04:15:39 AM
Uriah Heep, after being slapped by David: "Copperfield, have you taken leave of your senses?"
David: "I have taken leave of you."

Okay, as much as I disliked the "natural aversion" David feels towards Heep... that was pretty damn impressive ass-kicking line.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on April 24, 2016, 04:58:41 PM
Uriah Heep, after being slapped by David: "Copperfield, have you taken leave of your senses?"
David: "I have taken leave of you."

Okay, as much as I disliked the "natural aversion" David feels towards Heep... that was pretty damn impressive ass-kicking line.

Indeed. 

About to start watching this in installments:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/812grWrAjIL._SX342_.jpg)

The reviews are good to excellent, so I am hopeful.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on April 25, 2016, 06:16:16 AM
I'm rewatching the Emmy award-winning BBC miniseries about Little Dorrit. Impressive, most impressive. Anton Lesser superbly humanises mr. Merdle, as does Tom Courtenay with William Dorrit. The real gem is Andy Serkis as Monsieur Rigaud/Lagnier/Blandois, in many ways improving already one of the greatest novels ever written. In the novel Rigaud was rather one-dimensional moustache-twirler. Flintwinch's actor is pretty terrific also.

Time to make top11 of all the Dickens novels that I've read.

1. Little Dorrit
2. Our Mutual Friend
3. David Copperfield
4. Great expectations
5. The Old Curiosity Shop
6.Oliver Twist
7. Barnaby Rudge
8. A Tale of two cities
9. Hard times
10. Nicholas Nickleby
11. Dombey and son

4 more novels to go: Bleak House, Pickwick, Martin Chuzzlewit and Edwin Drood. I'm thinking of moving to Pickwick next. Not yet, but one of these days...
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on May 22, 2016, 06:43:22 AM
Otherwise the same list but now I've started to like Our Mutual Friend a bit more than Little Dorrit. In fact, as the time goes by, I like it more and more. And now I've started to like Wegg, not as much as Riderhood and Headstone, but still. Like Riderhood, he's funny which makes one enjoy his antics. In fact G.K.Chesterton said that when he's not scheming he seems like a last person likely to scheme. I could say the same thing about Riderhood too.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: zamyrabyrd on May 22, 2016, 07:44:07 AM
Otherwise the same list but now I've started to like Our Mutual Friend a bit more than Little Dorrit. In fact, as the time goes by, I like it more and more. And now I've started to like Wegg, not as much as Riderhood and Headstone, but still. Like Riderhood, he's funny which makes one enjoy his antics. In fact G.K.Chesterton said that when he's not scheming he seems like a last person likely to scheme. I could say the same thing about Riderhood too.

I ordered the BBC series after finishing Little Dorrit, Martin Chuzzlewit and Our Mutual Friend. I really enjoyed the film of Dorrit. It was interesting to see how those places must have really looked after trying to reconstruct them in my imagination.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on July 18, 2016, 12:41:58 PM
(http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02118/oldcuriosity_2118548b.jpg)


I have just opened the door [Chapter 1] to this establishment. I have not entered these premises for many a long year and I look forward to renewing my acquaintance with the occupants and its history once again.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on August 29, 2016, 06:39:26 AM
"With a disappointed face, Silas mentally consigned this parrot to regions more than tropical."

I love these getting crap past the radar-moments  :D Similar example can be found in A Christmas Carol.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on August 30, 2016, 10:02:56 PM
Indeed. 

About to start watching this in installments:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/812grWrAjIL._SX342_.jpg)

The reviews are good to excellent, so I am hopeful.
That's a very good series. I recently watched that fine old movie of 'David Copperfield' with W.C. Fields as Micawber. It is one of my favourites of the novels and the most autobiographical I think. I watched it on TV but enjoyed it so much that I have ordered the DVD version.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 23, 2016, 04:01:12 PM
Well, time for some Dickens to be brought out.  Always feel his pull this time of the year.  And will start with The Chimes tonight.

