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The Chimes (1844)

Tekijä: Charles Dickens

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: The Christmas Books of Charles Dickens (2)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6794433,900 (3.15)93
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Love A Christmas Carol? Celebrate the holiday season with the second of Dickens' trio of Christmas classics, The Chimes. This tale of humanity's warring moral impulses and ultimate redemption highlights the true meaning of the holiday season. An uplifting read at Christmastime, or at any time of the year.

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englanti (43)  italia (1)  Kaikki kielet (44)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 44) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
DVD
  IHMLibrary | Jan 26, 2024 |
Charles Dickens wrote several stories about Christmas, the most familiar being The Christmas Carol. The Chimes utilizes the same story line (revelation thru a dream) but the story is darker. The first few pages describing the wind are something to behold. In fact, the whole body of Dickens' work reads like poetry. You definitely want to listen to the audible version read by Richard Armitage.

And, I can't explain why I'm reading this story in April. ( )
  jemisonreads | Jan 22, 2024 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---

There are not many people—and as it is desirable that a story-teller and a story-reader should establish a mutual understanding as soon as possible, I beg it to be noticed that I confine this observation neither to young people nor to little people, but extend it to all conditions of people: little and big, young and old: yet growing up, or already growing down again—there are not, I say, many people who would care to sleep in a church. I don’t mean at sermon-time in warm weather (when the thing has actually been done, once or twice), but in the night, and alone.

WHAT'S THE CHIMES ABOUT?
Apparently, the original title of this was: The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In. But for pretty obvious reasons, people shortened the name to The Chimes when talking about it, and this edition went with the short version, too.

The Chimes are the bells in a church steeple--powerful goblin spirits reside in them, (not everyone gets to see the goblins--or this'd be a very different kind of story). Our protagonist, Trotty, is summoned to the steeple by these bells. Bells he's lived under for years and has come to love their ringing. However, he's now called to account by them for...essentially losing faith in humanity and disparaging them. Particularly lower-class humanity--like he's part of.

Trotty is a ticket-porter, barely scraping by--but is a hearty, cheerful man. His daughter is in love with someone who hopes to marry her soon. But Trotty reads something in the news one day (inspired by a true story, incidentally) that makes him doubt people's goodness. This is followed by him being hired by/interacting with an Alderman and an MP who look down the poor, exacerbating Trotty's dismay.

These bells show Trotty a future in which he dies that night and how the ripples from his death impact the lives of several of his acquaintances. Very much in a Ghost of Christmas Future kind of way. But these are darker futures than anything Scrooge saw, if you ask me.

Trotty repents of his negative outlook and does something in this vision that proves his sincerity. He's brought back to the present and life is good--even better than it was thanks to his attitude adjustment.

Oversimplification, I know, but I'm still trying to stay away from details. It's only been in print for 179 years...

THESE GUYS ARE THE WORST
So this year I've read about misanthropes, mass murderers, people who kill without remorse, people who target minorities for fun, demons and other monsters, etc., but I'm honestly not sure that there were people who disgusted me and enraged me nearly as much as Alderman Cute and Sir Joseph Bowley.

Bowley loves to think of himself as a benefactor to the poor, a charitable soul...listen to him brag about it a bit (to an actual poor person),

Every New Year’s Day, myself and friends will drink his [a generic poor person's] health. Once every year, myself and friends will address him with the deepest feeling....‘I do my duty as the Poor Man’s Friend and Father; and I endeavour to educate his mind, by inculcating on all occasions the one great moral lesson which that class requires. That is, entire Dependence on myself. They have no business whatever with— with themselves.

He does (at least in the vision), bring poor people into a great New Year's feast with his guests so they can see he and his friends drink to their health and hear paternalistic (at best) speeches about how they need to better themselves, although they probably can't because if they could...well, they wouldn't be poor, after all.

Cute dissuades Trotty's daughter and her beloved from marrying because it's not like they'll be able to subsist on whatever money they can eke out--and they'll just end up having kids they can't afford to feed, and thereby expanding the need for welfare and whatnot.

Sure, Dickens was probably exaggerating for satirical purposes. But I doubt it was much. And it'd be really easy to imagine these despicable guys as contemporary figures.

