A friend of mine commented that society needs another Charles Dickens to show us oursleves here in America, holding a mirror to our faces so that we can see our hypocritical inconsistencies, yet doing it in a way that sells enough copies to make a difference. I wonder . . .

In an age when more people watch the movie than read the book, would such books be read? Would books the length of Dickens’s be best-sellers? I guess there’s hope since his books today are still read and loved by many. (the fact that major bookstores still stock them is a clue)

Who would listen to such stuff? True, Dickens’s works still ring true with a majority of those that read and understand them, but would people be more likely to read such criticism of American follies and shrug them off as “true for you but not for me”?

Who would write such a book? Dickens wrote with biting wit yet a great heart of compassion. Somehow, he even seemed to pity what was pitiable in his villains (his description of Fagin’s last night before execution reveals this pity for Fagin without giving Fagin any loophole for escape from what he so justly deserved). The only people he had no pity for were the conceited and pompous hypocrites that grew fat from preying on others and never had the humanity to fear their just reward. Infusing such compassion into such brutal honesty is not a walk in the park. Who could do it? Only a person who is convinced that there truly is a right and a wrong. Only a person who sees that everyone, deep inside, knows that right and wrong exist and suspect where they stand in relation to them. Only a person who cares about people and can care about them while showing them themselves. Is there such a person in today’s world of postmodern compromise?

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