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Posts tagged "Charles Dickens"


Hopelessly Devoted: Colossians Chapter Two Verse Fourteen

I love the doctrine of justification, but to be honest, I don’t always feel it. I am sure part of the reason is my lack of easy familiarity with the dense theological terms which buttress it. And so, while I sit in the loan officer’s office, experts works out all the details (using jargon like […]

Too Great of Expectations? Being Ordinary in a Culture of Extraordinary

Dickens had it right long before Brené Brown did, but she certainly dusts his ideas off a bit. As an English teacher attempting to ignite within my students’ brains interest in something other than taking selfies, Yik-Yak, or lulu-lemon yoga pants, I find it important to see the value in a text myself before asking my students to […]

Chesterton on Dickens: In Praise of Idiots and Imbeciles

From G.K. Chesterton’s ‘Editor’s Introduction’ to Dombey and Son, the 1907 ‘Everyman’ edition, xv and xvi, speaking about the character of Mr. Toots, who Dickens describes in the list at the beginning of the novel as “MR. P. TOOTS, a wealthy young gentleman, of good heart but inferior abilities”. In other words, Mr. Toots is […]

A Pop Culture Christmas List – but Seriously

Kicking off our year-end wrap-ups, here’s one from our esteemed podcaster in the field, Paul Zahl: Thinking about Dickens’ novella “The Haunted Man” and remembering the impact of that unusual Christmas story in a sermon many Christmas Eves ago in a galaxy far far away, I began to collect in my mind some top-ten Christmas […]

Charles Dickens’ Other Christmas Ghost Story: “The Haunted Man”

Some say that Charles Dickens invented Christmas as we know it. At least, that A Christmas Carol rescued the celebration from post-Cromwell piety and prompted the Victorians to introduce many of the traditions that we have come to cherish: the tree, the presents, the holly and the ivy, etc. A little less well known is […]

PZ’s Desert Island Discs (But This Time It’s Books!)

I’m just now beginning to emerge from two years of living in the desert, the howling waste of inwardness that is caused by the box canyon of life. I’m coming out of it. In addition to the New Testament, ten books, in particular, have proven sustaining to me in the wilderness. If you read Mockingbird, […]

A Christmas (Carol) Reflection

“Ah! You do not know the weight and length of strong chain you bear yourself! It was as full and as long as this seven Christmas eves ago and you have labored on it since. Ah, it is a ponderous chain!” – Jacob Marley This is how Jacob Marley responds to Ebenezer Scrooge’s curiosity about […]

From Charles Dickens’ Dombey And Son

“Harriet complied and read — read the eternal book for all the weary, and the heavy-laden; for all the wretched, fallen, and neglected of this earth — read the blessed history, in which the blind, lame, palsied beggar, the criminal, the woman stained with shame, the shunned of all our dainty clay, has each a portion, that no human pride, indifference, or sophistry through all the ages that this world shall last, can take away, or by the thousandth atom of a grain reduce –” (pg 892, ht PZ)

When Dostoevsky Met Dickens

As an incredibly cool aside to our Dickens-inspired “Whole Duty Of Man” series, there was a great piece in the Washington Post entitled “Christmas Carol: Dickens’s Gift Keeps On Giving”. The whole article is worth your time, but I was especially struck by the final paragraph. [Update 11/8/11: A few extra lines of Dostoevsky’s impressions […]

Hard Times, Recession Depression, and The Whole Duty of Man, Pt I

“…his only reasonable transaction in that commodity would have been to buy it for as little as he could possibly give, and sell it for as much as he could possibly get; it having been clearly ascertained by philosophers that in this is comprised the whole duty of man — not a part of man’s […]

Setting Vengeance Against the New Testament in Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit

In his working notes for Little Dorrit, called Number Plans, Dickens described the following scene under the heading, ‘Set the darkness and vengeance against the New Testament’. In it, the Mrs. Clennam character is attempting to justify a crime she has committed in the service of ‘fighting sin’, to the title character (ht PZ): “I […]

What Is Your Favorite Version of A Christmas Carol?

Preparing for tonight’s Mockingbird Hour (last one of the year!) on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, I’ve given a lot of thought to which film adaptation is best. Lord knows there’s no shortage of options. In animation we have Scrooge McDuck, Mr. Magoo, and The Flintstones, among others. Then in live-action, there’s The Muppets, Captain […]