A CHRISTMAS CAROL
BY G. K. CHESTERTON
There are elements about the position of Dickens in English literature which generally tend to make him not only heroic, but almost legendary. There is his unique appeal to the comparatively poor, who care for stories and not story-tellers, just as children do : Pickwick is more real to them than Dickens. There is the curious mixture in his characters of what some describe as unnatural, with what all would recognise as vivid : he’s the realist of unrealities. There is, chiefly, the truth that such a lot of of his finest outbursts were concerned with special festivals, notably the Christian festival of Yule. It is no wonder that, instead of being thought to be a mere literary gentleman like Thackeray or a mere literary cad like Disraeli, he has come to be regarded vaguely as something more than a gentleman and more even than a man : as an erratic household god like Santa Claus. But there is yet one more reason for this legendary atmosphere clinging
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