(http://charlesdickenspage.com/illustrations_web/The_Chimes/The_Chimes01.jpg)
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 24, 2016, 07:05:16 AM
For those not familiar with The Chimes story, here is the start.  It is worth your time to read Dickens personification of "the wind".  It will not take you long, and you'll be better for it. :)

http://www.online-literature.com/dickens/the-chimes/1/
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Ken B on November 24, 2016, 11:50:43 AM
For those not familiar with The Chimes story, here is the start.  It is worth your time to read Dickens personification of "the wind".  It will not take you long, and you'll be better for it. :)

http://www.online-literature.com/dickens/the-chimes/1/
I feel better already; kinder; warmer; more willing to accept even the most obnoxious GMGers, the most persistent telemarketers, the most odious politicians. I feel forgiveness flowi Oops. It's gone.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 26, 2016, 08:29:05 AM
(http://res.cloudinary.com/uktv/image/upload/b_rgb:000000,w_654,c_fill,q_90,h_367/v1444639379/pfmagp9qycvxfvjjojd3.jpg)

Enjoying Timothy Spall in the 2007 BBC production of Oliver Twist.
Title: Re: The Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 26, 2016, 08:31:01 AM
I feel better already; kinder; warmer; more willing to accept even the most obnoxious GMGers, the most persistent telemarketers, the most odious politicians. I feel forgiveness flowi Oops. It's gone.

With any post you are our newest member, Ken.  :)
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on November 26, 2016, 10:19:53 AM
Mentioned this in the reading thread but may as well mention it here, too: re-reading Little Dorrit, this time in Finnish translation from 20's. I heartily recommend Little Dorrit to anyone. It contains some of his best jokes and satire and psychological depth of the characters is mostly superb.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 26, 2016, 10:21:27 AM
Mentioned this in the reading thread but may as well mention it here, too: re-reading Little Dorrit, this time in Finnish translation from 20's. I heartily recommend Little Dorrit to anyone. It contains some of his best jokes and satire and psychological depth of the characters is mostly superb.

I'll head there after The Chimes.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on November 27, 2016, 09:33:17 AM
Finished up The Chimes.....meh.  The first part was good, but the remaining three quarters did little for me. I can see why A Christmas Carol held up and this one did not carry on as well.

Now:

Started The Battle Of Life, another Christmas Book from Dickens as a club I joined on Good Reads is about to read it.  Already am enjoying much more so than The Chimes, but we'll see how it carries through to the end.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on November 27, 2016, 09:44:08 AM
Hello, below there!

If you don't know it I strongly recommend the ghost story 'The Signalman' by Dickens (ideal for Christmas). There was a great BBC dramatisation with that fine actor Denholm Elliot which is on DVD. Apologies if I've mentioned it before.



PS it seems a bit pricey on the U.S. Amazon site but cheaper on the UK one - also part of an inexpensive boxed set of BBC Dickens dramatisations. Alternatively you could read the short story.  8)



OK - I now have a CUNNING PLAN!

Buy the DVD of Dombey and Son. It is much cheaper and comes with a freebie extra DVD of The Signalman:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dombey-and-Son-import/dp/B002P9UHD4/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1480268937&sr=1-2&keywords=dombey+and+son


Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on November 28, 2016, 07:12:18 AM
On the subject of Christmas books, not exactly a book but a Christmas story, named Wreck of the Golden Mary, is wonderful. If you ever have a chance, Bogey, do read it. It is a collaboration with Wilkie Collins and several less known authors. I admit that it sometimes gets less good when heading over to parts which Dickens himself did not write. Dickens wrote the beginning, "The Wreck".

One word of warning: I'm not sure if there is a single mention of Christmas in the whole thing. It is a Christmas story only in the sense of it being published in December 1856.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 15, 2017, 09:19:55 AM
I have (for a solid week now) at last returned in earnest to The Pickwick Club . . . Sam has just got himself busted so that he can remain at his master's side.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on January 15, 2017, 09:32:20 AM
Ah yes, good old Sam. One does not see such loyalty these days  :)
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Florestan on January 16, 2017, 05:54:18 AM
On the subject of Christmas books, not exactly a book but a Christmas story, named Wreck of the Golden Mary, is wonderful. If you ever have a chance, Bogey, do read it. It is a collaboration with Wilkie Collins and several less known authors. I admit that it sometimes gets less good when heading over to parts which Dickens himself did not write. Dickens wrote the beginning, "The Wreck".

Ah yes, good old Sam. One does not see such loyalty these days  :)

Other people write well, but Dickens writes Weller.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on January 16, 2017, 05:59:16 AM
And nope, I still haven't read Pickwick. :P I've heard much positive about Weller, the character was actually what kickstarted his prosperous career. I've heard Weller compared to Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, minus the criminality. And Dodger is uproariously funny.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on January 16, 2017, 06:00:15 AM
Other people write well, but Dickens writes Weller.

