Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 41. On Expectations, Great or Otherwise.

The Great Mr Dickens

If I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s to not expect anything from the people around me. I don’t mean this to sound callous. It’s a fact of life for me. Nothing in this world is guaranteed, except our inevitable death and some form of taxation.

As a writer I expect to write. I don’t expect others to read what I write, nor do I expect other writers to write what I want to read. I feel that if I can at least match my own expectations, then I’m on the right (write?) road.

Here’s another Great Expectations:

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A Malady in Literature

Who's afraid of her?

The Left-wing blog site, Irish Left Review, posted an interesting article this morning, in which it gives out about what it believes is the overuse and over-emphasis of disease and sickness in literary characters. For every Sherlock Holmes, there is an Inspector Morse; for every Lisbeth Salander, there is a a Tintin (yes, Tintin has a rare genetic disorder. And here’s me thinking he was ginger).

It then gives a list of potential novels that could be misread as suffering from the same folly. You can read the original article here.

Agoraphobia: A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf

Claustrophobia: The Night Before Christmas, by Clement Clarke Moore

Kleptomania: Rob Roy, by Walter Scott

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: The Constant Gardener, by John le Carré

Voyeurism: King Lear, by William Shakespeare

Exhibitionism: Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Clinical Depression: Doctor No, by Ian Fleming

Anorexia: Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen

Multiple Personality Disorder: Dubliners, by James Joyce

Stuttering: Emma, by Jane Austen

Bipolar Disorder: To the Ends of the Earth, by William Golding

Nymphomania: The Water Babies, by Charles Kingsley

Satyriasis: Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie

Dwarfism: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Hypochondria: The Iliad, by Homer

Priapism: The Bone People, by Keri Hulme

Bubonic Plague: All’s Well That Ends Well, by William Shakespeare

Down Syndrome: The Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Andersen

Echolalia: The History of Mister Polly, by H. G. Wells

Necrophilia: The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer

Catatonia: Permanent Midnight, by Jerry Stahl

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: The Dandy annual

Vertigo: Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

Coprophilia: The House at Pooh Corner, by A. A. Milne

Male Erectile Dysfunction: The Shape of Things to Come, by H. G. Wells

Halitosis: “The Lady of Shalott,” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Swine Flu: Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw

Peyronie’s disease: The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James:

Syndactyly: Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White

Haemorrhoids: The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

Macular Degeneration: Darkness at Noon, by Arthur Koestler

Incontinence: Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

Priapism (again): Hard Times, by Charles Dickens

Leprosy: Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

Gonorrhea: Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens

Self-Harming: Rip van Winkle, by Washington Irving

Necrotizing Fasciitis: Hitler, My Part In His Downfall, by Spike Milligan

Cystitis: Inferno, by Dante Alighieri

Obesity: The Life of Pi, by Yann Martell

and of course

Bulimia: Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel