Posted by Stolzi on December 15, 1997 at 10:31:48:
In response to Literature or Schmaltz?, written by Mark on December 15, 1997 at 10:18:43
] If all this doesn't show that it is great literature, then what would your definition be?
Well, one might ask for depth of character, and profoundness of insight. I was going to add "major subject" but actually CC does deal with a major subject: the kindness or unkindness of men to each other, the importance of family bonds and of memory, etc etc. And while one might ask for "probability of events," would that be fair, in a book which is self-professedly a fantasy?
For wit and dexterity, I submit it is hard to beat. Dickens works his characters like a master puppeteer, and many, many lines provoke a chuckle.
My Schmaltz Meter was only provoked to an "Oh pu-leeez" about twice last night when I was reading it over. -- I forget now where that was.
There is nothing wrong with sentiment, I submit; only with sentimentality. For instance I certainly don't go "pu-leeez" when Bob Cratchit goes upstairs to sit alone by the body of his dead child.
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