A Literary Series: Part One

[home page photo from wikipedia]

Part one of probably a million, so buckle up.

I’ve been wanting to share what I’ve been reading for a while. A long while has since elapsed and that was three books ago. Or was it four? Anyway, I just finished reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (please note: I’m not talking about this guy). It is by-far the best book I’ve ever read. It’s my favorite Dickens novel and I plan on not only reading it again, but reading it to my kids one day and maybe even naming my first son after it. If my so-far, non-existent husband doesn’t stop me.

He might stop me.

I’m not, by any means, a Dickens expert but this work has to be his best ever. And in honor of the best book I’ve ever read, I’ll be sharing bits and pieces with you here and there. Sometimes, I may make a connection to my own life, sometimes I may explain the context and sometimes I may merely let the words lie. We’ll start with the Preface.

I do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. My interest in it is so recent and strong, and my mind is so divided between pleasure and regret — pleasure in the achievement of a long design, regret in the separation from many companions — that I am in danger of wearying the reader whom I love, with personal confidences and private emotions.

Besides which, all that I could say of the Story, to any purpose, I have endeavored to say in it.

It would concern the reader little, perhaps, to know how sorrowfully the pen is laid down at the close of a two years’ imaginative task; or how and Author feels as if he were dismissing some portion of himself into the shadowy world, when a crowd of the creatures of his braid are going from him for ever. Yet I have nothing else to tell; unless, indeed, I were to confess (which might be of less moment still), that no one can ever believe this Narrative, in the reading, more that I have believed it in the writing.

Instead of looking back, therefore, I will look forward. I cannot close this Volume more agreeably to myself, than with a hopeful glance towards the time when I shall gain put forth my two green leaves once a month, and with a faithful rememberance of the genial sun and showers that have fallen on these leaves of “David Copperfield,” and made me happy.   —- London, October, 1850

Later on, in another edition of the book he adds to his preface:

So true are these avowals at the present day, that I can now only take the reader into one confidence more. Of all my books, I like this the best. It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent to every child of my fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD.   — 1869

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