Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Kinda makes me wish I lived in Omaha

From The Book Den:
“Whatever the word ‘great’ means, Dickens was what it means.”

G.K. Chesterton made this observation of the profoundly gifted English storyteller/novelist in his esteemed work of literary criticism, Charles Dickens, published in 1906.

The book was one of Chesterton’s earliest but in many ways, one of his most important. For not only was this work an intensely personal one, reflecting his deep respect and affection for Dickens but it was a work that effectively launched a new appreciation of Dickens among English readers. Furthermore, it was a work that would also launch an appreciation among English readers of a new and very present literary giant, Gilbert Keith Chesterton himself.

It is not all that far-fetched to surmise that without Chesterton’s Charles Dickens, we might not see the modern popularity of either.

Therefore, this provocative little book (its less than 150 pages) serves, even now, as a splendid introduction to both writers. It has been for decades extremely popular among Dickensians as the "primary primer" written about their man while Chestertonians value it as an insightful tribute to the writer that GKC most loved, was most influenced by, and whose work most resembled his own.


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