January 19, 2013

The Classics Club: Meme #5

In December, The Classics Club asked us about our favourite memory of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and whether we have ever read it. We should also explain why others should read the novel rather than relying on the film adaptions.

A Christmas Carol is a story that everybody has heard of, I believe. There have been countless adaptations; however, many of those don't even worth mentioning. Fortunately, I belong to the "race who knows Joseph"; that is to say, I’m one of those people who are keen to read the original story, even if there is a good movie adaptation. Hence, my favourite memory of Dickens’ short Christmas tale is when I actually purchased a book that contained it.

Interestingly, the book is entitled Karácsonyi Emlék, which means A Christmas Memory in English. And, it is a wonderful collection of short Christmassy stories by several classic authors. So, besides Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol you can read two other Christmas writings by him, along with Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, James Joyce’s The Dead, Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Thomas Hardy’s Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir, Eustacia Is Led on to an Adventure (Book 2, Chapter 4 of The Return of the Native) and The Tranter’s Party (Chapter 7 of Under the Greenwood Tree), George Eliot’s The Christmas Holiday (Chapter 15 of The Mill on the Floss), Ernest Hemingway’s Christmas on the Roof of the World (published in The Toronto Star Weekly, December 22, 1923), and Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. This book is truly a treasure trove, as you can see.

Even though not all stories in this book have a Happy Ending and despite being Christmassy, many aren’t merry stories either, I think it’s a good read, if you want to spend a thoughtful Christmas. I imagine what I would do if I had a family and a house on my own. In my imaginary family, my husband, me, the children and our dog would gather in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve, would drink hot chocolate/eggnog, and read out loud from this wonderful book. Wouldn’t it be lovely and much better than watching a movie adaptation?

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