Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dickens and A Christmas Carol

Just as I finished teaching Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, I found that maybe I should check my often-visited sites a bit more often.

Over at First Things, Joseph Bottum has posted an essay he wrote a few years ago. This "Christmas Rerun" is "an attempt to figure out why the mess of A Christmas Carol remains the greatest Christmas fiction ever written."

Then yesterday as I was listening to Hugh's show on A Christmas Carol (an interview with Mark D. Roberts), Hugh pointed out that Roberts had been posting thoughts/essays on Dickens's much-beloved work.

Roberts's posts to date are:
Part 1 My Favorite Book
Part 2 The Man Who Invented Christmas
Part 3 The Real Business of Christmas
Part 4 The First Ebenezer Scrooge
Part 5 What Made Scrooge Scrooge?
Part 6 Why Did Ebenezer Scrooge Change? Stave 1

Wish I had read some of these before starting but at least before finishing A Christmas Carol with my students.

I have my own thoughts on the book and on teaching it to high school students, but I will have to save those for another day. I will say, though, that many enjoyed the story and left looking forward to watching the movie editions again ... with greater insight into the literature behind those versions. They were particularly struck by Scrooge's transformation and the key moments/events that triggered his change.

It was especially fun, too, to play the board and trivia game A Christmas Carol as a way to review some of the highlights and perhaps too minute details of the story. We all enjoyed it nonetheless, especially with the hot chocolate, cookies, and candy canes.

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