Friday, December 30, 2005

"Chuzzle This," said Duke

Sorry Duke, but I had to write that down since you have said that to me a number of times as I was planning to read Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit", and I think it is darned funny. Although I could not possibly explain what it means, and given the tone of it I'm not sure I'd want to.....

Short note here to post the following to the battalions of hangers-on to The Secret Thread. I am currently engaged, as you may note on the right here, in my "Annual Dickens Read" for 2005, although it will technically spill into 2006, unless I can read approximately 700 pages in the next two days. As I've been saying since the summer, this time it is "Chuzzlewit": the only Charles Dickens novel to be partially set in America, released in the early 1840s in serial form, and the first Dickens novel that was ultimately less successful than the novel before it. It was his first 'quasi-dud' in other words, it is interesting to note. I'm not sure why that would be. If you're concerned about that, don't be: the next book he published was "A Christmas Carol" which vaulted him into super-stardom and is still probably the most famous of his books and the most famous Christmas story this side of the Christmas Story itself.

I plan to post on here some notes and thoughts about "Martin Chuzzlewit" upon my conclusion of the book. It is essentially the story of an eccentric rich man and an inheritance, making broad commentary on human nature and greed as people lobby for an old man's money. Should be interesting indeed.

Dickens, or as I like to call him, "Chuck D", was probably the greatest novelist of all time in English. It is a very fun and interesting exercise to read one of his great novels every year, and this is my fourth time doing it. I am looking forward to posting my thoughts and seeing how this novel compares in my own estimation to the others I have read to date, which are, for the record: A Tale of Two Cities (not part of my "Annual" progam), Our Mutual Friend, Bleak House, and Dombey and Son.

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