He was not so much a person to me as he was a feeling, a part of myself and an undeniable part of the world around me. I only learned his name when I was ten, long after I had first met him, but I can remember that Charles Dickens sounded so right to me, so familiar, that afterwards I would be puzzled by every other child who did not know this great name.
I am afraid my classmates in primary school did not particularly like me...
I did not know so many stories by Dickens, actually only Oliver Twist and the Mickey Mouse adaption of A Christmas Carol, but these two I knew as if I had written them (I have watched the Disney Christmas Carol every December for the last 12 years).Anyway, I always had the feeling as if Mr Dickens and I understood each other, as if we were like-minded people, and so I made up stories that I thought could come from his feather too all the time.
b) because I had the feeling that big, important things always happen when it's rainy; which tragical story ever started on a beautiful summer day?
On stormy days I always thought I could hear his voice murmuring in the wind.
Also there were some places connected inseparably with my strange imaginary friend, this church in my neighbourhood for example:
I cannot explain to you why, but up to this day I have to think of the famous novelist everytime I pass it. I have always felt as if the architect had somehow captured the quintessence of Dicken's stories in this building, and perhaps you can understand what I mean?
As I grew a little older I became more interested in education, it seemed very important to me and I used it as a tool to judge people. Still Dickens occupied a special position for me: The name Charles Dickens was the incarnation of literature, and whoever had read his books could not possibly be a bad person. I am convinced that I would have regarded a prison inmate as the best human being in the world, as long as he quoted Dickens. Mind, I still had not read a single one of his books, but it did not matter to me because I felt I knew this famous writer better than any literature professor.
And today? I have let go of my childish naïvety and read Great Expectations but not more, I had other things to do and other writers to explore, and I am very sorry about that. This year Oliver Twist and A Tale of two Cities are on my reading list and I am looking forward to reading them very much.
It's about time I returned to my old childhood friend!