Lol, nice pun.  :laugh:
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on January 16, 2017, 08:57:30 AM
Other people write well, but Dickens writes Weller.

Excellent  8)
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2017, 05:03:56 AM
Okay, I can feel that the end is approaching (Pickwick Papers).  That feeling is to some measure, a relief:  the book has been a mix of delight, and exasperation at the wordiness.  There is ample good in the book, which is sufficient gratification;  but I am ready for it to be done.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on January 18, 2017, 08:20:08 AM
Having last week or so finished Little Dorrit, I turn to re-reading Oliver Twist, in english of course. After that I'm probably gonna tackle David Copperfield, which I have only read in finnish twice and not yet in english. Cannot wait.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 24, 2017, 06:07:56 AM
Very nearly at the end with Pickwick!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on January 24, 2017, 09:00:04 AM
Very nearly at the end with Pickwick!

How long from initial start to completion?
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 24, 2017, 09:20:39 AM
Years.  Well, at least a year.  I started, and then just neglected my Nook for months and months.


(No, definitely years:  because I started while I was still working part-time at the MFA shop . . . .)
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on January 24, 2017, 09:47:44 AM
Yes, I though I had remembered you saying that it was a long time!!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 24, 2017, 09:51:39 AM
Part of the problem is on my side.  But I have also (much more than any other Dickens I've read) often found this one a real chore to read.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on January 24, 2017, 10:20:40 AM
exasperation at the wordiness.

I hear ya. Check out this opening sentence of Book 1 chapter 8, in Our Mutual Friend:

"Whosoever had gone out of Fleet Street into the Temple at the date of this history, and had wandered disconsolate about the Temple until he stumbled on a dismal churchyard, and had looked up at the dismal windows commanding that churchyard until at the most dismal window of them all he saw a dismal boy, would in him have beheld, at one grand comprehensive swoop of the eye, the managing clerk, junior clerk, common-law clerk, conveyancing clerk, chancery clerk, every refinement and department of clerk, of Mr Mortimer Lightwood, erewhile called in the newspapers eminent solicitor."

Could he possibly have written in more verbose manner about something so simple?
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 24, 2017, 10:22:50 AM
I hear ya. Check out this opening sentence of Book 1 chapter 8, in Our Mutual Friend:

"Whosoever had gone out of Fleet Street into the Temple at the date of this history, and had wandered disconsolate about the Temple until he stumbled on a dismal churchyard, and had looked up at the dismal windows commanding that churchyard until at the most dismal window of them all he saw a dismal boy, would in him have beheld, at one grand comprehensive swoop of the eye, the managing clerk, junior clerk, common-law clerk, conveyancing clerk, chancery clerk, every refinement and department of clerk, of Mr Mortimer Lightwood, erewhile called in the newspapers eminent solicitor."

Could he possibly have written in more verbose manner about something so simple?

Well, but even that is more artful than many a passage in Pickwick, as he makes a repetition-joke of first dismal and then clerk.  I rather enjoy that sentence!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on January 24, 2017, 10:39:10 AM
I hear ya. Check out this opening sentence of Book 1 chapter 8, in Our Mutual Friend:

"Whosoever had gone out of Fleet Street into the Temple at the date of this history, and had wandered disconsolate about the Temple until he stumbled on a dismal churchyard, and had looked up at the dismal windows commanding that churchyard until at the most dismal window of them all he saw a dismal boy, would in him have beheld, at one grand comprehensive swoop of the eye, the managing clerk, junior clerk, common-law clerk, conveyancing clerk, chancery clerk, every refinement and department of clerk, of Mr Mortimer Lightwood, erewhile called in the newspapers eminent solicitor."

Could he possibly have written in more verbose manner about something so simple?

I can see that being a problem for the twitterati.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Florestan on January 25, 2017, 05:29:49 AM
I hear ya. Check out this opening sentence of Book 1 chapter 8, in Our Mutual Friend:

"Whosoever had gone out of Fleet Street into the Temple at the date of this history, and had wandered disconsolate about the Temple until he stumbled on a dismal churchyard, and had looked up at the dismal windows commanding that churchyard until at the most dismal window of them all he saw a dismal boy, would in him have beheld, at one grand comprehensive swoop of the eye, the managing clerk, junior clerk, common-law clerk, conveyancing clerk, chancery clerk, every refinement and department of clerk, of Mr Mortimer Lightwood, erewhile called in the newspapers eminent solicitor."

