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The Lazy Tour of Two Idle ... > Reading Schedule, and Preliminary Remarks

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message 1: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
Dear Curiosities,

After we have read TOCS and recovered from the various emotions this work has evoked in our generous breasts, it may be time again to take a look at one of the shorter works by the Inimitable.

This time we have picked The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, which is one of the collaborative works by Dickens and his friend Wilkie Collins. It was published in Dickens's Household Words in October 1857 (in several parts) and it is based on a tour through Cumberland the two writers did earlier on in the same year. It was first published as a book in 1890.

Since the travelogue is a bit longer than a usual short story, we will divide it into two weeks, and this is going to be our reading schedule:

09/05/19 - 15/05/19: Chp. 01-03
16/05/19 - 22/05/19: Chp. 04-05

I think that reading The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices (LTTIA) will be a new experience for most of us since it is not generally a work that one picks for reading. I, at least, have never read it before.

We will start our Barnaby Rudge adventure immediately after LTTIA, and a reading schedule will appear in due course.

I hope the lazy tour will not be too lazy!


message 2: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
By the way, I think there is an digitalized version of this work available on Gutenberg. Unfortunately, users from Germany are still blocked from accessing this site because of a lawsuit over copyrights. Too bad.


message 3: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2311 comments This is one of those times when GR could use some emoticons. In their stead, I will just say, "Sounds great! Looking forward to it!"


message 4: by Peter (new)

Peter | 3033 comments Mod
Like Tristram, I have never read LTTIA. A new experience for me as well. What larks!


message 5: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments I must say, I did not know Dickens had collaborated with Collins. This sounds fun.


message 6: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
John, I think that apart from LTTIA there are some other works where Dickens and Collins collaborated. If the group like LTTIA, we might throw in another collaboration between the major novels from time to time. Dickens and Collins are both fine writers in their own right, and so a collaboration can only be promising ... I hope I am not biting off too big a chunk here ;-)


message 7: by John (last edited Apr 14, 2019 03:33PM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments Tristram wrote: "John, I think that apart from LTTIA there are some other works where Dickens and Collins collaborated. If the group like LTTIA, we might throw in another collaboration between the major novels from..."

Thanks Tristram. I'm pleased to note that the Kindle version is for $0.00 and the Nook version is for $1.99.

I'm paying the $1.99 for the Nook version from Barnes & Noble because I think Amazon is too big for its britches and I dislike stoking its riches.

I rather think Mr. Dickens would side with my decision.


message 8: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
John,

I bought the Delphi edition of the complete works of Dickens for my Kindle. It was actually the very first title I bought for my Kindle back then. Together with the complete Trollope, the complete Conrad and the complete Bulwer-Lytton.

I usually prefer reading real books but it was for those hardly-available titles that I bought the Delphi editions. And for reading at night.


message 9: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie | 294 comments John wrote: "Tristram wrote: "John, I think that apart from LTTIA there are some other works where Dickens and Collins collaborated. If the group like LTTIA, we might throw in another collaboration between the ..."

I bought it on the Kindle for $0.99. I don't why it wasn't free for me. :)


message 10: by John (last edited Apr 15, 2019 09:07AM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments Bobbie wrote: "John wrote: "Tristram wrote: "John, I think that apart from LTTIA there are some other works where Dickens and Collins collaborated. If the group like LTTIA, we might throw in another collaboration..."

Hmmm. Odd. Could have sworn I saw it listed for $0.00

While I'm on this e book thing, I must post a brief rant. One of the great novels of the past 50 years -- Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude -- is not in any e book format.

Here we have a Nobel Prize winning author of one of the great novels ever -- an author who considered Dickens his literary mentor -- and you can't get the novel in e book format in English.

Darn shame, though I have no idea who to complain to. I also find it odd, given most of his other works are in e book format.


message 11: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
John,

Maybe it has something to do with copyright issues? I can't imagine it is due to a lack of interest.


message 12: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments Tristram, it is very odd. The e book can be purchased in Spanish, but the standard English translation by Gregory Rabassa is unavailable. Of the major novels of the last century, it is the only one I know of to be unavailable in Kindle or Nook in English. I wish I knew why.


message 13: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
This is certainly strange, and being able to understand it might be one of the first signs of oncoming lunacy. So, let's count ourselves lucky that we cannot understand it ;-)


message 14: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I don't think I've read this one either :)


message 15: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
Bionic Jean wrote: "I don't think I've read this one either :)"

It is quite a fun read, Jean, I can promise you this :-)


message 16: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh good - it sounds exactly what I need :)


message 17: by John (last edited May 05, 2019 09:51AM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments Speaking of Dickens with his friend Collins, the novelist Dan Simmons wrote an interesting horror/mystery novel that has Collins as the narrator of a story involving Dickens.

