The Gospel in Dickens
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September 23, 2010


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It has also seemed to me that when authors are evaluated, someone inevitably brings up Dickens vs Austen. I also enjoy them both. They both make me laugh and have great books. I could go on and on with which one is my favorite, but does it really matter? I think they both did a great job and both have their magic. I agree, we should all just admit that they are both great. :)


I understand why the columnists do that, because I tend to compare Dickens to Austen mentally also, but I do admit that they each have their own individual strengths and it's just according to what you are looking for whether or not you favor one over the other. I guess it's just a good way to speak of one author by comparing them to another well-known author. Personally, I think Dickens is WAY better and plot and humor and detail (of course), plus eccentric characterization, whereas Austen's work has more realistic characters (to the point of their being realistically dull, lol!).

It's true that they've been compared a lot; I just have never really seen anyone sorting them into cut-and-dried columns, so to speak -- "This one did better characters, that one did better plots, this one did better settings," or whatever -- which is what it sounded like Klein meant. And I've certainly never heard it said that Austen had Dickens beat at characterization, which I thought he was also implying. I should have been a little clearer about all that. (Of course, I also should not have been blogging at 11:52 p.m.!!)

I'm looking forward to that "Northanger Abbey" review!

I think it's difficult to compare two authors from vastly different backgrounds and two completely different eras. Certainly they're both English and they're both famous, but they don't even write the same genre. That said, I'm not much of a fan of Jane Austen's books. I would rather read Dickens or Bronte. But that's just personal opinion, and I don't deny that Austen was an important writer, and that her books are worthy classics.

I completely agree with Marian about not comparing such different writers. Dickens and Austen were both British. They both wrote about what was important to them in their society. That's about the only comparison that can be made between them. Their personal contexts made them vastly different in style, content, and their importance to history and literature and society. They were both important in entirely different ways and both magnificent writers in entirely different ways.
I think this whole "argument" about Austen vs Dickens, if there really is one, is a bit like saying, "Only Bach was a good composer. Schumann can't be a good composer because he wasn't like Bach." Or "Schumann wasn't a good composer because I don't like his style."

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