On Dickens and Details

“But Dickens isn’t wasting time on “every last detail.” In fact, he leaves most details out. He is instead focusing only those details that are of the utmost importance to the characters and to the story. The story is the details. This is unlike modern fiction, which often gives us flat characters, no depth, and little detail (unless it’s related to sex or a car chase or a gunfight).  The trick is in learning to appreciate the way it is said, and to dig into the characters, rather than use them as merely a tool to advance the plot. For me, it took years of reading genre fiction—sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, etc. …  It comes in short bursts of adrenaline and then is gone. It’s like a drug to which you build a tolerance over long periods of time. Eventually, it just doesn’t get you high anymore. To appreciate most literature, we need to slow down, to stop rushing. This is particularly difficult for modern readers. We read because we want “the point.” But, what if the point isn’t at the end of the novel? What if the point is buried within passages like those above and, to find “the point”, you have to sift very carefully, like an archaeologist looking for lost secrets? Anyway, sorry for being so wordy. I really hope you’ll give Dickens another try.”

bollockitis comments on A suggestion for those who want to delve into Dickens.






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