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May 28, 2013 • Cee • Events

armchairbea21

This post is a genre topic about Classic Literature, aka Classics, aka the-genre-that-I-read-a-lot-in-college-because-i-was-an-english-major, aka oh-man-here-we-go-again. 

Question: “Why, reader, do you love classics?”

Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature.

One of the reasons why I majored in English was to read books that I would never really read in my day-t0-day life. Classic literature is the type of genre I would have to force myself to read if it wasn’t a required reading for school. I certainly wanted to read these books, but my attention span was (and sort of still is) very small. As I got used to the idea of reading classic literature, For me, I tend to breeze through books quickly, but I hate doing that to classic books like The Picture of Dorian Gray or The House of Mirth because I feel I won’t understand the deeper meaning and concepts the book portrays. I love classic literature because I love seeing how the author portrayed the world. Their writing speaks a lot about the time period and the social issues. As a history lover, I find it fascinating to loose yourself in a different time. 

What are your favorite classics?

Some of my favorites include:

  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Howards End by E.M. Forster

Note: I am, most likely, missing a few. And I’m confused as to which books fall under the “Classic literature” category. I deem any book after 20th century to not be in the classic literature category. (It falls under Modernism.)

If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it?

I’m rather horrible at giving recommendations. I’ll just recommend my favorites because it’s much easier. :D

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – it’s an interesting horror story that questions the power of knowledge and who the monsters are in the world.
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – This is a ghost story. Even if you do not like ghost stories (which I admit I do not), you will be on the edge of your seat! This book does an excellent job of keeping the suspense going throughout the novel. It really makes you question whether something is actual happening or not.

How would you convince them to give classics a try?

I have no idea! Usually when somebody tries to convince me to read a certain book or to watch a particular TV show, I refuse to pick up their suggestion. I don’t want the book to be shoved down my throat because I’ll end up disliking it. I think I’ll most likely say that reading classics is a must. You don’t have to like it, but you’d be surprise when you pick up a book and find out you actually enjoy it. 

And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites?

I always think back to the stories fondly. I like remembering where and when I got sucked into the story. The books surprised me so much (by both the writing style and the content) when I initially read it that it left quite an impression in my head. I love the bits of history that the book portrays. 

Check out my introduction in Armchair BEA.