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gertrude

April 2018

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life on mars

The Dickens Mission: Armando Ianucci



Whether it’s Mary Portas stomping up the high street, Jamie Oliver serving school dinners or Mrs Moneypenny trying to get people to be more frugal, no one just does anything these days, they are always ‘on a mission’ to do something. So, according to last Saturday’s Telegraph Review, Armando Ianucci is ‘on a mission’ to rescue Dickens. From what, you may well ask? The heritage industry, it turns out.

So yesterday evening I watched Armando’s Tale of Charles Dickens. Armando is a clever chap and quite capable of giving an hour’s lecture on Dickens and why he enjoys his books so much. This being television he naturally was not allowed to do any such thing but had to wander around different locations, chuck books on the beach (tsk!) and interview people with little to say to the point. Armando’s argument was that Dickens is an essentially contemporary writer, with much to say that remains relevant. He was also ‘our greatest comedian’, still influencing comedy. Fair enough, but the rest of the programme was pretty pointless. I still enjoyed it, simply because I like to hear people discussing Dickens.

By writing this today I have unwittingly taken part in a ‘Dickens’ Tuesday’ challenge: see here.

“The premise is basic: every Tuesday in January (there are 5 Tuesdays) post something about Charles Dickens. It can be a book, short story, or film review. It could be about his life. It could even merely relate to his time period. Basically just have something relevant about Charles Dickens in your blog post (heck, it could even be a rant about how much you hate Charles Dickens). On his birthday, Tuesday 02/07 there will be a big wrap-up! “

Meanwhile, as a result of my disappointment with the TV adaptation I’m reading Great Expectations again. I see I last read it in 2009, so I’m about ready for a re-read.

Comments

Thanks for the pointer to the programme - I hadn't seen that it was on; I'll try to catch it on iPlayer.
That way you can skip through the boring parts with Phil Jupitus et al!
Boggle. "So what is it that makes Dickens such a towering figure in English literature? We asked Phill Jupitus..."
Apparently, he once had a stage act which consisted of reading aloud from Dickens. Not something I'd pay to see.