I caught a glimpse of an advertisement for a radio programme about Charles Dickens. The headline was questioning his ability as a husband. As both he and his wife have been dead for many years it seems to be an irrelevance.
I have no room to talk about anyone's ability to be a husband but as a writer he was almost peerless, and that is how he should be remembered. He was also a dutiful son, working two jobs to pay his father's debts and have the old man released from debtors prison. Dickens was criticised for his standard of written English by scholars from that time. It seems to me a culturally driven set of behaviours that is innate to British people which allows the dissection of people with skills and abilities to those peoples' detriment. Such behaviours are also allied with the inability of British people to accept plaudits.
The title of this blog is an indicator of that issue as it was a slang term, a number of years ago, for congratulations, but being British could have often been thrown in a tone of voice dripping with sarcasm. Why is that?
Is it resentment at the success of others?
Is it an attempt to encourage the successful one to keep their feet firmly on the ground?
Whichever, I don't know, but I do know the feeling of depression when even a slight success is treated with derision. Personally, anything I view as an achievement for myself, I tell no one! At the same time I have tried to heap praise where it is deserved.
Perhaps it is part of the reason that I don't like negative reviews. How dare some fashion conscious hack pronounce doom and derision, or success, on what someone has slaved over for months? What a pathetic way to make money!
Everyone has shortcomings and advice on how to overcome such difficulties is always gratefully received otherwise butt out!
Magwitch and Pip
What should happen is what has happened to so many people who have read and enjoyed the antics of the Artful Dodger, or the machinations of Magwitch and the reformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Enjoy the entertainment that is being provided for what it is and not for whatever pattern you think it should fit.