Oh Dickens! Bleaky Bleak House and the opportunistic author


Please note that this is an old post(see date published). If you have come across this page without intending to, kindly click on HOME above. This will redirect you to my homepage and most recent post. I do apologise but I am having some glitches with WordPress and am aware of bloggers clicking on my link and ending up on various older posts on my site. Thanks, NM. 03/01/2012)

Dickens at work. Image taken from http://www.CharlesDickens.org

I was being mocked by my boyfriend recently for taking an exceedingly long time to read a novel. Embarrassingly more so, is the fact that this is a Charles Dickens book.
I consider myself a fan of Charlie not only because I loved A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, but also because I admire him for the person that he was. He stood strongly for what he believed in. Charlie had a lot to say and too many authorities to lambaste in the span of his 58 years. He used his pen (or quill?) to expose the injustices of his time in a sentimental but thought-provoking way.
Usually if I am not enjoying a book, I toss it aside with no guilt whatsoever. I’ve done it many times. I’ve even tossed aside Booker Prize winners. Why waste your time if you are not enjoying it? You could be reading something you do enjoy.
Reading is a subjective pastime. The type of books you read is not, in my opinion, a reflection of how smart, stupid or emotional you are. They are merely reflections of your tastes and preferences. So why am I still holding on to my copy of Bleak House? I feel for some reason to see this one through.
In Dickens’ defense it is a great story. When I first started reading it, I enjoyed getting to know the main character Esther Summerson. But as more and more characters were thrown into the mix, the story became confusing and arduous. On top of that, Dickens has a propensity to over-elaborate and go off on a tangent, the result of which can only be described in two words: word vomit. It is obvious that the man has a lot to say. The novel is 850 pages long(not including the illustrations) but I am pretty sure that as thick and convoluted as the plot is, he could have told this story in 500.
There came a point were I became so confused about certain subplots and the roles of some of the characters that I was forced to resort to the one thing that all internet junkies resort to in a time of need: Google. It was while searching for plot summaries that I came across an interesting piece of information. Bleak House had initially been written as a serial and Dickens was being paid by the word. So that explains the word vomit. I’m not sure how true this information is however as a few bloggers were disputing this but it certainly makes sense.

Coavinses, Harold Skimpole, Richard Carstone and Esther

So it seems little Ol’ Charlie D was not only a social revolutionary but an opportunist as well. That’s just brilliant. So why am I still reading this? Because in all honesty, I really do want to know what happens in the end. The story is filled with melodrama, a bit like a Victorian soap opera. And even though it might seem like there’s way too many things going on, I am told that they all tie together quite nicely in the end. Unfortunately I have another 360 pages to go until I get to the end. It’s like, knowing you’re heading for DisneyWorld but have to take a side road to get there- a long, winding, gravel road filled with murderous hitchhikers, Redcaps and numerous detours. You wonder if the long, arduous journey is worth the destination at the end.
Since I have now dedicated a whole blog post to Bleak House, I guess I have no choice but to finish it now 🙂 I must admit that this has provided me with a little motivation. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll even provide you all with a book review. And what a glorious day that would be!
NM

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11 thoughts on “Oh Dickens! Bleaky Bleak House and the opportunistic author

  1. thahir says:

    nice blog. it makes sense why you,of all people, are taking sooo long to finish a charles dickens book. i know i am biased but you truely have an excellent writing ability which makes me even more excited about your future writing career and my m3:)

    • Nisha says:

      I don’t have a problem with nepotism. As long as it’s in my favour! Ha Ha!
      By the way I think Makro is having a sale on MP3’s. We need to go check it out!

  2. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks! whm reseller | whm reseller |

  3. Katy says:

    I hear ya, Nisha! I love the language of Dickens, and I really do want to know what happens, but I similarly have yet to finish GEs. Sigh. One day!

  4. The serial issue explains a lot. 🙂 Melville was also a serialist.

    • Nisha says:

      It certainly makes sense. If I was being paid by the word for a serialized story, I guess I would also throw as many words into a sentence as I could 😀 LOL.

  5. Nisha, you have a true knack for writing! Keep us posted with the book review! 🙂

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