Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Private Hells

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

I've been trying for some time to devise a suitable hell for Charles Dickens, but it's a knotty problem, devising a suitable eternal torment for Victorian literature's most ruthless sentimentalist. I did come up with one for James Joyce, which is a little disturbing, because I like most of Joyce's works and enjoy reading them once every few years. Nonetheless, there's something fitting in the idea of Joyce chained to a desk in the nether reaches of some dark pit, condemned to spend eternity trying to correct misprint-riddled first proofs of Finnegan's Wake, entirely from memory. Now back to Dickens - there's got be a lot of winsome orphans in his hell, that's one thing I am sure of.

Update (Thursday, 19 December 2002): Don Arthur has made a brief, but welcome, return to the blogosphere to solve the problem. He's come up with a hell for Dickens and it's a beauty. Check it out in the comments thread. I may have to lift it to a more prominent position to preserve it for posterity, if that's OK with Don.

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