augury doggerel

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The novella's full title is A Christmas Carol in Prose: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. The fact that Dickens chose to celebrate Christmas with that most un-Christian of things, a ghost story, is typical of him. Religious piety was not his forté. In A Christmas Carol, there's one rather self-conscious aside about how we should "venerate" the festival's "sacred name and origin", and also a far-fetched assertion that it's good to be a child at Christmas because that's "when its mighty Founder was a child himself". Aside from these perfunctory gestures, Dickens leaves Jesus alone and concentrates on what excites his imagination most: death, grotesquery, poverty, indignity, death, clownish pranks, death, dancing and food. Oh, and did I mention death?
And lechery, which is what always makes me laugh. When he writes, "I am standing in the spirit at your elbow," woman, beware, he's slipping an arm around your waist and nuzzling your neck. In the spirit.
Here, again, were shadows on the window-blind of guests assembling; and there a group of handsome girls, all hooded and fur-booted, and all chattering at once, tripped lightly off to some near neighbour's house; where, woe upon the single man who saw them enter -- artful witches, well they knew it -- in a glow.
She was very pretty: exceedingly pretty. With a dimpled, surprised-looking, capital face; a ripe little mouth, that seemed made to be kissed -- as no doubt it was; all kinds of good little dots about her chin, that melted into one another when she laughed; and the sunniest pair of eyes you ever saw in any little creature's head. Altogether she was what you would have called provoking, you know; but satisfactory, too. Oh perfectly satisfactory!
and (here I think he reveals a fantasy)
There was first a game at blind-man's buff. Of course there was. And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his boots. ... For his pretending not to know her; his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress, and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger, and a certain chain about her neck; was vile, monstrous. No doubt she told him her opinion of it, when, another blind-man being in office, they were so very confidential together, behind the curtains.


At 8:26 pm, Blogger suzanne said...

and infact
most all Anglo
Christmas customs
as we know them
stem from
Dickens' Christmas Carol

(sorry I can't remember
where I read this
else I;d cite the reference . . .)

At 8:44 pm, Blogger eeksypeeksy said...

Including Xmas lechery. I bet he was murder under the mistletoe.

At 12:34 am, Blogger suzanne said...

well you know
it's hard work
but someone
has to do it___


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