But while we wait for the Quiz to get its act together, here's something we can all endure together.
Dickens v. Bulwer-Lytton
Remember when I read Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii a while back? No? Well, that's cool. But in the ensuing discussion, B-L was compared and contrasted with Charles Dickens, and eventually a forceful recommendation was put forward that I should read Great Expectations.
So I read Great Expectations. Or, rather, listened to it on cassette tapes(!). And it was terrific, for the most part, with a somewhat muddy final reel that led to an ending which was, well, reasonably satisfying but also a little sappy. At which point, the reader on my cassettes said "Now, that's the ending that Dickens' buddy Edward Bulwer-Lytton talked him into writing. The following is the original ending that Dickens changed on Bulwer-Lytton's advice." Then, he read an alternative ending, a little darker, a little less improbable. Far out.
This led me to Google, naturally, where I ignored the little Pac-Man game in favor of checking out the relationship between Dickens and Bulwer-Lytton. And that's how I found the:
I haven't taken it yet. And obviously there are problems with this kind of thing -- how on earth could the guy who put it together resist the temptation to cherry-pick Bulwer-Lytton's best nuggets and Dickens' worst clunkers? But, I'm going to take it today. Let's see if we can really tell the difference between the guy who is still revered as a cultural touchstone, and the guy who has become a literary laughing-stock.