"What is this babbler trying to say?" Acts 17:18

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Carol for Christmas

Last year on this date I posted about four Christmas reads. In that post I admitted I had never read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This post is to let you know that that problem has been rectified. Rather than reread last years selections (delightful as they are) I decided to take my canoe down an unexplored river. Along with A Christmas Carol I also sampled Dickens' similarly ghoulish new-years tale The Chimes. And if all goes well, I hope to read A Cricket on the Hearth before the year gets much older.

So, is all the fuss about A Christmas Carol justified? Probably, although some of its popularity might stem from it being authentic Dickens in a nutshell. At only an hundred pages long it is a great way to claim you have "read Dickens" without reading one of his novels of five times the length. Luckily, some of us are immune to such a way of thinking. Since I'm probably the last person to read A Christmas Carol I won't bore anyone with the details.

Instead, I'll just quote one passage that swooped from the ceiling and struck me. When Scrooge tries to comfort Marley by saying he was a good man of business in life, Marley retorts with an interesting description of vocation:
'Business!' cried the ghost, wringing its hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!' (24).

Merry CHRISTmas!

Charles Dickens, Christmas Books of Dickens. New York, Black's Readers Service Co.


Anonymous said...

You aren't the last... but now I'm intrigued!

Brian Carpentier said...

Glad to know I'm not the last! It is a pretty good story... I would recommend it if you are looking for something comparatively short to read. You can borrow my copy if you don't have one already.

By the way, any ski trips planned, yet? Matt and I snowboarded/skied our first day at Sierra Summit east of Fresno two weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

Sure, we would like to borrow it sometime. Just send it along with Holly. =)

We did sign up for the ski program so I suppose we will be going but haven't picked any dates yet. I think we are waiting to see if the Mt. gets some good snow.