Bild på författaren.

Michael Patrick Hearn

Författare till The Annotated Wizard of Oz

13+ verk 1,970 medlemmar 29 recensioner

Om författaren

Michael Patrick Hearn's first Oz annotation, written when he was 21, was featured on the front page of the "New York Times Book Review." He lives in New York City. (Bowker Author Biography)

Verk av Michael Patrick Hearn

Associerade verk

The Annotated Huckleberry Finn (1988) — Redaktör; Inledning; Anmerkungen — 328 exemplar, 2 recensioner
Witch Poems (1976) — Bidragsgivare — 63 exemplar, 6 recensioner
Illustrated Works of Mark Twain (1979) — Redaktör, vissa utgåvor62 exemplar
Monster Poems (1976) — Bidragsgivare — 24 exemplar
Lewis Carroll observed (1976) — Bidragsgivare — 19 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1, September 1974 (1974) — Illustratör — 7 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 6, February 1975 (1975) — Illustratör — 5 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 2, October 1975 (1974) — Illustratör — 4 exemplar
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 6, February 1977 — Bidragsgivare — 2 exemplar
The history of Tom Thumbe (1977) — Förord — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Hearn, Michael Patrick
literary scholar



I've always had some issues with Dickens' Christmas Carol. The central messages - that people are more important than money, and that it's never too late to make changes in yourself - are timeless, and their presentation within a ghost story is very appealing (and a large part of what keeps the story living, I think). As a child, though, I found some of it massively over-sentimentalized, especially the role of Tiny Tim, who embodies a distasteful, pitying view of people with disabilities that doesn't (and shouldn't) fit the mores of today. As I've grown older, I've come to see the wish fulfillment aspect of the final pages - where Scrooge undoes decades of malignant behavior by throwing around a lot of money - as a bit troubling, too. But it's a story I want to like, even when it bothers me; there's a core to it that I think is important, and the ghosts are - to use an overplayed word - iconic.

Michael Patrick Hearn's The Annotated Christmas Carol goes a long way toward helping people like me put the story, and both its positive and negative aspects, in full context. This is the kind of "layman's acadame" volume that fulfills a desperately needed function: it treats the lay reader as smart and intelligent, and pulls together a lot of different historical and biographical strands that will help them understand a culturally meaningful work that probably only saw through the lens of entertainment. it's not a deep-dive or a truly academic text, but it points the way toward those deeper, denser materials if the reader chooses to go on and take the next step. If not, it at least leaves them with a more informed appreciation.

The one caveat here is that Hearn's perspective, and presumed audience, is distinctly American. That shouldn't come as a surprise, but it might - I was a little bit thrown how often he uses annotations to explain old British currency, or tell us where in London we might find a certain location. (It must be said, though, that this is a twenty-year-old book, and the internet has globalized a lot more day-to-day cultural information in the intervening years.) More intriguing is his repeated emphasis on Dickens' disastrous social standing in the United States preceding Christmas Carol, thanks mostly to criticisms he published following a visit. I'd never heard anything about this aspect to the failure of Martin Chuzzlewit and Dickens' need for a big hit, but it makes sense and Hearn provides solid grounding. I just don't think a British author, writing for a British audience, would have given it so much air. That's not a criticism - just an observation.

While the annotations are often very interesting, explaining words and phrases that have fallen out of fashion, making comparisons to Dickens' own life, and describing how some sequences were revised before publication or transformed by early stage adaptations, the "stars" of the book are the introduction and two appendices. The extensive introduction chronicles the development of A Christmas Carol (including the failure of Chuzzlewit), its publication, and its critical reception. It also fully describes his despair at the treatment of the poor, especially children, which largely sparked the creation of Christmas Carol and goes some way toward contextualizing the problematic Tiny Tim. The first appendix acts as a book-end, covering Dickens' decision to tour with Public Readings of Christmas Carol, taking us from his separation from his wife to the health issues he developed on the road and resultant early death. Together these two sections take up more than 100 pages of the book and are excellent, engaging reads. The second appendix is more of a curio - the full text of Dickens' reduced-length Christmas Carol utilized for the Public Readings - but a valuable inclusion nonetheless. The book is completed with an extensive bibliography of and on Dickens.

This is an excellent volume for anyone who has ever read A Christmas Carol, or even grown up watching one of the innumerable adaptations, and wants to better understand it. My only thought toward a reprint would be a chapter to overview film and TV adaptations, and their trends, especially as in the last 30 years we have moved much more fully away from "heritage" (text-authentic) productions to ones that reframe or modernize the story. Otherwise - this is an ideal "next step" for a personal library, and it would actually make an excellent Christmas gift in and of itself.
… (mer)
saroz | 7 andra recensioner | Dec 26, 2023 |
Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim. The spirits of Christmas past, present, and future. The knocker with Jacob Marley’s face. Yes, that Marley, dead as a doornail.
It’s a story so familiar to me, having seen at least three film adaptions, that somehow I never got around to reading the book. This year, that finally changed. I found, once again, that the experience of reading is different from that of watching. Although I’ve seen Scrooge depicted by marvelous actors, who clearly relished the role (Alastair Sim, George C. Scott, Michael Caine), the Scrooge evoked in my mind while reading was somehow not like any of them. And although I knew it would be part of the story, the scene when Scrooge foresees the forlorn Cratchit household, bereft of Tiny Tim, made my eyes film over.
Beyond that, the experience of reading is a chance to savor the writing. Dickens establishes a narrator from the start who makes it clear that his own opinion that Christmas is one of the great civilizing influences in the world, perhaps the greatest, will not prevent him from passing on what he observes with wry humor. The first two paragraphs, in which he asks whether a coffin nail might not be deader than a doornail, is one of the best openings I’ve read.
Yet, for all his writing skills, language has changed a bit in the past two centuries. Of course, there is the internet to quickly search for the meaning of an obscure word, or if you are curious about how to make a bowl of Bishop’s (or how the concoction got its name). An alternative is to read this annotated edition, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn. Beyond the meanings of obscure terms (and those recipes!), this edition features a 51-page introduction, which recounts the crucial role this slim volume played in Dickens’s career, its critical reception at the time and since, as well as the social and religious background. Also, there are several illustrations by Dickens’s contemporaries, including reproductions of John Leech’s hand-colored engravings from the first edition, the text of which is photomechanically reproduced in this edition,
… (mer)
1 rösta
HenrySt123 | 7 andra recensioner | Jul 19, 2021 |
So much more humorous than I expected! I do wonder how this story struck people in its own era. For me, it had overlay on overlay of retelling and reference. (Didn't read any of the extra notes in this particular edition.)
pammab | 7 andra recensioner | Dec 27, 2020 |
Because it's the Wizard of Oz. And I don't care how many history/political science/economics classes try to ruin it.
gossamerchild88 | 15 andra recensioner | Mar 30, 2018 |



Du skulle kanske också gilla

Associerade författare

W. W. Denslow Illustrator
Henry Morley Contributor
Mary De Morgan Contributor
William Allingham Contributor
Charles Dickens Contributor
Christina Rossetti Contributor
J. M. Barrie Contributor
Oscar Wilde Contributor
George MacDonald Contributor
John Ruskin Contributor
Kenneth Grahame Contributor
E. Nesbit Contributor
Ford Madox Ford Contributor
Robert Browning Contributor
Laurence Housman Contributor
Leo Dillon Illustrator
Diane Dillon Illustrator
Thomas H. Russell Contributor
Alfred Könner Translator
Änne Troester Translator
Nita Ybarra Cover designer
John Leech Illustrator
Barry Moser Illustrator


Även av
½ 4.3

Tabeller & diagram