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Old 07-17-2011, 05:17 AM   #50
fantasyfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taosaur View Post
I haven't had an opportunity to even start Bleak House yet, but I do find it an ironic selection for the "Literary" book club. Dickens was as general and "pop" an author as any who lived in his day, a one man industry analogous to Stephen King in our time. Yes, his works have become classics, but are they thus transmuted from mass-market commercial efforts into literary works? I gather Bleak House was one of his more ambitious and abstract works, but shall we read Stephen King's Rose Madder or Insomnia next? If Dickens lived today, he would probably be writing television.
Quite true. {and I'm all in favour of TV adaptations of Dickens.}

But does popularity and commercial success mean a work can't have genuine literary stature? Shakespeare's plays were quite successful and most of them are still acknowledged as being great--and in some cases--supremely great works. I think the same applies to the works of Dickens. He was certainly a populist author and a man of his times who knew what his readers wanted and made sure to give them what they desired--no doubt about that. But he could also transcend his times and create works of enduring quality.

IMO I think that no transmutation is involved. They are what they are because of intrinsic literary merit.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 07-17-2011 at 08:02 AM.
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