DICKENS' WRITING

He saw the tower, whither his charmed footsteps had brought him, swarming with dwarf phantoms, spirits, elfin creatures of the Bells. He saw them leaping, flying, dropping, pouring from the Bells without a pause. He saw them, round him on the ground; above him, in the air; clambering from him, by the ropes below; looking down upon him, from the massive iron- girded beams; peeping in upon him, through the chinks and loopholes in the walls; spreading away and away from him in enlarging circles, as the water ripples give way to a huge stone that suddenly comes plashing in among them. He saw them, of all aspects and all shapes. He saw them ugly, handsome, crippled, exquisitely formed. He saw them young, he saw them old, he saw them kind, he saw...

When Dickens first introduced the goblins (and I only gave you a sample), I really enjoyed it. And was reminded that he typically got paid by the word. Not necessarily for this novella--but the impulse was still there. Because the man can go on...never using 5 words when 20 will do.

I have zero problems with it in this novella--but it jumps out at you occasionally.

A few other lines that jumped out at me that I want to bring up...they're so good.

‘There’s nothing,’ said Toby, ‘more regular in its coming round than dinner- time, and nothing less regular in its coming round than dinner. That’s the great difference between ’em. It’s took me a long time to find it out.'

This gentleman had a very red face, as if an undue proportion of the blood in his body were squeezed up into his head; which perhaps accounted for his having also the appearance of being rather cold about the heart.

‘The good old times, the good old times!’ The gentleman didn’t specify what particular times he alluded to; nor did he say whether he objected to the present times, from a disinterested consciousness that they had done nothing very remarkable in producing himself.

(I'm forever going to be thinking of this anytime I hear someone talk about the good old days)

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT THE CHIMES?
I'm told that the hardcover is gorgeous--I ordered this late, so I can't confirm (I'll try to remember to update this post when I get it). The cover looks pretty neat, though. I bring this up so you'll think about getting your hands on this hardcover edition for your own personal use/shelf decoration.

But what about the novella itself? I dug it. I know I don't read enough Dickens--and never have. But when I'm exposed to him, I regret many of my life choices that lead to this dearth (not so much regret that I see that I'll change that anytime soon). I really appreciated his writing, his characters (even the ones I spent time hating). I would've appreciated a little more time with some of the characters, but we didn't need it.

The way the bells show Trotty the future really did make me think of the Ghost of Christmas Future, I know they inspired It's a Wonderful Life, but I got more of the former vibe than the latter. I'd like for people to tell me what I'm missing, incidentally. Either way, I liked the way Dickens uses this tool to get people to change their way of thinking, even if he uses it too frequently.

The social commentary was well done (if heavy-handed), and probably needed as much then as now. And probably as effective then as now. Oh well, would be nice to think otherwise.

It's a quick read that packs a powerful punch with some clever writing. If you're like me, and have never heard of this novella before, take advantage of this opportunity to pick it up. If you're a better-educated reader and are familiar with it--isn't it about time to re-familiarize yourself? ( )
  hcnewton | Jan 11, 2024 |
Se in Canto di Natale la denuncia sociale levava la sua voce in una storia piena di magia e meraviglie, in Rintocchi (o Le campane) il meraviglioso lascia presto spazio a tutto l’orrore nel quale può farci sprofondare la povertà.

Questa volta il protagonista è un pover’uomo chiamato Trotty che, dopo essersi mangiato forse un po’ troppa trippa, si ritrova in una visione onirica dove vede cosa accadrebbe se la sua amata figlia finisse per non sposarsi con il suo innamorato.

E perché mai non dovrebbero sposarsi, due così bravi giovani? Trotty si era lasciato influenzare da un giudice di pace dedito ai principi elementari dell’economia politica, ai fatti e alle cifre (possibilmente avulse da ogni contesto), il quale aveva dato un parere negativo alle nozze a causa dell’estrema povertà delle due famiglie: cosa ci avrebbero guadagnato, infatti, a unirsi? Avrebbero unicamente sommato le loro miserevoli condizioni, finendo per essere ancora più indigenti e per mettere al mondo altri disgraziati, dei quali poi il giudice di pace avrebbe dovuto occuparsi per mantenere l’ordine. Una vera seccatura!

