The Perfect Author for Hard Times
Is everyone reading Dickens these days? I know I am, prompted by Margaret Atwood's fascinating "Payback," in which she considers debt as narrative and ponders various notions of sin attached to borrowing and lending. Dickens, naturally, is key to the arguments she makes in her slender, thought-provoking book -- a collection of lectures she gave, which on the page feel like a graduate seminar in literature with a seriously delicious reading list.
Thus my current immersion in "David Copperfield," and thus also a conversation with a friend who highly recommended the BBC miniseries "Little Dorrit." (I'm on disc 3, and he was right.)
But what makes me wonder if we're experiencing some sort of rush on Dickens, perfect as he is for these hard times, is what I saw yesterday at the Strand, where the Dickens shelf in the fiction section looked like this:
It's been ravaged!