Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Happy Birthday to Dickens
Today is the 200 year anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. Coincidentally, I just finished reading 'Great Expectations', like, a few minutes ago. How weirdly cool is that? Anyway, happy birthday, big guy. Dickens was no starving artist; he was a rock star in his day. And how he could write! His ability to capture in words the frailty of the human condition, and the micro-nuances of the rich and the poor, is unparalleled. Well, maybe Shakespeare...he was pretty good. And Nabokov...also pretty good. How were they able to access such depth of feeling and observation? Was it through experience? And yet Thoreau lived such a secluded life, and managed to pull his observations from some boundless source. It's a big mystery, how and whence writers write and artists art. I want to do what they did with words and letters. Observe, capture, and release the human condition, in all its glory, turmoil, excess, sorrow, passion, shame, ambition (poor Pip!), rage, success, and, always, grace.
I hope you've planned an eventful evening in his honor, with a little extra icing on the cake. There's going to be some special on WNYC to commemorate him, if you're inclined.