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Re: That's okay, I haven't been that active either. Camilla Send a noteboard - 09/02/2011 09:29:26 PM
I think it is true of most writers. Good guys are hard to nuance. I am still reeling from the horror of Dumas' protagonist in Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine. And if you ever have occasion to read Bleak House I think you will find Esther Summerson another. Bad guys always seem to be more interesting.

Well, yes, but modern writers, at least in "literary" works, generally don't go with "good" and "evil" anymore so much.


Bleak House, is that the book that recent TV show is based on? The name rings familiar, but I certainly haven't read it (nor seen the show, my mum found it "too complicated" and stopped watching).

It is not the latest (I think that would be Little Dorrit), but there is a fairly recent BBC version of Bleak House with some very excellent actors (that goes for the Little Dorrit one as well). Bleak House has Gillan Anderson and Denis Lawson and Carey Mulligan and Charles Dance and any number of other lovely people. It also scales back on the annoyingness of Esther.

You know what Miss Prism said: the good ended happily and the bad unhappily -- that is what fiction means.

Who is Miss Prism? I take it she was a Victorian, too. :P

She is a character in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

I suppose you are right about the great masses of Dickens readers -- they would want the happy ending for its own sake. But I know the awareness of the "false" happy ending is there in some of the literati. I came across a letter from Stevenson to J.M. Barrie, for example, where he commended the latter for his so obviously false happy ending in ... hmm, I cannot remember which book it was.

*nods* No doubt. Stevenson doesn't really seem to be one for happy endings, now that you mention him... but I've never read the original version of Treasure Island, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is ages ago and the Black Arrow does have a happy ending, so maybe I'm just talking nonsense here. :P

He does do quite a few of them. But I suppose he less predictable in that sense than Dickens. He does write some 20 years later, after all.
structured procrastinator
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