I’m trying to read Dickens’ Great Expectations as quickly as I can at the moment, as I want to have read it before I go to see Mike Newell’s new film adaptation. The screenplay has been written by David Nicholls, whose third novel One Day was very popular and also very good; I also enjoyed the film adaptation enormously.
Anyway, Nicholls was writing about how he had made the screenplay for Great Expectations in The Guardian last week; he identified it as his favourite novel which suggests he would have read it a few times.
So it was interesting to come across this passage at the end of chapter nine the other day;
“Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers. that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”
Nicholls has attributed the unique narrative device he uses in One Day to a suggestion in Hardy; while the sentence from Dickens is perhaps not exactly suggestive of the One Day device, I wonder if it was also somewhere in Nicholls’ mind when he started writing his novel?