Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dickens on butterflies

Following an interesting recommendation from Drew, and receiving the DVD series for Christmas, I've been reading Bleak House by Dickens recently. Here is a great (and sad) little character description. Dickens for me is all about these little observations.

Everything that Mr Smallweed's grandfather ever put away in his mind was a grub at first, and is a grub at last. In all his life he has never bred a single butterfly.

- Charles Dickens, Bleak House, chapter 21.


Mister Tim said...

How about The Little Prince on butterflies?

Drew said...

Such an economy of expression... which is of course the exact point with regard to Mr Smallweed.

byron smith said...

Drew - indeed. Of course, part of the economy of expression comes from the delightfully expressive names. Smallweed - perfect.

Mister Tim - yes, I'd love to hear the story alluded to in the comments of your link!

Mister Tim said...

A guy from my church, who was in my Bible Study Group in 2001, referred to that passage from The Little Prince while we were on a church camp (and I was recalling it just before Christmas and read it to Larissa when she noticed my copy of the Little Prince in the room she was staying in).

Introductions to new people in Canberra almost always start with two questions: where do you work and where are you from? (Because 40% of Canberra works in the Public Service, and it seems as though 90% of Canberrans are from somewhere else).

In rebellion against this, he asked questions like: Do you like butterflies? What's your favourite colour? What kind of cake do you like?

Anyway, I thought it quite amusing - even fortuitous - that Larissa posted that quote on butterflies only five minnutes before you posted yours. Also amusing: I almost bought a copy of 'The Bleak House' this morning, but passed it up in favour of the final Calvin and Hobbes book.