“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”
With these enigmatic words begins a fable symbolizing the spirit of Christmas.
It was 1843 and the English novelist Charles Dickens surprised the world by publishing a short story entitled “A Christmas Carol” in a few weeks.
Literally “A Christmas Carol”, which set out to be short and incisive as a song, breaking through the hearts of those who have read it.
And that’s right.
A frothy cocktail of atmosphere and mystery, of unforgettable characters and symbolic phrases, of good feelings and a social portrait of what was one of the worst (socially speaking) periods in history: the Victorian age.
The story mixes two genres together: the story of ghosts combined with the magical atmosphere of Christmas, creating a real jewel.
The choice of this setting is based (once again) on the now widespread idea that in the night between 24 and 25 December, something magical and unexpected happens. to the magical value of this night, as seen in the latest episodes of “Fairy Tale”, should no longer be surprising.
In Dickens’s case, the presence of the supernatural has a moralizing intent, since the ghosts will be the promoters of the protagonist’s repentance and, consequently, the maximum exaltation of what is the idea of a truly peaceful and joyful Christmas.
The tale tells of an extremely rich and miserly man named Ebenezer Scrooge who, on Christmas Eve, receives a visit from the ghost of his old partner; he warns him that he will receive the lesson of three spirits, who will help him understand the true meaning of the festival.
This will make Scrooge a new, more loved and much happier man
The basic idea (on which the rest was later built) is that greed is coldness towards others, they are more pronounced during the Christmas period. And that this party should be a call for love and generosity.
An elaborate version of the Greek equation kalos kai agathos, that is, what is beautiful is also good, and vice versa.
For this reason, when Dickens presents the second spirit, the One of present Christmases, he symbolizes it as surrounded by many good things to eat: since the goodness of the heart is also transformed into goodness of the palate and of concrete flavors.
The first time that the Christmas Carol and art came into contact was when it was illustrated by the caricaturist John Leech.
The images he gave to the story are genuine and full of details, as told. The characters he draws are also characterized by their physical characteristics.
Scrooge and Marley are dry and angular, while, for example, the characters at Fezziwig’s party are all round and ruddy.
According to this aesthetic-literary line, those who manage to “feed” on the love of others and on holidays are happier and healthier. Also because in the 19th century, a more abundant line was a sign of good condition.
For today’s Christmas Fairy tale, The Blue Drop presents the works of a contemporary artist and illustrator.
P. J. Lynch, book illustrator, who, among his various works, illustrated the Christmas Carol.
With an incredibly refined style, his illustrations have a rather cinematic edge.
In each scene the artist is found in an elevated point or in the corner, as if he were a draftsman and narrator at the same time.
Each design is cloaked in a smoky atmosphere on the inside and snowy on the outside.
The intent could be to make each illustration, as well as a window on the scene, also a glimpse of key elements that characterize the book in its iconic uniqueness.
The Tiny Tim’s crutch, the Marley’s chains, the third ghost’s hood mute, the evil grins of happy people after Scrooge’s death, even his nightgown with the nightcap.
They are unique scenes, which tell a gothic tale that, going forward with history, becomes more and more lukewarm until it ends in the triumph of good feelings, love and generosity towards others.
Feelings that we should keep alive at Christmas. Also because the spirit never gets sick. So from The Blue Drop, a sincere Happy Christmas.
And so,at the end, as Tiny Tim observed, “God bless Us, Every One!“
Fairy Tale – “A Christmas Carol “
Every Thursday, even on Instagram
(Dedicated to the Christmas Eve Night, a very more special lovely night)
This post is also available in: Italian