Could he possibly have written in more verbose manner about something so simple?

I doubt the dismal boy-cum-clerk would have described his situation as "simple".  :D
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Bogey on March 12, 2017, 10:45:38 AM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5812668/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_1

Might be right up our alley, folks!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on March 13, 2017, 05:39:02 AM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5812668/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_1

Might be right up our alley, folks!
Glad you're back!
See 'Missing Members' thread.
Here's looking at you... :)
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 13, 2017, 05:40:26 AM
A 2019 release  8)
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on April 04, 2017, 07:31:38 AM
I have never read Barnaby Rudge but have just commenced doing so.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on April 04, 2017, 07:41:25 AM
I have never read Barnaby Rudge but have just commenced doing so.

Rudge is IMO the most underrated novel by Dickens. And The Old Curiosity Shop, if you count it as underrated.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on April 04, 2017, 08:23:30 AM
I do find The Old Curiosity Shop to be a great read, oftentimes quite brutal in its portrayal of its time. But that was the mark of Dickens.
I obviously cannot comment on Barnaby Rudge yet. Interestingly, I know absolutely nothing of it so I am quite unsure what to expect which makes its commencement all the more interesting.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on May 11, 2017, 08:22:59 AM
I have never read Barnaby Rudge but have just commenced doing so.

Barnaby Rudge is proving to be a bit of a struggle. I must admit that I an finding it difficult to engage with both the plot and the characters. I will battle on for the moment nonetheless.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on May 11, 2017, 08:42:49 AM
Reading Copperfield in english. About one fourth done. Murdstone is a frighteningly accurate description of a true sadist. Can't wait till Steerforth resurfaces in the story, along with Rosa Dartle (easily the greatest woman character Dickens ever conceived) my favorite character.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: kishnevi on May 22, 2017, 06:09:57 AM
Have started reading Bleak House (which I have actually never read before). 
The edition I have has the advantage of Phiz's illustrations.
http://www.victorianweb.org/victorian/art/illustration/phiz/bleakhouse/index.html
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on June 30, 2017, 08:55:45 AM
Barnaby Rudge is proving to be a bit of a struggle. I must admit that I an finding it difficult to engage with both the plot and the characters. I will battle on for the moment nonetheless.

Abandoned just over half way through which is something rarely done here. I felt that the characters were weak and the plot was incoherent, laborious and wandering.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on July 01, 2017, 01:10:05 AM
Reading Copperfield in english. About one fourth done. Murdstone is a frighteningly accurate description of a true sadist. Can't wait till Steerforth resurfaces in the story, along with Rosa Dartle (easily the greatest woman character Dickens ever conceived) my favorite character.
Yes, Rosa Dartle is quite special! However, Betsy Trotwood remains my favourite character, I especially like her relationship with the kite-flying Mr Dick.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on July 01, 2017, 01:16:17 AM
Yes, Betsey is awesome!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on July 02, 2017, 12:01:58 AM
Yes, Betsey is awesome!
I love her appearance at the beginning of the book where, in pressing her nose against the window when looking in, she gives Davy's mother such a fright that she goes into labour.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on December 09, 2017, 06:59:42 AM
Given the season that is in it and given the fact that I have not partaken of any of Dickens’ wit or wisdom in quite a while I have decided to embark upon “A Christmas Carol”.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: -abe- on March 13, 2018, 12:11:09 AM
My reading of novels has slowed down considerably over the years. Started reading Dickens in 2004, with a Tale of Two Cities -- loved it very much, then started reading his oeuvre from Oliver Twist and up, skipping a couple of the works (The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge), but I have been stuck on "Little Dorrit" for almost eight years, starting over several times and once making it all the way to the half-way point. Not a bad novel by any means -- the web has rotted my brain.

However (I might've mentioned it this thread) in 2013 I revisited Bleak House and loved it even more the second time. That book is a sustained marvel throughout.





Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on March 13, 2018, 02:58:15 AM
My reading of novels has slowed down considerably over the years. Started reading Dickens in 2004, with a Tale of Two Cities -- loved it very much, then started reading his oeuvre from Oliver Twist and up, skipping a couple of the works (The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge), but I have been stuck on "Little Dorrit" for almost eight years, starting over several times and once making it all the way to the half-way point. Not a bad novel by any means -- the web has rotted my brain.

