Oh, this piece bothers me for so many reasons….
I quote, in part:
…the sad truth is that, with no real guidance, readers cannot grow into lovers of the canon. Instead, they can only mimic their high-school selves with calls of, ‘It’s too hard!’ Or, else, they can put aside any notions of reading to become a better reader and instead immerse themselves in the nonsense of ‘discovering their true selves’ in novels.
How dare “the masses” think they can understand Dickens?
Better we not even try unless supervised, closely, by an appropriately qualified scholar who can ensure we are reading it correctly. For, of course, without a keen scholar leaning over our shoulder, Dickens’s “obscure dialectical styling and his long-lost euphemisms” will surely mystify us, perhaps ensuring we never read again (and certainly not correctly!).