Since Armando Ianucci is doing an adaptation of DAVID COPPERFIELD, what are your thoughts on Charles Dickens?
Shameful confession time…
I made it through an entire English degree without reading any Dickens. I did TRY, but my god the sentences…they wander round for centuries before coming to anything resembling a point. (In my defence, I read all of Middlemarch, Paradise Lost and Ulysses, so it’s not like I skipped ALL the reading).
Mind you, one of my evil ex-boyfriend’s few redeeming features was that he was usually pretty on the money about what books I’d like, and he was convinced I would enjoy Great Expectations (I have not yet put this assumption to the test). Even worse, Jack Maggs by Peter Carey is one of my favourite books and it is a shameless riff on GE, so I really have no excuse.
There’s a strain of sentimentality in Dickens that makes him (to my mind) an odd choice for Iannucci – though he is perhaps softening with age (if a comparison of the central romances in TTOI and Veep is anything to go buy – Dan and Amy feel a lot more genuine than Emma and Ollie). On the other hand, I found the Toast’s characterisation of Dickens as the ultimate Slytherin quite intriguing, so maybe it’s a better match than I think.
I remain convinced that Muppet’s Christmas Carol is the best Dickens adaptation ever made though, and it’s going to be tough to beat.