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Inhaltsangabe: Dickens divides the book into five chapters, which he labels "staves", that is, song stanzas or verses, in keeping with the title of the book. The tale begins on a "cold, bleak, biting" Christmas Eve exactly seven years after the death of Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley. Scrooge, an old miser, is established within the first stave as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!" He hates Christmas, calling it "humbug"; he refuses his nephew Fred's Christmas dinner invitation, and rudely turns away two gentlemen who seek a donation from him to provide a Christmas dinner for the poor. His only "Christmas gift" is allowing his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit Christmas Day off with pay ? which he does only to keep with social custom, Scrooge considering it "a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every 25th of December!" At home that night, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost, who is forever cursed to wander the earth dragging a network of heavy chains, forged during a lifetime of greed and selfishness. Dickens describes the apparition thus: "Marley's face ... had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar." Marley has a bandage under his chin, tied at the top of his head; "... how much greater was his horror, when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head, as if it were too warm to wear indoors, its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast!" Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits that night, and that he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains of his own. As Marley departs, Scrooge witnesses other restless spirits who now wish they could help their fellow man, but are powerless to do so. Scrooge is then visited by the three spirits Marley spoke of ? each visit detailed in a separate stave ? who accompany him on visits to various Christmas scenes.
Über den Autor:
Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 ? 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens was forced to leave school to work in a factory when his father was thrown into debtors' prison. Although he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed. Over his career he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.
Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, is one of the most influential works ever written, and it remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Set in London and Paris, his 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, is the best selling novel of all time. His creative genius has been praised by fellow writers?from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell and G. K. Chesterton?for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism. The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters.
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