Monday, 4 May 2009

Thoughts occasioned by Dickens's Christmas Carol

Birth belongs to the future. Hope belongs to the future. Life belongs to the future. Death belongs to the past.

No matter how he thinks it -- no matter how he frets and agonises and imagines -- Napoleon cannot change the course of Waterloo. That battle is finished and done and buried in the ground in the past. The spirit of the past is a skeleton. The spirit of the future a baby: Dickens got this exactly the wrong way about in his Carol.

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