Dickens and Prince : A Particular Kind of Genius
I found Dickens and Prince in an airport gift shop while waiting to pick someone up. The reading selections were on the obscure side with The Cloisters being the most recognizable book there. This was one of those total English major moments for me. Charles Dickens and Prince are about as much an unlikely paring as William Shakespeare and QAnon. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I’m rather proud of that paper. Not only did it secure graduating with honors in English during undergrad but it helped get me into grad school. Unlikely pairings are the best. Seriously. I had to know what relevancy between Dickens and Prince that author Nick Hornby discovered.
He discovered a lot actually, and it wasn’t in that Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way either. They had similar childhoods, despite one being born in 1812 and the other in 1958. They had the same work ethic and put out more content in their lifetimes than anyone before or after them in about the same amount of time. Please don’t message me or leave me comments about how Stephan King, L. Ron Hubbard, or Isaac Asimov have published more works than Dickens. The bulk of their work was not done in a 20 year, or less, time span. In the 20 years of Dickens life as an author he wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles. He worked non-stop, as did Prince. There is an estimated 5 to 8 thousand recordings of unreleased material left behind by Prince. L. Ron Hubbard’s left behind Scientology. Both Prince and Dickens had the same attitude toward their respective industries and the same love of women. Because of the time period, it was a bit more scandalous for Dickens.
Hornby calls his book an essay. Whatever you call it, it was an enjoyable and informative read. He’s done his homework and the reader can tell it was a labor of love. I may have to revisit Dickens after reading this. I have discovered so many books that I read as a kid/teenager are a lot different as an adult. I am going to trust Hornby when he says Dickens is the same way.