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When I think about writers who use fiction as social commentary and to raise social awareness but who are also very popular, I think of Dickens.
Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
Childhood is not dead. Children were worse off when we were hunter-gatherers; they were threatened in medieval times and exploited during the Industrial Revolution. Was it any better in the time of Charles Kingsley or Charles Dickens?
At the school I attended, the clergyman who ran the cathedral school in Shanghai would give lines to the boys as a punishment. They expected you to copy out, say, 20 or 30 pages from one of the school texts. But I found that rather than laboriously copying out something from a novel by Charles Dickens, it was easier if I made it up myself.
J. G. Ballard
Everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens. The child-victim, the irrepressibly ambitious young man, the reporter, the demonic worker, the tireless walker. The radical, the protector of orphans, helper of the needy, man of good works, the republican. The hater and the lover of America. The giver of parties, the magician, the traveler.
Dickens is one of those authors who are well worth stealing.
If you want to study writing, read Dickens. That's how to study writing, or Faulkner, or D.H. Lawrence, or John Keats. They can teach you everything you need to know about writing.
'Joker' was a violent, dark, and brutal book, so I wanted to do something a little less heavy. I played around with the idea of a children's book, and that eventually became 'Noel.' And I just kept finding these parallels between things I could do with Batman and Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol.'
One of Dickens' biggest influences was the growth of London as a Victorian city, and the extremes being created as it expanded.
I'm kind of a reluctant Anglophile. My mother's a children's librarian, and all of the children's literature I read was from her childhood - E. Nesbit and Dickens, which isn't children's literature at all, but I was sort of steeped in English literature. I thought I was of that world.
Early on, I was so impressed with Charles Dickens. I grew up in the South, in a little village in Arkansas, and the whites in my town were really mean, and rude. Dickens, I could tell, wouldn't be a man who would curse me out and talk to me rudely.
Dickens, as you know, never got round to starting his home page.
I went to London because, for me, it was the home of literature. I went there because of Dickens and Shakespeare.
The man Dickens, whom the world at large thought it knew, stood for all the Victorian virtues - probity, kindness, hard work, sympathy for the down-trodden, the sanctity of domestic life - even as his novels exposed the violence, hypocrisy, greed, and cruelty of the Victorian age.
I don't read many business books. I read good fiction. Business is about people, so my favorite business books are anything by Dickens.
I don't know if it's the sunshine, or the fact that I actually have a job, but I do like L.A. a lot. In New York, it can be gray and rainy and cold, and you still don't have any money, and you feel like a bad Dickens character.
There's always a host of voices you're inspired by. I love Don DeLillo, and I love Isaac Bashevis Singer, and I love Beckett, and I love Pinter. He's one of the funniest voices in English literature since Dickens.
I wrote the Dickens book because I loved Dickens, not because I felt a kinship with him, but after writing the book it seemed to me that there was at least one similarity between us and that was that Dickens loved to write and wrote with the ease and conviction of breathing. Me, too.
Throughout his life, Dickens cared passionately about orphans.
Throughout my teenage years, I read 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens every December. It was a story that never failed to excite me, for as well as being a Dickens enthusiast, I have always loved ghost stories.
I think one of the few faults in Dickens is that mostly his lead characters are blanks - who is David Copperfield, who is Oliver Twist? And yet he takes such joy in populating the rest of his novels with these fantastic, grotesque people like Pecksmith and so on.
As he approached his 28th birthday in February 1840, Dickens knew himself to be famous, successful and tired. He needed a rest, and he made up his mind to keep the year free of the pressure of producing monthly installments of yet another long novel.
If you have this enormous talent, it's got you by the balls, it's a demon. You can't be a family man and a husband and a caring person and be that animal. Dickens wasn't that nice a guy.
Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, and so many others were my dearest friends and greatest teachers.
I'm not saying that people have to listen to rock music. It's a great, cool thing and it can really be liberating for a lot of people but, hey, so can Charles Dickens so I'm not going to judge.
I was brought up on Dickens. I remember reading 'Bleak House' but, coming back to it, I didn't remember much about it apart from a few characters.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.
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