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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Dickens’

How a Charles Dickens Novel Inspired The Dark Knight Rises

Have you done your homework for the next Batman movie? We’ve uncovered one free (and unexpected) eBook you should read to prepare for the release of The Dark Knight Rises next week (movie trailer embedded above).

As he created his third epic Batman adaptation, director Christopher Nolan was inspired by Charles Dickens‘ classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities. His screenwriting partner (and brother) Jonathan Nolan explained in an interview:

I was looking to old good books and good movies. Good literature for inspiration… What I always felt like we needed to do in a third film was, for lack of a better term, go there. All of these films have threatened to turn Gotham inside out and to collapse it on itself. None of them have actually achieved that until this film. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ was, to me, one of the most harrowing portrait of a relatable, recognizable civilization that completely folded to pieces with the terrors in Paris in France in that period. It’s hard to imagine that things can go that badly wrong.

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Charles Dickens Gets Google Doodle

Google has created a Google Doodle in honor of beloved author Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday.

The image embedded above features several of Dickens’ most iconic characters, including Ebeneezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol and Pip from Great Expectations. When users click on the image at the Google homepage, they are taken to a page with Google Books listings for Dickens’ works including A Tale of Two CitiesOliver Twist and David Copperfield.

Here’s more about the birthday from The Washington Post: “Prince Charles [is] expected to visit London’s Dickens Museum. Actors who reportedly are scheduled to give readings Tuesday in Britain include Ralph Fiennes (who will play Abel Magwitch in the upcoming film of Dickens’s Great Expectations), Gillian Anderson (TV’s Great Expectations) and Sheila Hancock (Bleak House), as well as Simon Callow (Christmas Carol: The Movie) performing in Dickens’s birthplace of Portsmouth, Hampshire.”

Christopher Hitchens’ Final Vanity Fair Essay

Today Vanity Fair published Christopher Hitchens‘ final essay for the magazine, an inspiring tribute to Charles Dickens.

The journalist and author passed away last month after a battle with cancer. If Hitchens’ tribute to a great author inspires you to read some books, follow this link to download free eBooks from Charles Dickens.

Here’s an excerpt: “It is all there to emphasize the one central and polar and critical point that Dickens wishes to enjoin on us all: whatever you do—hang on to your childhood! He was true to this in his fashion, both in ways that delight me and in ways that do not. He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it.”

Lord of the Fleas?

What if Eric Carle had written his famous kid’s book about A Very Hungry Cat?

Over at Abe Books, a satirical essay reimagined the covers of 18 popular books to feature cats.

These cats now grace the covers of A Tale of Two Kitties (Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities), Lord of the Fleas (William Golding‘s Lord of the Flies) and The Girl with the Kitten Tattoo (Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). What other books could use this theme?

Playing with Famous Author Dolls

Over at UneekDollDesigns, artist Debbie Ritter sells handmade dolls of famous authors and celebrated literary characters.

The collection includes the trio of ghosts who haunt Ebenezer Scrooge. Ritter has also created dolls of Jane Eyre from Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel and Mrs. Haversham from Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit come as a matching set. Flavorpill made a list of other dolls, including Shel Silverstein, J.R.R. Tolkien and Joyce Carol Oates. Above, we’ve embedded a Mark Twain doll. What’s your favorite?

Charles Dickens Summer Camp!

The New Yorker ran a long dispatch from Jill Lepore at the annual Dickens Universe at the University of California, Santa Cruz, an event she called “Charles Dickens camp.”

Here’s more about the event: “a week of discussing Dickens, sleeping in dormitories, and eating in a cafeteria, bringing together literary scholars, teachers, and students, with readers who love Dickens. Every year the campers read a different book. This year, it was “Great Expectations,” which also happens to have been a recent selection of Oprah’s Book Club.”

This GalleyCat editor loves, loves, loves the idea of going to summer camp to study your favorite author. What author do you think deserves their own summer camp? If you like the idea of Dickens camp, the project depends on donations during these tough economic times. Follow this link to donate.

Ralph Fiennes to Adapt The Invisible Woman

While many know actor Ralph Fiennes for playing Harry Potter‘s nemesis Lord Voldemort, he has also started directing. One of his post-Harry Potter film projects includes directing an adaptation of The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin.

The nonfiction book tells the story of an affair between Great Expectations author Charles Dickens (pictured, via) and actress Nelly Ternan. According to The GuardianAbi Morgan wrote the script. The release is set for late 2012, coinciding with Dickens’ 200th birthday.

Here’s more from the article: “Dickens was 45 when he met Ternan, then 18, in 1857. Their relationship remained secret from the public, even after Dickens’s separation from his wife the following year. Ternan travelled with the author for the rest of his life; after his death, she married a man 12 years her junior, having disguised her own age as 23, rather than 37.”

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Undatable in Lit Hashtag Sweeps Twitter

Yesterday the Random House Twitter feed took the popular “undatable” topic and collected examples of undatable literary characters at the new Undateable In Lit hashtag.

Here’s the tweet referencing a classic character from Charles DickensGreat Expectations: “Let’s give ‘undateable” a bookish twist. We’ll start: wearing a wedding dress every day since being left at the altar. #UndateableInLit.” The Huffington Post made a slideshow of some great examples.

Add your undatable character to the Undateable In Lit hashtag. We contributed Don Quixote–an undatable literary character who wears armor, wrecks windmills and spends too much time playing LARP games. Follow these links to read free eBook versions of Great Expectations or Don Quixote.

New York Public Library to Host All-Night Scavenger Hunt

In celebration of the New York Public Library’s centennial festival weekend, game designer Jane McGonigal has crafted the “Find the Future” scavenger hunt.

500 players will join the “Write All Night” event on May 20th. Inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, they will use laptops and smartphones to find 100 objects from the library’s collection of treasures and perform a related-writing challenge.

The video embedded above features a promo clip for the event; it seems to mimic The Da Vinci Code‘s film trailer. If you want to participate, just answer this question: “In the year 2021, I will become the first person to __________.” Submit your answer before 11:59 PM Pacific Time on April 21st.

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Charles Dickens vs. 30 Readers

Thirty writers and actors joined a marathon reading of the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol at New York City’s Housing Works Bookstore Cafe before the holidays. In an article about the event, Bookish compared the reading to a similar reading staged by Charles Dickens in 1867. Editor’s note: We’ve added some commentary from Housing Works Books below.

A trailer for an animated adaptation is embedded above. Here’s more from  Bookish: “Dickens was greeted with eager fans who waited for tickets overnight in the cold, wrapped in blankets and huddled around bonfires to keep warm. The cops were called in for crowd control. On the first night of his New York tour, a sold-out audience of more than 2,000 literary socialites and powerful businessmen gathered in the grand Steinway Hall by Central Park. They cried, laughed, and interrupted with applause during Dickens’ reading.”

According to the article, only about “a half-dozen” of the attendees stayed for the entire 3-hour reading. Literary enthusiasts aren’t what they used to be in the 19th century. Bah, humbug!

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