Author Topic: What makes a Classic, a classic?  (Read 10660 times)

Gerd D.

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2015, 02:30:41 am »
Reading a book on literature (50 ideas Literature, to be exact) the author in there seemed to suggest that one of the driving forces behind making a book a classic is what I would call "cultural imperialism".

E.g. "Tom Sawyer" is a classic for Americans because they are Americans, for other nations it's more a fact of (at least) cultural occupation by American forces.
(And now I sound suspiciously like a Frenchman 9))
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 10:05:04 am by Gerd D. »
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pondhawk

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2015, 09:37:07 am »
Does this explain why American students are required to read Madame Bovary and Tess of the D'Urbervilles? Someone else decided they're classics?

This is a young country. Off the top of my head, I would estimate that *at minimum* 75% of the classics we were required to read throughout our academic education, from kindergarten on, were European in origin. If that's cultural occupation, we're not very good at it yet.

Now, the lack of Asian and African literature in American classrooms has been a bit of a scandal, but that is starting to change.

pondhawk

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2015, 09:46:51 am »
Classic on one level means best in its class. Looking back through previous posts, I agree with the ones who say the story has staying power compared to its contemporaries, and speaks to the reader even centuries later. I would add that books which can be read on multiple levels are classics to me, whatever anyone else thinks of them. For instance, the Harry Potter series can be read as good vs. evil, coming-of-age, the power of choices, the value of diversity, or just rip-roaring fun.

Patti L.

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Patti L.

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Janilee

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2017, 11:23:41 pm »
Interesting! I know that a lot of what I read as a teenager would not survive today's standards. I also know that a great many of the stories I read that are considered classic literature are not being read today because they are "too difficult ".

pondhawk

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2017, 09:12:20 am »
Second that.

I still reread the Dalemark Quartet occasionally, and I discovered DWJ as an adult. It's excellent storytelling.

Patti L.

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2017, 09:42:44 am »
I've read at least 2 of the 4, but I only remember The Spellcoats, and enjoyed it.
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Patti L.

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Zealith

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2018, 05:46:10 pm »
I agree with all of those reasons, plus a few more.

pondhawk

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2018, 05:49:07 am »
Same here. I may bail on one series because the love interest invariably addresses the heroine as Nell, Sugar, like it might as well be one word: Nellsugar. It's gotten to be like fingernails on a blackboard for me.

Patti L.

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2018, 08:48:19 pm »
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Zealith

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2018, 08:57:34 pm »
Really interesting. And I will admit I've only read one of his novels, Stranger in a Strange Land and did not like.

pondhawk

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Re: What makes a Classic, a classic?
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2018, 09:49:29 am »
Some of his novels are better than others, but "evolved on the subject of women" looks very different today than it did in his time. I think Starship Troopers probably holds up the best, and even that one has a male threatening to spank a female for being uppity IIRC.

Patti L.

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