CULTURE

The world celebrates Dickens with read-a-thon

You can?t have too much of Charles Dickens, according to the fans of the British Council?s Global Dickens read-a-thon, which celebrates the great British writer?s 200th birthday with happenings across the globe and readings in 24 countries of 24 texts by the classic novelist in 24 hours.

Participating are China, Singapore, Albania, Argentina, Iraq, Russia and more. In Greece, the reading, at 7 p.m., will be of Dickens?s historical novel ?Barnaby Rudge,? set during the 1780 anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in London.

All readings are five minutes in length and the passages have been chosen to reflect some of the most interesting, engaging and significant moments in Dickens?s literary colossus.

The read-a-thon will commence with a reading of ?Dombey and Son? from Australia at 7 a.m. Highlights during the day include a reading from ?Hard Times? from Iraq at 10 a.m., ?Our Mutual Friend? from Syria at 4 p.m., ?Bleak House? from Argentina at 10 p.m., ?The Old Curiosity Shop? from Japan at 11 p.m., ?The Uncommercial Traveler? from Pakistan at 4 a.m. and will conclude with Dickens?s last unfinished work, ?The Mystery of Edwin Drood? in Romania in the early hours of February 8.

At 7 p.m. the UK will also take part in the read-a-thon with a live reading of ?Great Expectations? from the British novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls in the British Film Institute as part of Film London and the British Council?s UK celebrations.

All 24 readings have all been prerecorded and organized by the British Council global network. They will be available to watch via @britishcouncil on Twitter, where they will be uploaded on the hour from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. between the February 7 and 8.