I’m reading Bleak House by Dickens in chunks along with the group at Unputdownables. I continue to wish that the schedule would have been divided in the same chunks as it was originally released–Dickens knew what he was doing, and wrote beginnings and endings with a purpose, and I’ve been sad as I’ve passed them, coming and going, seeing their merits but not going along with them.
I found this week’s segment, Chapters 10 to 14, (serial break was at 13) something of a slog, perhaps because life is overflowing with should’s given the early spring, but likely because of the 20 page chapter 14, which took me several attempts to get through. I might have done better had I had a week of rest after 13. In any case, I found this section to be full of Dickensian maunderings, where I could just imagine him sitting at his desk, counting the words. I empathize with this, yet it didn’t make it any less difficult to read the beginning of Chapter 10 about Snagsby, the end of Chapter 11 about the inquest, the middle of Chapter 12 on Boodle and Duffy et al. Chapter 13 was quite good, filled with character and plot development. Alas, ponderous 14, with its overlong excoriation of the elder Turveydrop, had me, literally, dozing more than once.
These said, I think I can say with some confidence who the unfortunate Nemo was, and surmise that Mrs. Flite is waiting for the Jardyce judgment, not an imaginary one. Richard is weak willed and uninteresting to me, but I did love how chapters 13 and 14 ended with Esther’s unreliable narration of “oh, by the way, there was this nice guy hanging about.” How I do hope Esther grows a spine by the end of this. I continue to be enamored of the name Peepy and wish I had something to name after him.