Favorite Literary Classics

  • errol88

    Posts: 365

    Dec 28, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    My 15-year-old brother--who absolutely despises reading--came up to me the other day holding a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula and asked me why "this shit" is important. (I'm in graduate school studying literature so I'm guessing he assumed I would know.) He started reading it--for pleasure, surprisingly--with me helping him, and now he loves it. He was kind of blown away by how this novel shaped our modern conception of vampires and vampire fiction in general.

    Truth be told, grad school has kind of killed that spirit in me recently, so I decided to take a page from his book and go back to my favorite classics. I started (re)reading Wuthering Heights and I'm starting to remember why I fell in love with literature in the first place.

    So if there are any fans of the classics (however you define that term), what are they and why?
  • Lunastar

    Posts: 328

    Dec 28, 2011 3:23 AM GMT
    Great Expectations- Charles Dickens

    Combination of protagonist struggling against adversity, rags to riches story, romance, etc...

    Any book or novel that I truly enjoyed was because I was able to relate to some important character in meaningful way
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Dec 28, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    Mine would be 'Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus' by Mary Shelley(181icon_cool.gif,the best and most well known of the Gothic genre, and the mother of all the science fiction to come.
    It truly is the story of our times. One might even say this medium, the Internet, is the latest monster from Victor Frankenstein`s 'filthy laboratory of creation'.
    I would urge people to forget the movies and read this novel!
  • Musicman91

    Posts: 1529

    Dec 28, 2011 4:11 AM GMT
    I also love Wuthering Heights. I'm also a Jane Austen fan I love Pride and Prejudice.
  • errol88

    Posts: 365

    Dec 28, 2011 4:16 AM GMT
    Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights are both huge Gothic cornerstones. It's also interesting that they were both written by women during a time when people believed women weren't capable of writing good fiction. (The Brontes published under male pseudonyms, actually.)

    I've noticed, too, how many t.v. shows are based on these stories.
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    Dec 28, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    Uh, are The Lord of the Rings books, and The Hobbit considered literary classics?
  • Musicman91

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    Dec 28, 2011 4:21 AM GMT
    7Famark saidUh, are The Lord of the Rings books, and The Hobbit considered literary classics?


    I would say yes icon_biggrin.gif
  • errol88

    Posts: 365

    Dec 28, 2011 4:21 AM GMT
    7Famark saidUh, are The Lord of the Rings books, and The Hobbit considered literary classics?


    Absolutely. Tolkien (and C.S. Lewis, for that matter) brought the epic fantasy genre to prominence. I study them a lot in children's and young adult literature--which is my research area, actually.
  • errol88

    Posts: 365

    Dec 28, 2011 5:05 AM GMT
    Hmm. . .would anyone be interested in having an RJ Book Club? I know there was an attempt at one a long time ago, but this might be interesting to try again.
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    Dec 28, 2011 5:17 AM GMT
    RJ Book Club: Add me. :-)
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    Dec 28, 2011 5:18 AM GMT
    How to Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson.
  • errol88

    Posts: 365

    Dec 28, 2011 5:19 AM GMT
    7Famark saidHow to Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson.


    But some of us already know how! D:
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    Dec 28, 2011 5:24 AM GMT
    I have to admit that I've always been confused about why I have to look for some authors in the "fiction" rooms at Powells,while others are in the "literature" room. As for "classics," I guess that would be anything on which the copyright has run out. Bonus! You can download it for free.

    Hard to pick a favorite though. Lately, as far as "classics," I've been dipping into Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stephenson, and Ambrose Bierce.
  • Musicman91

    Posts: 1529

    Dec 28, 2011 5:25 AM GMT
    I'll do an RJ bookclub icon_biggrin.gif
  • errol88

    Posts: 365

    Dec 28, 2011 5:28 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidHard to pick a favorite though. Lately, as far as "classics," I've been dipping into Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stephenson, and Ambrose Bierce.


    Mark Twain? I was wondering when someone was going to start bringing up some American Lit people.
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    Dec 28, 2011 5:34 AM GMT
    errol88 said
    mindgarden saidHard to pick a favorite though. Lately, as far as "classics," I've been dipping into Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stephenson, and Ambrose Bierce.


    Mark Twain? I was wondering when someone was going to start bringing up some American Lit people.


    My Mom has been getting into that weird "genealogy" thing. Anyway, she showed me a manuscript that one of her Aunts used to work on, about "old family oral histories that she was told as a child." icon_rolleyes.gif She may have been told those stories as a child, but they were written by James Fenimore Cooper.
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    Dec 28, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    The Odyssey is always a good read as is A Tale of Two Cities.
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    Dec 28, 2011 6:16 AM GMT
    It may be too contemporary but: "To Kill A Mockingbird".
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    Dec 28, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    jpBITCHva said
    mindgardensaid She may have been told those stories as a child, but they were written by James Fenimore Cooper.

    You should read what Mark Twain had to say about Fenimore Cooper. From "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses":

    "I may be mistaken, but it does seem to me that "Deerslayer" is not a work of art in any sense; it does seem to me that it is destitute of every detail that goes to the making of a work of art; in truth, it seems to me that "Deerslayer" is just simply a literary delirium tremens.

    A work of art? It has no invention; it has no order, system, sequence, or result; it has no lifelikeness, no thrill, no stir, no seeming of reality; its characters are confusedly drawn, and by their acts and words they prove that they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are; its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its conversations are -- oh! indescribable; its love-scenes odious; its English a crime against the language."

    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/hns/indians/offense.html


    Sam was not sparing with his slander. Still, I prefer Bierce for bile.
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    Dec 28, 2011 7:55 AM GMT
    I'm for Jane Austen every time. I always read one over Christmas and have just finished Sense and Sensibility. Patrick O'Brian's Napoleonic War novels come next. I'd certainly join and RJ book club.
  • monet

    Posts: 1093

    Dec 28, 2011 8:08 AM GMT
    bgcat57 saidIt may be too contemporary but: "To Kill A Mockingbird".



    Greatest book of the 20th century.
  • bangg

    Posts: 91

    Dec 28, 2011 8:29 AM GMT
    Gatsby and The Catcher In The Rye are winners in my book.
    Was that a pun? I think so
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    Dec 28, 2011 8:58 AM GMT
    Was thinking the other morning that I should revisit the Mount of Monte Cristo - this might have given me the push I needed.

    RJ book club: count me in. icon_smile.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 28, 2011 9:28 AM GMT
    i can't really stand the "classics." not until hardy (with a few exceptions, and this is just talking about western literature) do i find a novel with three-denominational characters who don't proscribe to a predictable or contrived fate. i think the sound and the fury is as pretty close to literary perfection as one can get.