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Thread: Charles Dickens Novels 'Too Long for Today's Young'.

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    Charles Dickens Novels 'Too Long for Today's Young'.

    Charles Dickens novels 'too long for today's young' says writer's biographer

    Children are not being educated to read with the attention span necessary for a Charles Dickens novel, the writer’s biographer said yesterday.

    Claire Tomalin spoke out as the country prepares to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author tomorrow. She said Dickens was ‘after Shakespeare, the greatest creator of characters in English’. His books were still ‘amazingly relevant’.

    But she added: 'Today’s children have very short attention spans because they are being reared on dreadful television programmes which are flickering away in the corner.

    'Children are not being educated to have prolonged attention spans and you have to be prepared to read steadily for a Dickens novel and I think that’s a pity.'

    Events to mark the writer’s birth will include a street party in the road where he was born in Portsmouth and a wreath-laying at his grave in Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey.

    Ms Tomalin said that Dickens’ relevance to modern society is apparent in his portrayal of the proletariat and the importance he gave to the working classes.

    She said: 'When he went to America in 1842, one of the points he made was that the "unimportant" and "peripheral" people were just as interesting to write about as "great" people.

    'You only have to look around our society and everything he wrote about in the 1840s is still relevant - the great gulf between the rich and poor, corrupt financiers, corrupt Members of Parliament, how the country is run by Old Etonians, you name it, he said it.

    'The world did become a much better place in post-war England, Attlee’s government brought in the National Health Service, there was free university education for able children of all classes.

    'But now our health system is deteriorating, we do not have free university education and we have never been so divided.

    'What Dickens wrote about is still amazingly relevant.'

    ------------------------------------

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...iographer.html

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    Senior Member Renwein's Avatar
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    well... I can't disagree... Dickens was paid by the word and it certainly shows with some of those books ... the size of some of those novels is enough to put me off because I feel it's a waste of time to spend the effort reading 1000s of pages of fiction when I could be reading something 'factual' instead (given my 'multimedia/MTV generation' attention span it's a task to focus on one given work sometimes and I want to 'make it count' when I do)... and I just think that I could read it when I'm 70 and there's less to be done (and also, I might appreciate it more).

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    Short attention spans are also a liability when it comes to professional study, particularly legal study. If you want to be a lawyer, you need to be able to pore through endless reams of material sometimes, and an urge to stop to listen to a music video on youtube is detrimental to the effort. I see this in myself sometimes, being distracted away from what I need to be doing, and the biographer is right, people have been trained to behave in this way. One must remember that in the 1800s there was no instant anything... no cars, no paved roads, no television, no radio, no microwaves, no cellphones.. and despite all that it seems people were relatively content. Maybe we're missing something here...

    By the way, despite his qualities as a writer, Dickens was a commie.
    Most people think as they are trained to think, and most people make a majority.

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    Grin

    Happy Birthday Charles






    Fagin ( /ˈfeɪɡɪn/) is a fictional character who appears as an antagonist of the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, referred to in the preface of the novel as a "receiver of stolen goods", but referred to more frequently within the actual story as the "merry old gentleman" or simply the "Jew".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fagin

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