Coming Soon: Everything Oliver—WHAT THE DICKENS?!

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Dickens serialised Oliver, and so, too, will I. I am working on a project, in which I will serialise Dickens’s novels, starting with Oliver Twist. The nature of literary analysis means that, sometimes, things can get a bit long. No one really wants to read a blog that has an never-ending scroll. So, to keep this neat, simple, tidy, and approachable (for me and you), I will produce thematic posts that contain a particular reading of the text, chapter, or notion. This way, each post will be new, exciting, short, and approachable. Although, one will not have to wait for the ship to arrive with the newest chapters of Dickens’s serialisation, let us always anticipate new things with such eagerness.

I look forward to regularly updating and posting new ideas. If you want to participate, please do. Write a blog post in response! Just comment below any post to which you want to respond, and I will link to your blog in my future post (please link mine in your post, too). Let’s build a reading community, and let’s change our reading habits. Thus, we change the world.

Warmest wishes,
Word Play, Xx

List of Posts:
1) Chapter the First: In Which Things are Introduced 
2)

*Forest Image from planetfigure.com

Torn Canvas

There is a sadness that hides behind truth.  It is not the sadness that what we now know isn’t as great as we thought it would be.  Sadness stems from the realization of improbability, acceptance of defeat, emptiness despite satisfaction, darkness that trickles, half-ridden smiles that listlessly disappear and dance mindlessly in the air like fresh smoke.  The emptiness that remains behind once we’ve had our full.  Once we’ve experienced greatness or the swelling sensation of pride.  Or understanding the truth that our desires require great strengths of feat and control now; a true test of one’s faith in oneself.   The ability to keep breathing while watching foundations crumble, knowing that the telephone wire you walk upon, never mind its instability, slowly loses its tensile strength and begins to crumble with age.  This sadness isn’t shocking.  It’s appropriate.  Not earth-shattering or -crumbling, it must not be stigmatized.  It must be accepted as natural and part of the broad spectrum of emotions.  Giving into discomfort and the overwhelming sense of fear does not signify weakness or disgrace; giving into these emotions and experiencing them while battling the things that make us tremble will give us the inner-light of passion.

There is a definite pull to create and carve out a niche; an identity that will transition over time, but one that others can hold culpable.  Culpability seems to occupy our minds in great and, perhaps, unwarranted degrees.  As we search to create genealogies of intentionality and culpability, we weave stories together that hold truth, incorrect data, even malice, pure joy, fear, excitement, and beauty.  Branching together a thesis of a lifetime, a lifestyle, a mother, daughter, father, son, sister, brother &c., culminating in further droplets of a lifeline that etch beyond.  In searching for the truth, rules and guidelines are developed.  The blurred and foggy romantic sketch of sentimentalism and monstrous emotions has been wicked away by light and determination.  Once again the ENLIGHTENMENT has made its mark on this mind.  This troublesome period that wretches my being as though I have been made to be backwards.  As though the world shifted in a flash of the mind.  I feel as though this world doesn’t hold a home to me.  Rationalism and fairied religiosity battle as tropes upon the wrestling stage.  Rationality is equipped with spectacles, notebooks, and encyclopedic tomes.  Religiosity is dressed to the nines, Romish tendencies on a stage by which even the Pope could not failed to be awed.

Round 1: Enlightenment

Round 2: RELIGION

Round 3:……

ding.ding.ding.

This drastic desire to learn, which must hold precedent, confronts my inner demons.  Rationality or Sentimentality.  Of course, religion should not and can not be described as sentimentality because it holds greater meaning than that to a far greater number of people than my own individual perception.  But, the battle that reigns supreme in my mind is between the rational and the sentimental.  Yet, this battle doesn’t seem to have a clear winner.  I want to say “nor should it.”  But this epiphany outdates my years.  This battle will continue; each side etching a winning round in their belt buckle, until one day I can appreciate the value of this struggle.  Giving into the battle and letting it run wild is not the solution; I impose agency upon this battle of my own choices.  Other people’s actions will unduly interfere, welcome and unwelcome.  Sometimes their interference is so welcome and so tantalizing that escaping into their land of pure bliss seems to be the answer.  To die is to breathe.  But this death is not life-ending, it is the feeling that all that has come before is greatness, and all that will come after will be just as hard, but just as beautiful.  Metaphorical death slabbed onto a cold counter, Charon refusing passage when suddenly Orpheus sings sweet honeyed-notes.  The warmth returns not when the light shines brightest, but as it ebbs away.  When another human body blocks out the light; like a tide racing inwards and away again.  As this body seeks to participate and connect through thought, then life begins once, twice, thrice more.

Communities are built on this concept.  Participation.  Interaction.  Contact.  Individualism subordinates itself to concern for others.  The desire to prolong life and joy, and the experiences that challenge these principles, and those that affirm them so greatly that our hearts could explode in sheer delight.  Our own distractions and sacrifices are muted as we enjoy the world through other people, which, upon reflection, informs our own ever changing experiences.  Sometimes it feels like the support of others is only transitional; the pain of leaving the stanzas of joy make the tragic, rhyming couplet that much more obtrusive.  But it is this Petrarchan polar-relationship that pangs icy hot and discomforts me as I go à rebours challenging the structures that give me foundation; instead, leaving me to walk upon the same bow that hugs the strings of a weeping caterwauling violin.

~ fin.