To those of you unfamiliar with Charles Dickens book, David Copperfield, this brick of a book covers the life of the fictional character David Copperfield. I’d say from birth till death, but it begins before he is actually born. In the character’s youth he is stuck in this horrible little school, and since such are the times, he and most of the boys get more whippings than an S&M convention. During this hell, little David makes his first friend, Steerforth.
Steerforth is a boy of higher class and dripping with charisma and over confidence. The two instantly grow closer than brothers. There is one point when they are older and both drunk and partying that David tells him that he has been the guiding star of his life…Although with that much wine in him is was bereft of any punctuation or grammar.
The more I read, the more I started to realize how much like Steerforth an old friend of mine was, and how much their friendship equated to our own. He was as great an influence to me as Steerforth was to David. That was when things got worse. I read on, and the troubled youth and dismal future of Steerforth became known. He even pops in and out of David’s life in the same manner my friend had. There were no differences at this point between the two of them and I have been helplessly hooked into a book I had secretly dreaded reading. (even if I had made it a goal to finish it)
But why? How is it that a work of fiction one hundred and sixty three years old, succeeded in mirroring a crucial part of my life? Human technology and culture have exponentially grown since we first started farming, but people havn’t changed since then. Long before this book was written there were two friends somewhere in history who were that close, just as it happened now in my life. I am certain that hundreds of years in the future there will be two friends who go through the same thing.
It took forever, but thanks to my dear friend and this book I finally understand what it means for a work to be truly timeless. In my mind there is no greater success than creating something that outlasts you.
And to my Steerforth. If one day you read this I hope it is in better times and that you don’t meet the final fate of David’s Steerforth.
To all of the rest of you, I leave you with the inebriated words of young David Copperfield, “Steerforth, you’retheguidingstarofmyexistence.” I hope you all have someone you can say that to.