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Kell

It's a Classic! (The Classics Challenge)

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We've had a couple of classics as Reading Circle books and I know a few of our members are fans of classic literature, so I thought it might be nice to start our own section.

 

At the beginning of the year I decided I was going to tackle a classic a month (which is why this is in with the other challenges) and wondered if anyone would like to join me?

 

According to Wikipedia, the definition of a classic book is this:

In the traditional sense, a classic book is one written in ancient Greece or ancient Rome (see classics). The word "classic" may, however, also be applied to literature and other art that is widely considered a model of its form.

 

Some authors who have written classics are Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Joseph Conrad, Lewis Carroll, Jonathan Swift, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Miguel Cervantes, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Niccolò Machiavelli, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Bolesław Prus, Ignacy Krasicki, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Cao Xueqin, Lao Zi (Lao Tzu), Confucius and Murasaki.

In this sense, classics comprise what some call a "canon" of world literature. A matter of much dispute is what belongs in the canon of Western literature and art.

Most "classics" are many years old, but the word is sometimes pressed into use to describe newer works. Many classic books are, because of their age, now out of copyright and in the public domain, and of these a large number are freely available on-line from sources such as Project Gutenberg or The Literature Network.

Classics may be interpreted often usually as a widely-read book, however, it usually is (in some sense) a book marking a turning point in history. Others may reflect the traditional views of earlier societies or report social conflicts during that time. Certain classics may contain revolutionary ideas or fact. Classics usually dominate in literature that suggests a social or philosophical change.

Some people enjoy classics because of the clever development of the plot and/or characterization. Classics can be enjoyed by people of all ages, usually ranging from young teens to older adults.

Mark Twain famously wrote that a "classic" was a "book which people praise and don't read."

So, what are you waiting for? Start your own classics thread and join in!

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I like this Kell, great idea!

 

I have 'Anna Karenina' in my TBR pile....

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I have Anna Karenina also on my TBR pile, plus a few Jane Austin's and a DH Lawrence. Can't promise to read one a month but hoping to read maybe one a quarter!

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I can recommend downloading some free audiobooks - there are many out-of-copyright audio book recordings available online at places like librivox and you'd be surprised how quickly you get through them just listening to a little here and there, whether it's while you're going to work or doing the ironing...

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I suppose, "it's an instant classic" is an oxymoron? I have to laugh every time I hear a critic or a media monger shouts praises to the sky.

I think the idea of a canon of classic literature is terribly fascinating: so, thank you for that, kell.

 

Yep, Black Beauty is one that I'm glad I'm in the reader's circle, since it's a classic. My next will be Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. A choice taken by seeing how popular it is on so many in this forums favorite reading lists. I'll be curious about the use of 'madding' and why it's not 'maddening'? Perhaps I'm just terribly naive.*

 

 

*Yep, naive. I just looked up the word madding - it means insane or wildly gay. I reckon the context of the story will clear that up for me.

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Another challenge - I'm enjoying the chunky challenge but could kill two birds with one stone here as a lot of 19th century classics would also qualify for the chunky challenge - in fact I'd previously be thinking about using the chunky challenge to motivate me to tackle my TBR classics pile.

 

I love the classics and the debate over what constitutes a classic is an interesting one. It would be interesting to see which contemporary novels make it into that category.

 

Wrath - I hope you enjoy Far From the Madding Crowd as much as I did - it's in my top five books.

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Personally, I'm taking it as books written prior to 1900 (give or take a year or two where the author was writing for a while before then too), simply because I'm very aware that about 99% of my reading is authors from the 20th and 21st centuries - the later the publication date, the more likely it is to be on my TBR pile - LOL! I'm seeing this as motivation to broaden my horizons a bit and explore all those authors that wouldn't ordinarily get a look-in.

 

I'm also listening to a lot of audio books these days and the classics are in the public domain, so places like Librivox have quite a few available to download for free, which is a great help, and for those who enjoy e-books, there are LOADS available for free from the likes of Project Gutenberg. Also, there are many publishers re-issuing low-cost classics (Penguin Classics / Wordsworth Classics) where you can pick them up for around

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Is it too late to join this challenge? As I would like to read more classics and I think that this would really motivate me to read them?

hugs, Bethxx

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Anyone can join at any time. :)

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i would like to get some classic books but i am not sure of what books to look at i currently have a few jane austin books and i would like to read more love books from old writers, could you suggest afew for me... manny thanks

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If you take a look in our Classics section, I'm sure you'll see plenty of suggestions - loads of reviews and discussions going on there. :smile2:

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Welcome to the forum, Cara!

 

I would suggest Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte or Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, both of which are excellent. You might also like to try Charles Dickens (perhaps Great Expectations) and Wilkie Collins, who wrote some of the original detective/ghost novels. I haven't read him myself, but both The Moonstone and The Woman in White come highly recommended by many people on this forum. :smile2:

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On 05/04/2007 at 6:12 PM, wrathofkublakhan said:

I suppose, "it's an instant classic" is an oxymoron? I have to laugh every time I hear a critic or a media monger shouts praises to the sky.

I think the idea of a canon of classic literature is terribly fascinating: so, thank you for that, kell.

 

Yep, Black Beauty is one that I'm glad I'm in the reader's circle, since it's a classic. My next will be Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. A choice taken by seeing how popular it is on so many in this forums favorite reading lists. I'll be curious about the use of 'madding' and why it's not 'maddening'? Perhaps I'm just terribly naive.*

 

 

*Yep, naive. I just looked up the word madding - it means insane or wildly gay. I reckon the context of the story will clear that up for me.

Hi

Just finished Far from the Madding Crowd - i loved it.I hope you do too. 

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