Monday, February 6, 2012

Dickens Week Tag

Here are my answers to Alexandra's Dickens Bicentennial Celebration Week.
1. How were you first introduced to Dickens?
When I was really little we had a silly picture book version of A Christmas Carol and one look at the illustrations in it was enough to make me decide that Dickens was crazy.  When I heard fellow-bloggers talking about Dickens books and characters I decided to give it a second try and I read Great Expectations.  Not exactly Dicken's best work, in my opinion, but it was good enough to make me read A Tale of Two Cities, and then I was hooked. 

2. Which is your favorite Dickens novel?
I'm wavering between A Tale of Two Cities and Little Dorrit.  Really, how can you choose, with such amazing books?

3. How many Dickens adaptations have you seen?
*squirms* None actually.  *Blushes,*
I'm hoping to watch one sometime, but I'm a little hesitant to plunge my mom, who I always watch period dramas with, into the hours and hours of movie, when she doesn't really like Dickens.  And, I mean, Bleak House has fifteen episodes! I  have Little Dorrit on order from the library, so that should get us started.

4. Which Dickens adaptation is your favorite?
Um, see above.

5. Have you seen multiple versions of A Christmas Carol? Which version is your favorite?
I haven't actually watched any.  What I really like about A Christmas Carol is his amazing writing style, something that a movie just can't capture.

6. Who is your favorite Dickens hero and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of him?
I'm wavering between Sydney Carton and Arthur Clennam.  Arthur is an amazingly-gentlemanly gentleman, so kind to Amy Dorrit and so horribly treated by circumstances.  Anything bad that could happen, happens to him.  (Well, almost.)

Sydney Carton is brilliant and lazy.  He's his own worse enemy really, and I still don't know how I can stand him.  But what he did in the end and that heartbreaking last chapter at the end of the book........ Beautiful. 

I'm trying to tell myself that I really should like Charles Darnay, after all, he has everything that Sydney Carton doesn't, but I never really liked him.  I wonder why.

7. Who is your favorite Dickens heroine and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of her?
Esther Summerson, hands down. 

8. Who is your favorite Dickens villain and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of them?
Oooooh, villains!  Let me see.  I've always had a partiality for Rigaud/Blandois/Lagnier.  His moustache went up under his nose, and his nose came down over his moustache.

9. Have you seen any musical adaptations of any of Dickens’ stories? If so, which is your favorite song from it?
*squeals* So there are musicals for Charles Dickens stories.  Lovely lovely lovely!  I remember hearing vaguely about them, but that was before I really cared.

10. Do you have a favorite Dickens quote? If so, what is it?
Do I have a favorite quote?  Here goes.
Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving—HOW NOT TO DO IT.  (Little Dorrit)
"Bird, be quiet!" (Mrs. Merdle)
....the chief Barnacles being rather hurried (for they had it in hand just then to send a mail or two which was in danger of going straight to its destination, beating about the seas like the Flying Dutchman, and to arrange with complexity for the stoppage of a good deal of important business otherwise in peril of being done)....  (Little Dorrit)
"You can't just come in and say you want to know, you know." (the lively young Barnacle)
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. (A Christmas Carol)

I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it." (Sydney Carton)

"I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."
The murmuring of many voices, the upturning of many faces, the pressing on of many footsteps in the outskirts of the crowd, so that it swells forward in a mass, like one great heave of water, all flashes away. Twenty-Three.  (A Tale of Two Cities)

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." (Sydney Carton)

"It did better than that. It rained Esther." (Ada Clare)


Alexandra said...

Thanks so much for doing the tag! Love reading your answers!

And I love Riguad. He is really superbly portrayed in the miniseries. There is a scene you'll probably want to skip in it...just a head's up. :-)

And I'll have a post later this week on the musical versions...there's some lovelies out there!

Miss Dashwood said...

I love all the quotes you included, especially the Ada one at the end. So sweet!

Allison said...

My favorite Dickens character would definately be Sydney Carton. I love him and I dislike Charles Darney, though I couldn't tell you why. Sometimes I read the last chapters of A Tale of Two Cities just to give myself goosebumps and make me cry. Silly, I know ;)But it is just so heartbreakingly beautiful and...and, well perfect.

Maria Elisabeth said...

Thanks for the warning. For every good movie there seems to be a skip-able scene. Odd, that.

Miss Dashwood,
I love the Ada one too. What Esther does for the Jellybys is so nice, even though she didn't think it was much.

The first time I read A Tale of Two Cities I knew there was going to be an amazing scene at the end, so I read it sitting in my favorite tree and just cried. Beautiful.