This is the first time I had the patience to listen to an entire novel, word by word. Relishing the beautiful music in the words and the sentences that they came together in made my hair stand on end. And, so I began my love affair with Charles Dickens.
He wasn’t a part of that peachy text book I had to get through in school anymore. And, I feel somewhat cheated now. How i had nearly let slip the joys he gave humanity by imagining him to be the author who only wrote about the sad lives of children in old London, while cruel adults had their horrible, mean way with them. Life in Dickens’ first few pages was mostly unfair. One had to be patient and feel along with the child (and this can be painful when you are a child yourself) to then move onto incredible pleasures that lay ahead.
The chapter on Davey’s mother passing away was so doleful, I cried myself to sleep, listening to the grief overpowering the poor child. What a lonely one he must have been to say that he became a blank space that had no existence, but one that seemed to cause so much trouble for Ms Murdstone and her brother, whenever they bumped into him in the house.
How each character now lives in my head and speaks to me in their own unique voice. In a preface, Dickens talks about being saddened about leaving his characters when he had to end the novel and how David Copperfield was one of his favorite children.
We are nearing the end – me and this voice that reads in a mystical way that brings each character to life. You can picture Mr Macawber with his high-handed but deprecating manner and love for misery and poverty and on the other hand almost see the wistfulness in Steerforth’s remark when he asks Davey to remember him at this best.
My morning rides to the office are now filled with awe, sadness, and poignant revelations and, sometimes, spent just marveling at the man’s sheer genius.