I became a book-reader very early in life. Perhaps a bit too early.
As a result I often read books at too early an age. Books that I would have got more from with a few more miles under my hood.
I came back to Mr Dickens’ ”David Copperfield” nearly 45 years after I first read it at the age of 19.
This time around I listened to the audio version on Audible unabridged but highly augmented by a bravura and marathon book-reading performance by Richard Armitage.
The imprimatur of a great book is at the end of it one does not want it to end.
After 36 hours or so of listening over periods of 30 to 40 minutes each for weeks as I listened to Mr. Copperfield pen his ending lines contemplating with contentment the visage of his wife and the love of his life Agnes with all loose ends tied-up and God in his heaven I was also in a state of exaltation. A state similar to the one that countless humans over the eons have felt late into the night as the embers of the fire are dying down, the tale has been told and it is time to try and sleep. A state which is deeply fulfilled yet wants more.
There are, among those who consider themselves as purveyors of such things, many who do not put Mr Dickens in the league of the timeless greats of literature.Â
But then who cares? Certainly Mr. Dickens wouldn’t have and neither will the hundreds of millions he has and will continue leaving transfixed with his great art of story-telling.
In a book I am currently reading “Until The End of Times” by physicist Brian Greene (which I hope to complete reading and write about in these pages in a week or so) tries to reconcile, in the light of the theory of evolution, the fact that the skill and art of story-telling is very much part of being human with the fact that when it comes to sheer survival of the species it seems to be an art of little use. Mr. Greene reconciles the seeming paradox in the same brilliant and interesting way as he does many other things in this magnificent book which seems to me to be a great companion piece to the other great modern classic — “Homos Deux” by Noah Harari. Anyway more about it in a week or so.
To complete my paean to Mr. Dickens and David Copperfield — it is a great book with insights into the human condition that will illuminate and enlighten for you your very own life experience. No matter whoever you are. No matter whatever number of years you have lived on this earth. No matter whatever kind of life you have led.
What more can you ask from a book?