When I read Dickens for the first time, I thought he was Jewish, because he wrote about oppression and bigotry, all the things that my father talked about.
It was easy to believe, between lessons on Shakespeare and Dickens and Austen, that all of the great stories had already been written by dead Europeans. But every time I saw 'The Outsiders', I knew better. It was the first time I'd realized that real people write books.
An adaptation I was working on of Trollope's 'The Pallisers' has been axed by the BBC... I was also going to do Dickens' 'Dombey and Son' but they've asked me to do 'David Copperfield' instead.
Taking the humour out of Dickens, it's not Dickens any more.
If Nora Roberts were a man, she'd be on the cover of big business magazines as the next Charles Dickens.
Not until somebody turns round and says, 'Art, how do you fancy playing Charles Dickens? How do you fancy playing Prince Charles in this biopic?' Until those movements come, then no, we haven't got past anything.
I think that with Bob Dylan around, we're living in an era where we have Whitman presenting new work, we have Dickens presenting new work, we have Yeats and Shakespeare presenting new work. It's that level.
I was brought up on Dickens. I remember reading 'Bleak House' but, coming back to it, I didn't remember much about it apart from a few characters.
I am greatly impressed with the BBC's TV adaption of Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House.' The costumes, the sets, the acting and the screenplay are all superb. Every episode is riveting.
Many books have mattered enormously to my life and work. 'David Copperfield' by Charles Dickens would be one of several contenders for 'most influential.' I first read it at 13 and have reread it dozens of times since.