Armando Iannucci On Dickens
Two centuries after he was born, Charles Dickens stands alone as perhaps the world’s most popular novelist.
His characters are famous in their own right, his novels endlessly adapted for film and television – he even has his own theme park.
However, for life-long Dickens fan Armando Iannucci, something has been lost along the way. By turning Dickens into an institution we’ve forgotten why he matters as a writer.
In this programme, Armando sets out to rediscover Dickens the novelist – how he wrote, what he thought and why it works. Using Dickens’s masterpiece David Copperfield as a focal point, Armando unpicks the language, analyses the characters and explores the revolutionary development of Dickens as a story-teller.
Using encounters with present-day individuals, Armando opens up many layers of the texts, unlocking Dickens’s emotional power through contemporary situations and real-life experiences. He challenges the old view that Dickens could only write caricatures and shows instead how his exaggerated style actually allowed his novels to reach new heights of emotional truth.
Armando Iannucci On Dickens forms part of the BBC’s Focus On Dickens at the end of the year.