The Gospel in Dickens
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December 02, 2010


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I'm looking forward to see what Christie comes up with. The art of writing run-on sentences has been sadly neglected in these degenerate times.

So it has.
I look forward to the attempt. It seems like it will be a very fun challenge.

This is for David. Gina asked me to post it here. It is 290 words according to Microsoft Word.

Dickens On a Soapbox
By Christy McDougall for the Dickensblog pledge drive

Charles Dickens, a man with the weight on his shoulders of a soapbox the size of all England, the size of all street sweepers and factory children and prostitutes and old ladies dying in the fields and harsh husbands and mean businessmen, the size of all the injustice of the courts and all the pride of the rich and all the desolation of the poor, the size of half-drowned men with half a life and wealthy ladies with half their heart torn out and ghostly figures dragging the weight of their sins about and tender girls protecting unworthy fathers, the size of every evil he had experienced and witnessed and knew to exist—Dickens, with all that, rarely stood on his soapbox to harangue an uncaring multitude but recrafted it from sordid wood into poetry and fantasy and humor, delivered it to audiences in delightful, rollicking packages composed of laughter and tears, of fake misers in the shape of old bears and traveling actors mangling Romeo and Juliet, of stupid, tender sea captains taking the place of stupid, unreasonable fathers, of elderly ladies obsessed with royal Welsh ancestry and gnawed toast crusts, of passionate young men rescuing abused children and poor little men who dared to rise up against the oppressor’s wrong and the proud man’s contumely, and by his skilled pen and his huge humor and his knack for characterization and his wide heart that embraced the dirty and the cowardly and believed that anyone and anything could change for the better, he did what a soapbox on a street corner could never do: he made us love what he loved and hurt where he hurt and believe with him that anyone and anything can change for the better.

I absolutely love it, Christy! It passes the ultimate Dickens test - it makes me want to read more. I would venture to guess that even someone who knew nothing of Dickens would be intrigued enough to investigate the memorable characters you so vividly portray.

Hooray! That's the greatest compliment to a writer. Thank you.

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