However (I might've mentioned it this thread) in 2013 I revisited Bleak House and loved it even more the second time. That book is a sustained marvel throughout.

Great Expectations, David Copperfield and a Tale of Two Cities are all favourites of mine. I must read Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Biffo on March 13, 2018, 03:32:09 AM
Great Expectations, David Copperfield and a Tale of Two Cities are all favourites of mine. I must read Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House!

You should definitely read Bleak House, possibly his greatest novel, certainly one of his most ambitious; several concurrent plot lines tie together wonderfully. He tried the same thing in Our Mutual Friend but I find it a bit of a shambles; the motivation behind the story is pretty feeble, nevertheless it has many wonderful scenes.

I would rate Great Expectations his finest novel if he had stuck to his original ending, instead he compromised for fear of upsetting his reading public.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 13, 2018, 03:35:12 AM
I, too, ought to read Bleak House (for that matter, I should watch the PBS series, which Bogey was so kind to send).


I was hung up for the longest time on the namesake of this thread.  I probably owe it to Dickens to start Bleak House . . . it's right there, on my Nook . . . .
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: vandermolen on March 13, 2018, 06:42:32 AM
You should definitely read Bleak House, possibly his greatest novel, certainly one of his most ambitious; several concurrent plot lines tie together wonderfully. He tried the same thing in Our Mutual Friend but I find it a bit of a shambles; the motivation behind the story is pretty feeble, nevertheless it has many wonderful scenes.

I would rate Great Expectations his finest novel if he had stuck to his original ending, instead he compromised for fear of upsetting his reading public.

Thanks Biffo. I'll start with Bleak House then, although I know the story from an excellent BBC dramatisation ( ::)).
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on March 13, 2018, 09:19:17 AM
I have recently commenced reading Martin Chuzzlewit for the first time. I am only a short way in and I find the characters engaging.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: -abe- on March 13, 2018, 05:43:44 PM
You should definitely read Bleak House, possibly his greatest novel, certainly one of his most ambitious; several concurrent plot lines tie together wonderfully. He tried the same thing in Our Mutual Friend but I find it a bit of a shambles; the motivation behind the story is pretty feeble, nevertheless it has many wonderful scenes.

I would rate Great Expectations his finest novel if he had stuck to his original ending, instead he compromised for fear of upsetting his reading public.

Yes, the original ending is so much better and fitting. The compromised ending just felt false.

This is the one Dickens work I experienced only as an audiobook -- it worked very well due to the first person narration.

I forget who the reader was.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Biffo on March 14, 2018, 01:46:05 AM
I have recently commenced reading Martin Chuzzlewit for the first time. I am only a short way in and I find the characters engaging.

I haven't read Martin Chuzzlewit though I did see a butchered television adaptation. I have just downloaded a free copy from Kindle, all I need now is the time to read it.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: DaveF on March 14, 2018, 02:16:15 AM
Long time since I read Chuzzlewit, so must return to it sometime soon (my son has currently got me reading Game of Thrones, on the understanding that I'm allowed a break from it every 100 pages or so to read something else).  I've just plugged the last gap in my Dickens novel-reading by finishing The Old Curiosity Shop, which was much better than I'd expected - the weepy Little Nell bits are relatively brief, and the rest is superb.  Find me a better villain outside Shakespeare than Daniel Quilp!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on March 14, 2018, 06:47:09 AM
I, too, ought to read Bleak House (for that matter, I should watch the PBS series, which Bogey was so kind to send).


I was hung up for the longest time on the namesake of this thread.  I probably owe it to Dickens to start Bleak House . . . it's right there, on my Nook . . . .

Don't forget Little Dorrit, Karl!
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on March 14, 2018, 09:07:29 AM
I haven't read Martin Chuzzlewit though I did see a butchered television adaptation. I have just downloaded a free copy from Kindle, all I need now is the time to read it.

A lot of time will be required by both of us to get through this hefty tome.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on March 14, 2018, 09:10:25 AM
Long time since I read Chuzzlewit, so must return to it sometime soon (my son has currently got me reading Game of Thrones, on the understanding that I'm allowed a break from it every 100 pages or so to read something else).  I've just plugged the last gap in my Dickens novel-reading by finishing The Old Curiosity Shop, which was much better than I'd expected - the weepy Little Nell bits are relatively brief, and the rest is superb.  Find me a better villain outside Shakespeare than Daniel Quilp!