Il povero Trotty ci crede: d’altro canto, che ne sa lui? Lui è un ignorante, è cattivo, così cattivo da non riuscire nemmeno a provvedere adeguatamente alla famiglia: come fa a sapere cosa è bene e cosa è male?

Meno male che la scena si svolge al di sotto delle campane (o dopo una rimpinzata di trippa, chissà!), che decidono di suonarne quattro al credulo Trotty, sconvolgendolo con tre visioni, così come Scrooge era stato visitato dai tre spiriti del Natale passato, presente e futuro. Solo che le visioni di Trotty sono decisamente più angoscianti e il finale ci lascia pure il dubbio su quale sia stata la loro esatta natura... ( )
  lasiepedimore | Sep 21, 2023 |
It is a gothic story in the most classics sense. You can read the parallels with The Christmas Carol....though the lead character is so very different from Scrooge. Trotty Veck is much more sympathetic character that one wonders why the woes of the common worker are not more deeply felt than those of a miserly banker. An interesting commentary on the ills and 'nobility' of the poor. ( )
  AmandaPelon | Aug 26, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 44) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (28 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Charles Dickensensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Armitage, RichardKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Coburn, Frederick SimpsonKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Doyle, RichardKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Feld, LeoKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Fitzpatrick, LindaKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Leech, JohnKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Maclise, DanielKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Rackham, ArthurKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Stanfield, ClarksonKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Tomson, HughKuvittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Wagenknecht, EdwardJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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There are not many people - and as it is desirable that a story-teller and a story-reader should establish a mutual understanding as soon as possible, I beg it to be noticed that I confine this observation neither to young people nor to little people, but extend it to all conditions of people: little and big, young and old: yet growing up, or already growing down again - there are not, I say, many people who would care to sleep in a church.
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‘Toby Veck, Toby Veck, waiting for you Toby! Toby Veck, Toby Veck, waiting for you Toby! Come and see us, come and see us, Drag him to us, drag him to us, Haunt and hunt him, haunt and hunt him, Break his slumbers, break his slumbers! Toby Veck Toby Veck, door open wide Toby, Toby Veck Toby Veck, door open wide Toby—’ then fiercely back to their impetuous strain again, and ringing in the very bricks and plaster on the walls.
A blast of air—how cold and shrill!—came moaning through the tower. As it died away, the Great Bell, or the Goblin of the Great Bell, spoke.

‘What visitor is this!’ it said. The voice was low and deep, and Trotty fancied that it sounded in the other figures as well.
Lastly, and most of all,’ pursued the Bell. ‘Who turns his back upon the fallen and disfigured of his kind; abandons them as vile; and does not trace and track with pitying eyes the unfenced precipice by which they fell from good—grasping in their fall some tufts and shreds of that lost soil, and clinging to them still when bruised and dying in the gulf below; does wrong to Heaven and man, to time and to eternity
‘I hadn’t much schooling, myself, when I was young; and I can’t make out whether we have any business on the face of the earth, or not. Sometimes I think we must have—a little; and sometimes I think we must be intruding. I get so puzzled sometimes that I am not even able to make up my mind whether there is any
tied the basin up in a pocket-handkerchief; and if I like to be proud for once, and spread that for a cloth, and call it a cloth, there’s no law to prevent me; is there, father?’
‘Not that I know of, my dear,’ said Toby. ‘But they’re always a-bringing up some new law or other.’
Where will you dine, father? On the Post, or on the Steps? Dear, dear, how grand we are. Two places to choose from!’
He saw the tower, whither his charmed footsteps had brought him, swarming with dwarf phantoms, spirits, elfin creatures of the Bells. He saw them leaping, flying, dropping, pouring from the Bells without a pause. He saw them, round him on the ground; above him, in the air; clambering from him, by the ropes below; looking down upon him, from the massive iron-girded beams; peeping in upon him, enz. begin ch. 3
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Love A Christmas Carol? Celebrate the holiday season with the second of Dickens' trio of Christmas classics, The Chimes. This tale of humanity's warring moral impulses and ultimate redemption highlights the true meaning of the holiday season. An uplifting read at Christmastime, or at any time of the year.

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