Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'Bah Humbug' at the New York Public Library: A Gaiman Christmas Carol

Shelf Awareness

Author Neil Gaiman "managed to make the crowd at the New York Public Library fall silent for over an hour on Sunday to hear him read A Christmas Carol, from a special copy that Charles Dickens had edited himself for live performances. (He wore a fake Dickensian beard throughout to help get into character.) Which, considering how many children were in the audience, was a miracle on par with Scrooge's change of heart," the New York Observer reported.

"It's a wonderful time to tell stories about the dead," Gaiman said. "You've got winter. You got the depths of winter. You have the whole peddling around a fireside thing. You have long nights.... What Dickens did that was so interesting was that he took the ghost story, Christmas ghost stories, as a genre, and he wrote a couple really good ones for his magazine."

Artist Sean Von Gorman captured Gaiman-as-Dickens at the NYPL event, which also featured Molly Oldfield, author of The Secret Museum: Some Treasures Are Too Precious to Display..., sharing unique items found in the library's collection of Dickens material in the Berg Collection of English and American Literature.

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