Well, I started so well with my summer reading (Fahrenheit 451/Wide Sargasso Sea/All of Me), then I lost all interest in reading ANYTHING for the past six weeks. However, I started to get anxiety dreams about either missing lessons/trains or turning up to lectures totally clueless. So I guess the psyche is doing a number on me - my dreams are guilt-tripping me into getting back on track. So I had a peak at the stuff lined up for September and the coursework needed. Hence starting to chip away at the Dickens selection, starting with Hard Times.
Not doing so badly - Dickens brings the spotlight down on the airs and presumptions of Victorian Britain during the Industrial Revolution. Looming large is the 'Age of Reason' parent Mr Gradgrind, his overblown associate Mr Bounderby (gotta love these names) and the totally preposterously-named Mr McChoakumchild *, the sadistic child-hating teacher. I am on chapter seven, where the well-connected, but hard-up Mrs Sparsit the housekeeper provides social observation on the new set up in Gradgrind's house. Not as dreary as one might imagine - I could imagine doing Marxist literary criticism piece on this to start with.
* I ask you - Dickens might as well have called him Mr Throttlebrat.