22 December 2013

Literary Coincidences

On December 16th I wrote a post about Jane Austen.  That day I was listening to the radio and I heard that the 16th of December was her birthday.  I hadn't read Jane Austen in maybe 20 years, but coincidentally I had just finished Northanger Abbey that day.

Just now I finished reading A Christmas Carol.  And, coincidentally, I just learned that it was first published 170 years ago this week.

As is almost always the case, reading this wonderful story, hearing it in Dickens' words, is so much more satisfying than any movie can be.  That said, this is simply a delightful story with a message that makes you smile no matter how it is delivered.   Countless movies have been made, some better than others.  But the story lives on and nothing can completely corrupt it ... not even Mister Magoo.  And still, I strongly recommend reading the book because no movie can describe the evolution of Ebenezer Scrooge better than the written words.

Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features ...

But after being visited by the three spirits :

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old City knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough in the good old world. ... and it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

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