Happy birthday, dearest Charles!

Dickens, one of my life’s most long-lasting loves.

But I did not know that today was his 200th birthday until I read yesterday’s New York Times opinion page. A (young?) lawyer named Joseph Tartakovsky wrote informatively and gorgeously about Dickens who, as anyone who’s read Dickens (or for that matter, Sidebar for Plaintiffs) knows, hated lawyers.

Because I read or re-read at least one Dickens novel a year — “read” is an inaccurate word but I don’t have a better one right now for the experience of entering Dickens’ world and living within it for what I always hope will be an alternative eternity — I’ve extracted numerous quotes about lawyers to employ here.

But Tartakovsky, in his “Dickens V. Lawyers,” hands me another, peculiarly fortuitous link: he offers details of Dickens’ life that led him to hate lawyers. After Dickens filed a lawsuit against a publisher who had pirated his work [does nothing ever change in this world?], “Dickens told a friend afterward that ‘it is better to suffer a great wrong than to have recourse to the much greater wrong of the law.'”

Obviously, I who love lawsuits do not agree with this god of literature, but the piece does give me a pertinent second prologue to my own current irritation at the lawyers who took on and neglected me, their client, during my broken foot lawsuit.

And I will get back to (and at) them tomorrow. (I’ve been short of sleep for three nights, thanks to the Super Bowl and its aftermath.) In the meantime, let me elegantly stall by suggesting you read “Dickens V. Lawyers.”


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