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When I was 14 or 15, our teacher introduced us to Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities.' It was just for entertainment - we read it aloud - and all of a sudden it became a treasure.
From Dickens's cockneys to Salinger's phonies, from Kerouac's beatniks to Cheech and Chong's freaks, and on to hip hop's homies, dialect has always been used as a way for generations to distinguish themselves.
An adaptation I was working on of Trollope's 'The Pallisers' has been axed by the BBC... I was also going to do Dickens' 'Dombey and Son' but they've asked me to do 'David Copperfield' instead.
It was easy to believe, between lessons on Shakespeare and Dickens and Austen, that all of the great stories had already been written by dead Europeans. But every time I saw 'The Outsiders', I knew better. It was the first time I'd realized that real people write books.
It's always crude to link Dickens back to the blacking factory where he was sent to work aged 12 when his father was imprisoned in Marshalsea Prison for bad debt, but it was obviously a huge part of him.
My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers - it's what my children call my 'dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few.
What I find really attractive is something that's going to be a little dangerous. Something that might get me into trouble; you know, you turn up in London and you've just rewritten Dickens. And, of course, then you think, 'What have I done?'
Between Scott on the earlier side and Dickens and Thackeray on the other, there was an immense production of novels, illustrated by not a few names which should rank high in the second class, while some would promote more than one of them to the first.
Many books have mattered enormously to my life and work. 'David Copperfield' by Charles Dickens would be one of several contenders for 'most influential.' I first read it at 13 and have reread it dozens of times since.
I'm totally obsessed with Dickens, and 'Great Expectations' was one of the first book's I read when I was still in school in Porthcawl.
'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.'
I've read probably 25 or 30 books by Balzac, all of Tolstoy - the novels and letters - and all of Dickens. I learned my craft from these guys.
Tolkien is as good as Dickens at sketching a scene.
I think that with Bob Dylan around, we're living in an era where we have Whitman presenting new work, we have Dickens presenting new work, we have Yeats and Shakespeare presenting new work. It's that level.
Charles Dickens left us fifteen novels, and in an ideal world, everyone would read all of them.
Dickens was born in 1812 and died in 1870, having produced fifteen novels, many of which can confidently be called great, as well as having accomplished outstanding work in activities into which his insatiable need to expend his vast energies - to achieve, to prevail - carried him: journalism, editing, acting, social reform.
With its vastly complicated plot and its immense cast of characters swirling around the case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce that has been grinding away in the Court of Chancery for decades, 'Bleak House' is, for many readers, Dickens's greatest novel.
Familial love can find an echo in our own hearts just as it did in that of Charles Dickens.
My favourite authors include Trollope and Dickens.
After Shakespeare, Dickens is the great creator of characters, multiple characters.
Writing Charles Dickens' biography is like writing five biographies.
As a young man, Dickens worked as a reporter in the House of Commons and hated it. He felt that all politicians spoke with the same voice.
Dickens belongs to the English people.
Dickens had more energy than anyone in the world, and he expected his sons to be like him, and they couldn't be.
Dickens is always full of surprises.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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