One of Britain's greatest ever writers, Charles Dickens is most associated with Victorian London and in particular the misery and poverty we call Dickensian, so he hasn't - up until now - been much used as a literary brand. Now on an industrial estate in the rather run down town of Chatham in Kent where the writer grew up, Dickens World is opening, a theme park dedicated, so it says, to giving a flavour of life in Dicken's England.
The centrepiece is a boat ride through an elaborate interactive stage set of picturesque slums and their associated smells, to conjure up an illusion of real Victorian life - and misery. It's ignited a familiar debate of entertainment versus education. While critics have attacked the trivialisation of Dickens's legacy, the organisers reply that the writer was a great popular entertainer who would have heartily approved of such a theme park.
The critics say the real Dickens experience is in the books - and trips down fake Victorian sewers won't get people reading. But it is of course ultimately a business proposition, investing 120 million dollars, and predicting 300,000 visitors a year. That shows a lot of confidence in both the pulling power of Dickens and of theme park versions of misery and poverty.
New Words (Từ mới)
làm liên tưởng tới
a literary brand
nhà văn nổi tiếng mà tên tuổi có thể được sử dụng vào việc kinh doanh
giving a flavour of life
cho thấy bức tranh của xã hội
trung tâm điểm
to conjure up
làm hiện ra như có phép thuật
ignited a familiar debate
khơi gợi lại cuộc tranh cãi quen thuộc
làm cho nhỏ bé, tầm thường
một cách chân thành, nhiệt tình
the pulling power
sự cuốn hút