|THE CRATCHITS LIVE!|
Here's how this week's arts and culture column begins:
All those holiday chestnuts — “The Nutcracker,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” — have stood the test of time for a reason.
Still, I usually try to avoid writing about them. And while we’re on the subject, for my money, you can hardly beat Dylan Thomas reading his own “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” a work of art so unique that it defies labels: Short story? Memoir? Poetry?
Perhaps the king of them all, however, is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
By the early 1840s, Dickens (1812-1870) was an established novelist and journalist. Notoriously appalled by the working conditions of men, women, and children in Victorian England, he began what would become “A Christmas Carol” in October 1843.
He finished the manuscript in a feverish six weeks, later saying that as he walked the streets of London, the characters were “ever tugging at his coat sleeve, as if impatient for him to get back to his desk and continue the story of their lives.”
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