Dem debate, 6 March 2016
Bleak House is a masterpiece despite every other chapter being an uphill struggle to get through. Dickens alternates chapters between a vivid, omniscient third person narrative and a saccharine first person narrative – the Esther Summerson chapters (aptly summed up by Charlotte Bronte as “weak and twaddling”). Any reader would be forgiven for wanting to skip over the Esther Summerson chapters, detailing as they do Esther’s insipid thoughts, so they can enjoy uninterrupted the grimly enjoyable grotesques Dickens populates the non-Esther chapters with; but the reader requires the Esther Summerson chapters, not only for the sake of knowing the full narrative, but – because one can always have too much of a “good” thing – they also need some form of relief from as heightened and distorted environment as that offered in the rest of Bleak House. When I watched tonight’s Democratic debate, I was really wishing I was watching a Republican debate instead (the “good” thing, by which I mean entertaining) – so I found myself reminded of the Esther Summerson chapters. That’s what the Democrat narrative is at the moment; the seemingly dull part of the novel that we wished we could skip past.
In other news, Rubio won the Puerto Rico Primary, showing his ability to win big with that most important of demographics – voters ineligible to vote in the general election.