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Merry Christmas ! Humbug, he said.

December 23, 2010 7 comments

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

 It’s easy to be in a Christmas mood with children opening the window of their advent calendar every morning and counting how many days are left until the d-day. So I decided to read A Christmas Carol. I’m not going to sum up this story, every body knows it. I wanted to see if what I had in mind was faithful to the text. Just to remember, it was written in 1843.

I had read Great Expectations and David Copperfield a long time ago. I remember I enjoyed both of them. To be honest, I was expecting something starchy and full of dutiful Christian sermons. Not at all.

Dickens’s style is really oral, you can imagine him telling this story by a fire, with voice effects and speaking with his hands. Here is Scrooge’s description:

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!

I didn’t expect the fun either and I’m sure I missed tons of innuendos and play-on-words. 

‘You’re quite a powerful speaker, sir’ he added, turning to his nephew. “I wonder you don’t go into Parliament”

or when Scrooge meets Marley’s ghost:  

Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels, but he had never believed it until now.

Of course, the way Scrooge changes his mind about Christmas and totally modifies his way of life isn’t realistic at all, but fairy-tales aren’t supposed to be realistic.

I’ve had a good time reading A Christmas Carol and it suits the season.

I wish you all a merry Christmas. Je vous souhaite un joyeux Noël.

PS: By the way, in French a turkey is a “she”. It was a bit disturbing to read this:

I was a Turkey! He never could have stood upon his legs, that bird. He would have snapped ’em short off in a minute, like sticks of sealing-wax.

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