It’s a mad world. Mad as Bedlam, boy!

Lord help me. My daughter is reading David Copperfield for her English class, starting within the next few days. This is my daughter who thinks anything that's more than two years old is so hopelessly moot it doesn't deserve caring about. Black and white movies? Forget it! They're BORING. Nobody CARES about them. They're STUPID …

David Copperfield is one of my favorite Dickens novels. It's one of my favorite novels, period. And I'm about to be inundated with negative comments from the oldest fruit of my loins. The child for whom I ate disgustingly healthily for nine months. The child I had by "natural labor," i.e., without a blissful epidural running into my spine, because I was afraid it would have a negative impact on my firstborn child. The child whose birth – albeit NOT her fault – sent me reeling into post-partum depression.

Well, welcome to post-post-partum depression Part 1,001: putting up with hearing one of my favorite novels trashed. Frankly? I feel sad and depressed just thinking about it, so sad, depressed AND worried I'm thinking of reading the novel along with her, explaining its greatness, why it's so wonderful. Why it's funny, poignant, and downright tear-jerking by turns.

When she was little I thought I couldn't wait 'til she started reading the classics in school, because then I'd have the chance to talk with her about them. And already I'm bracing for what could turn out to be an awful situation leaving me frustrated and irritated with her for trashing a book I've loved since I was a teenager. One I've read over and over.

I really think there's no option save reading it along with her. How else can I fight the good fight, standing up for Barkis? Peggotty? Miss Betsey Trotwood ( I love her!)? and Dora?

Then, the villain ….  Uriah Heep … Makes the flesh crawl. The Murdstones, brother and sister … Shudder.

Will she understand it all without "Mom's Notes?" God forbid she should turn to SparkNotes. Or the dreaded Cliff Notes with those awful yellow and black covers I've always disdained.

I don't see a choice. Regardless of my rather limited end-of-semester time, I can't just let her roll her eyes at Dickens without any guidance whatsoever. If there's any chance she'll realize his greatness it's through me. If I even have that power anymore, now that she's a teenager.

It's time to pull out my Oxford Illustrated Classics version of DC. Good luck to me.

3 thoughts on “It’s a mad world. Mad as Bedlam, boy!

  1. JG you just said what I am about to say.
    Lisa – she is your daughter and who knows, some of your literary genes may be lurking. I do hope so as when my elder daughter told me she thought Jane Eyre was boring and so prissy and proper it took me all the self control I possessed not to hurl her out of the nearest window….
    good luck!


  2. She made a comment to me last night, “It was really confusing at first, but now I think I’m getting it …” She told me she hated David’s teacher, that he hits him and no one else.
    One note: she said it helped that her teacher showed them the equivalent of the first seven chapters from the Daniel Radcliffe version. She commented on so many actors from Harry Potter being in the adaptation, and how funny/ironic the class thought that was.
    I did pull out my copy, and started reading. She’s not that far along, so I can catch up easily. David’s just been sent away to school. I’ll catch up quick as a flash …


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