Agreed on The Old Curiosity Shop; a fine work indeed with typically strong Dickensian comment on social conditions and injustice.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on April 08, 2018, 04:35:28 AM
I have recently commenced reading Martin Chuzzlewit for the first time. I am only a short way in and I find the characters engaging.

I am half way through this book and I find it over long. I understand about Dickens and part publication etc. but the final book version could have done with some serious editing. I also find the plot meandering aimlessly with no particular focal point.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on April 08, 2018, 06:29:42 AM
I am half way through this book and I find it over long. I understand about Dickens and part publication etc. but the final book version could have done with some serious editing. I also find the plot meandering aimlessly with no particular focal point.

While Chuzzlewit is one of the very few Dickens novels I have not completely read yet, I can say that before Dombey Dickens didn't really plan his novels beforehand and favored instead the picaresque style, improvising as he went on. And even after Dombey Dickens never really mastered the handling of plot the way his colleague Collins did. In fact I find Dombey's awful plot much worse than I would have found if there had been no plot at all. Little Dorrit has that extremely convoluted inheritance-story near the end (almost every Dickens book just has to have something to do with secret inheritances) but the book is just so damn great in other parts that it doesn't matter. Our Mutual Friend has a strong plot as well as characters which is one of the reasons why it is my favorite from him. Oliver Twist is picaresque style but it doesn't really show because the plot devices and reveals are much more credible than in some of his later novels that he actually planned. A Tale of two cities is reportedly the one book where Dickens purposefully tried to create a particularly strong plot instead of memorable characters but views differ a lot whether or not the very opposite proved to be true in the final product.

FWIW, Chuzzlewit was in Dickens's opinion "immeasurably the best of my stories" before he wrote Copperfield and Great Expectations. When asked later in life about his best book he almost always answered David Copperfield, except for a short term during the writing of Great Expectations when he considered it better.
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: aligreto on April 08, 2018, 10:30:02 AM
While Chuzzlewit is one of the very few Dickens novels I have not completely read yet, I can say that before Dombey Dickens didn't really plan his novels beforehand and favored instead the picaresque style, improvising as he went on. And even after Dombey Dickens never really mastered the handling of plot the way his colleague Collins did. In fact I find Dombey's awful plot much worse than I would have found if there had been no plot at all. Little Dorrit has that extremely convoluted inheritance-story near the end (almost every Dickens book just has to have something to do with secret inheritances) but the book is just so damn great in other parts that it doesn't matter. Our Mutual Friend has a strong plot as well as characters which is one of the reasons why it is my favorite from him. Oliver Twist is picaresque style but it doesn't really show because the plot devices and reveals are much more credible than in some of his later novels that he actually planned. A Tale of two cities is reportedly the one book where Dickens purposefully tried to create a particularly strong plot instead of memorable characters but views differ a lot whether or not the very opposite proved to be true in the final product.

FWIW, Chuzzlewit was in Dickens's opinion "immeasurably the best of my stories" before he wrote Copperfield and Great Expectations. When asked later in life about his best book he almost always answered David Copperfield, except for a short term during the writing of Great Expectations when he considered it better.

Thank you for that and I had indeed read that Chuzzlewit was in Dickens's opinion "immeasurably the best of my stories".
Title: Re: The GMG Pickwick Club
Post by: Alberich on June 09, 2018, 03:33:08 AM
Started to re-read Little Dorrit, one of my favorite Dickens novels. In general, it seems I nowadays find those Dickens novels that use satire instead of more gentle humor more interesting. Because Dickens was a master of exaggeration and that's a really useful attribute when it comes to satire. Thus among my favorites are Our Mutual Friend, Little Dorrit and Oliver Twist. Bleak House I still haven't read, and I've heard it has some great satire. Copperfield I tend to like a bit less than I used to because it doesn't use much satire (mostly in character of Steerforth such as when he lectures David about proctors and thus Steerforth is my favorite character in the book). The first half is IMO much better than the second half. On the other hand, Hard Times I don't like much and all the comedy in Oliver Twist is definitely not satire. The same thing with The Old Curiosity Shop and Barbaby Rudge which I like a great deal.