It is called Drood. I actually have the book and started it and found it pretty good, but it is very lengthy and I decided to put it aside for a bit. Sometimes these lengthy books, I can't start them unless I know I'm good to the end. When I get there with this one, I look forward to it because it did have a great opening chapter -- mysterious, foreboding, with Collins doing the talking.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


message 18: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It is free here (UK) too, and the formatting is fine (I've read the first chapter). That's often what puts me off taking up the free kindle public domain books.


message 19: by John (last edited May 09, 2019 03:14AM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments Something I came across while looking at the background on Wilkie Collins at Britannica:

Under Dickens’ influence, Collins developed a talent for characterization, humour, and popular success, while the older writer’s debt to Collins is evident in the more skillful and suspenseful plot structures of such novels as A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–61)


message 20: by Peter (new)

Peter | 3033 comments Mod
John wrote: "Something I came across while looking at the background on Wilkie Collins at Britannica:

Under Dickens’ influence, Collins developed a talent for characterization, humour, and popular success, whi..."


John

Thanks for this information. It makes our coming reading of The Lazy Tour” much more intriguing.


message 21: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
John,

That is a very interesting point. Should the more careful structure, the wider plot arches of Dickens‘s later novels be a result of the author‘s friendship with Wilkie Collins? I have often heard that Collins‘s novels declined in quality when he grew older (because he wanted to be an author with a message and therefore became too didactic). I have not read a lot of Collins novels and those few older ones I read I rather liked, and so I don‘t know whether this statement is true or not, but I know, for sure, that Dickens‘s older novels, let‘s say from Dombey or David on, are much richer and compelling than his earlier novels.


message 22: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yes, I too found myself thinking that I hadn't considered Wilkie Collins's influence on Charles Dickens, but only the other way round! I'd thought that the laudenum (Collins had to take for his gout) and failing eyesight might have been contributory factors to the decline in his writing.

The piece we are reading now, The Lazy Tour Of Two Idle Apprentices is very marked as to which parts are written by which author - it's fascinating to think of their conversations.


message 23: by John (last edited May 11, 2019 05:43AM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments I plan on starting the first chapter this weekend and hope to complete it and perhaps the second chapter, too. I look forward to comparing their writing styles, along with whatever comes of may on their travels.

For those interested in the travelogue type books, one laced with droll wit and humor in the best Dickensian sense, try Bill Bryson's A Walk in The Woods. Wonderful book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...


message 24: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie | 294 comments I know it is very early to even be thinking of this but I am wondering what we will be reading next. I know that the next novel is Martin Chuzzlewit (very long) but I am wondering if we will read something else in between? Thanks.


message 25: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4452 comments Mod
Hi Bobbie,

We are working on a reading schedule right now. Our problem was to square the reading of Martin Chuzzlewit with a Christmas read in December. We did not want the interruption for MC to be too long, and it seems we have come up with a solution. But I still need a couple of days to post it in its final version.

As to your other question of whether we'll read something in between: This time we decided that we won't but there will be a week dedicated to discussing the novel as a whole. In other words, MC will not begin next week but the week after that.


message 26: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie | 294 comments Thanks again. Gee, What time is it in Germany?


message 27: by Jantine (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 575 comments It is 9:05 PM right now, so about 8:10 PM when Tristram posted. *Is from the same time zone* Not that late.


message 28: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) You know I always enjoy the interim reads :) But I'm just one among many, and have confidence that we will all have one for Christmas ... well, hopefully!

Thanks Bobbie, for raising the subject :)


message 29: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1038 comments I assume Chuzzlewit was serialized. Begs a question for me: was there any novel he wrote that was not serialized?


message 30: by Peter (new)

Peter | 3033 comments Mod
Hi John

Yes. All the major novels were serialized in either a weekly or monthly format.

How Dickens kept up the momentum and pressure of such a publication schedule along with everything else he was doing remains a mystery to me.


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