Monday 31 July 2017

A Certain Indescribable Air

I grew impatient with those who wasted [David Copperfield's] time: I saw nothing amusing in Mr Micawber ... I realised why I was so impatient with Mr Micawber. And Dolly was not only Mr Micawber, she was Mrs Micawber as well, hinting that she had come down in the world...
A Family Romance, ch. 6

Nothing amusing in Mr Micawber?! When a stranger came on the scene in chapter 11 of David Copperfield, with a 'certain condescending roll in his voice, and a certain indescribable air of doing something genteel', I found myself newly fascinated. I had forgotten how Micawber was introduced, and how early, but I welcomed him as an old friend, and looked forward to his every return. I don't often disagree with Brookner, but on the subject of Mr Micawber I must make an exception.

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