Category Archives: BIBLIO ECRIT

‘The Signal-Man’, by Charles Dickens – review

The Signal-Man (Original 1866 Edition): AnnotatedThe Signal-Man (Original 1866 Edition): Annotated by Charles Dickens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charles Dickens wrote this short story of a lonely signalman in 1866 based upon the Clayton tunnel crash in 1861. The setting of the story was a station by this tunnel with a dismal and eerie atmosphere around it, which dovetailed with the ambiance of the story itself. But while I was reading the story and thereupon, I was unsure of who’s the ghost here: the narrator or the signalman? First of all, the image of the narrator calling the signalman’s attention to him from above seems to me uncanny enough to conjure up the calling of a spectre wandering about the haunted tunnel. Or it might be that the signalman, the station, and the train per se were all in fact illusions, bewitched elements of the tunnel crash victims eternally haunting the place, not knowing their demise. Or in terms of modern psychoanalytical perspective, either the narrator or the signalman saw his own representations of the reality in his own mind, the hallucinations, which were different from and invisible to the others. And that is what I found this story at once hauntingly rueful and lingering with the images.

Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking DogMerle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ted Kerasote’s book on his freethinking dog Merle is filled with his extensive knowledge on the wildlife and humorous episodes with his canine buddy Merle, who reminds me of Snoopy in his independent character and individual personality. I am enthralled by the way he and Merle communicated to each other, which I find scintillating. The author has a unique way with a dog as if he were his real buddy and/or partner in performing any daily tasks together. Such human-canine bond seems primordial and endemic in an environment where the world of the wildlife is paraded within arm’s reach. In sum, reading this book will enlighten you on how a human-canine relationship can evolve with lots of smiles and tears.