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[文化博览] 【整理】2013-02-22 狄更斯其人 Charles Dickens—8

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[Homework]2013-02-22 狄更斯其人 Charles Dickens—8

As a kid, I was two things, I was very bookish, you know, I loved reading; and I was also into comedy. But I always regarded those two worlds of being quite separate: literature was serious, and for the funny stuff, I spent all my money on comics and listening to great radio comedy shows like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And I remember when I got hooked on Dickens I picked up The Old Curiosity Shop, as you do. And very early on, I came across this episode of a great guy who's Dick Swiveller, who has no money, and he's in a pub and he bought a meal, and he says to the innkeeper he would come around later that night pay for it. He writes something down in the book. And his friend, Dick Swiveller's friend, says to him, well, you're just writing down the reminders, come back this evening. And Dick says, not exact, Fred, I enter in this little book the names of the streets that I can't go down while the shops are open. This dinner today, closes Long Acre. I bought a pair of boots in great Queen Street last week, I made that no thorough fare too. There is only one avenue to the Strand left open now. That I shall have to stop up that tonight with a pair of gloves. So what Dickens was doing is gonna make a map of London, I mean he's just crossing out the streets he can't move on, coz he owes people money there. And I was thinking, well that's funny, but it reminds me of something, it reminds me of not-at-all-standard comedy routine, or all sketch, or all that scene, that Charlie Chaplin scene where he is quite happily eating his own sheos coz he has no food left him and no money to buy some. And that, for me, was a great eye-opener about Dickens. I think we're put off by this notion we have of Charles Dickens as this great Victorian novelist, coz it implies he's serious, whereas in fact, I think he's the finest comedian we've ever produced.
By that, I mean, much comedy today is actually still conditioned by the way Dickens wrote it in the 19th century. I mean comedy writers and performers today owe huge debt to him. Other people who work in comedy think so too.

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