What’s great about Dickens’ he makes judgments: against lawyers corruption, against the corrupt Court of Chancery, against the brutalization of the poor and the homeless. Well, right now the United States is also a Bleak House dominated by corruption: the corruption of the Iraq War totals billions. What is missing in a lot contemporary fiction is Dickens’ moral judgments.
I read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, a novel which won a recent Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but the well-written novel has a father and son trying to survive in post-apocalypse America. In many ways I thought the Road was metaphorically saying this country is now so bad off all a decent person can do is suffer it–I find that a huge cop out. Give me Dickens any day of the week instead.
Or Lib Lit.