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« Troubling the Devil | Main | Chaunie’s Journey »

February 24, 2009

Charles Dickens, unsung Nostradamus

Mrmerdle While Gina has been reviving Dickens mania over at her blog, I've been plowing through 830+ pages of Little Dorrit. Having finished only the night before last (instead of watching the self-adulation of the Oscars), I, like Gina, am now anxiously awaiting the PBS airing of the new production of this tome.

Dickens could have been writing about our own current events in the final chapters of Little Dorrit. See if these words, written of his fictional character Mr. Merdle (a man who inspired the confidence and investments of others, investments that were sure to pay off, until of course they didn't), don't remind you of a certain Mr. Madoff or Mr. Stanford:

Numbers of men in every profession and trade would be blighted by his insolvency; old people who had been in easy circumstances all their lives would have no place of repentance for their trust in him but the workhouse; legions of women and children would have their whole future desolated by the hand of this mighty scoundrel. Every partaker of his magnificent feasts would be seen to have been a sharer in the plunder of innumerable homes; every servile worshipper of riches who had helped to set him on his pedestal, would have done better to worship the Devil point-blank...For, by that time it was known that the late Mr. Merdle...was simply the greatest Forger and the greatest Thief that ever cheated the gallows.

(Image © BBC One)

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Gina Dalfonzo

Too true.

I think maybe this is the saddest part of the whole Merdle story:

"'I hope,' said Arthur, 'that he and his dupes may be a warning to people not to have so much done with them again.'

"'My dear Mr. Clennam,' returned Ferdinand, laughing, 'have you really such a verdant hope? The next man who has as large a capacity and as genuine a taste for swindling, will succeed as well. Pardon me, but I think you really have no idea how the human bees will swarm to the beating of any old tin kettle; in that fact lies the complete manual of governing them.'"


Dickens lives on!!!

To me---he seems to have a real way of portraying the squirmy evil little guy ...

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