Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Charles Dickens in Spontaneous

I've begun reading Spontaneous. It is fun and humorous and interesting and fast paced and the perfect palate cleanser of a book. I really needed to read something like this after the last few books I've read. Especially since Silence was such a disappointment. 

I was interested to find a quote from Dickens' Bleak House at the beginning of the novel:
"Call the death by any name Your Highness will,attribute it to whom you will,or say it might have been prevented how you will.It is the same death eternally--inborn, inbred,engendered in the corrupted humours of the viciousbody itself,and that only--Spontaneous Combustion,and none other of all the deaths that can be died."
I don't know if Stramer is saying that he pulled the title for his novel from Dickens, or if he is just making a connection to more classical literature, but I thought it really set up the novel well when I started.

It is also interesting that Stramer has presented this Dickens quote in a poetic form, even though these lines are prose in chapter 32 of Bleak House. He separates out the words "body itself" so they appear on their own line, thus giving them more emphasis. The repetition of the word "will" on the end of the first three lines is also interesting.

I don't know how much this quote from Bleak House will factor into the novel, but it was nice to see Stramer using this classical lit quote.

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