Author Topic: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?  (Read 3143 times)  

Offline Eric S. Kim

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Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« on: November 12, 2016, 05:28:40 PM »
Now that the popularity of e-books skyrocketed, I tried to go back to reading classic literature. Think Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Dickens, Cervantes, etc. While I still enjoy reading the classics, I'm starting to find my interest growing less and less as time flies by.

Maybe it's because the plots, locations, and characters are so outdated. Anything that's modernized (or just anything that's set in the 21st Century) is something that I look forward to more. Maybe it's because of the overly poetic narrative and dialogue that dominate works like Hamlet, Les Miserables, Of Mice & Men, and more. Or maybe the e-books that are popular right now on Kindle appear to be more hip and hot than the books that are considered "timeless."

I don't know. I've been loving classic literature since my teenage years. Now that I'm older, the things that draw me in with these books are starting to shrink.
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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 05:37:18 PM »
If hip and hot are your thing, then go for the modern. However, I just read a 60-year-old novel, Night of the Hunter, and it was powerful despite dialect, poetic description, and the hopelessly un-hip characters. To each his/her own. 

Offline Victoria Wright

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 06:04:43 PM »
No.

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Offline Shanna Moncuse

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 06:11:34 PM »
I've never really been into classical literature, but it might just be because of the books they made us read in high school.


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Offline Word Fan

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 06:32:29 PM »
No. In fact, I recently picked up Moby-Dick again and realized how much humor it contains. I don't mean that "it's funny because it's dated." I mean that, as an adult, I now catch what I missed as a teenager: author Herman Melville has placed some truly humorous characters and situations into what is otherwise a sober and serious story.

Offline Athena Grayson

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 06:45:39 PM »
I'm actually finding it more and more relevant. Plus ca change, plus ca same old crap.

I do find it kind of easier to read the classics I was forced to read in school because I'm reading them in e-format, so the kinesthetic memory doesn't bring the same, "I'm going to be tested on this" feeling. :D

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Offline NeedWant

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 06:50:59 PM »
I've never been into classical literature. I read books that interest me, I don't read them just because a bunch of critics decided they're "classics." I read literary fiction but I don't read a novel just because it won a Pulitzer Prize, I read it if it interests me. Some people only read award winners and critical darlings, and that's pretty sad.

Martin Eden by Jack London is one of my favorite novels. I don't think it's considered a classic but it was published in 1909 and I read it because it interested me (it's about a writer) not because it was written by Jack London or the year it was published. In fact, it's the only Jack London book I've read so far. I don't plan on reading The Call of the Wild because it simply doesn't interest me.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 06:54:02 PM »
Hard to beat Dickens for plot, description and characters.
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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2016, 08:21:47 PM »
I went on a really long Classical lit binge read that lasted from my college years till about ten years later. Read so many works considered classic and to be honest I had to force myself to finish them. Felt like homework that I didn't want to do. I wanted to like them but most of them used so many out-dated phrases and referenced random people from the past, and of course literary meaning they often don't follow any well-defined route just made a lot of them a bore.

I wanted to like them. But often I just found them dreadful.

When I was going through classic horror I was put to sleep by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein is DREADFUL. Just a terribly written book. Dracula was ok, but as I said, even though I REALLY wanted to like them they just couldn't keep my interest like any contemporary writer could.
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Offline Christina Ochs

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2016, 08:47:22 PM »
I've been feeling the opposite, like so much current stuff I read is trite and banal. Including my own writing. :-) So little truly stands the test of time. When I get into one of these moods I always return to the classics. Tolstoy, Dickens, Eliot, Austen and Hugo never disappoint me.


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Offline Victoria J

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2016, 08:51:40 PM »
No.

Offline GARael

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2016, 08:55:26 PM »
It really depends on what it is. I'll never grow tired of Hugo, Dickens or Dostoyevsky, but there are some classics I reread only to find myself less than enamored. I think different stories, modern or classic, can have varying appeal depending on where you are in life and what speaks to you.
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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2016, 09:03:52 PM »
No. I have been reading Aesop's Fables on my smartphone, recently. And Plato's "Republic." And find it impossible to read most current or recent bestsellers: they just fail to grip me.
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Offline Ryn Shell

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2016, 09:06:55 PM »
No.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2016, 09:10:58 PM »
Yes less and less of the time. And I always seem to have less and less time nowadays.


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Offline MJSauthor

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2016, 09:13:01 PM »
My favorite book (including modern works), if I had to choose, is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Getting in classic literature can be challenging, but most of that is just the language difference. Get used to the jargon and you may find some gems.

As a side note, when i first jumped into Crime and Punishment, a couple days into it, I got selected for jury duty. So read that one at your own risk.

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Offline Nic

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2016, 10:08:17 PM »
No. I read, and love, a lot of 19th and 18th century books. Gutenberg.org has been an absolute blessing. It's the current literature, whether genre or literary, that I often find to be trite in comparison.

Offline T.C.Seiko

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2016, 12:15:04 AM »
I'm actually finding myself returning to classics I've abandoned long ago.

I read 'The Great Gatsby' in high school, but didn't care about it. After I read that Haruki Murakami considered 'The Great Gatsby' his favourite book, I gave it another try and fell in love: 'The Great Gatsby' is now one of my favourite books and I just borrowed it this week from a library here in Kyoto for another read.

The term  'classics' encompasses so many genres, writers and eras that it's difficult to make a general statement.

I tried to read Dickens: 'Tale of Two Cities' had some great moments, but I didn't particularly enjoy it, even found it bland at times. 'Hard Times' I couldn't even finish. But then I read the first paragraph of 'David Copperfield' and couldn't stop.

Ernest Hemingway was a writer I used to enjoy in high school: I liked his short stories; 'The Old Man and The Sea' gave me an appreciation of what I associated with real literature at the time. After high school, I tried his novels and could finish neither 'The Sun Also Rises' nor 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'.

Now, two months after I came to Japan, I accidentally stumbled upon 'The Sun Also Rises' and suddenly the words spoke to me. Maybe it's my age, or the current circumstances where I'm adapting to a life in foreign country that changed my perception, but I enjoyed Hemingway more than any other book I've read since I came here (among those writers: Brandon Sanderson, Iain M. Banks, James Patterson and Sean Platt).

I actually enjoyed Hemingway so much that I'm going to re-visit some authors I've enjoyed, but read too few of: Mark Twain, Salinger, Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene and Ernest Hemingway
 

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2016, 02:03:40 AM »
Classical literature (as opposed to classic literature) in the uk normally means ancient greek/latin texts, I was looking forward to a discussion or the odyssey!

Seriously though, for me reading is like eating. Sometimes I want a slap up meal in a posh restaurant so I'll reach for Joyce or Austen or someone, and the food is amazing but very rich. And sometimes I want fish and chips and I'll reach for a comforting harry potter.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2016, 02:15:48 AM »
No. The classics are as appealing to me as they were when I first read them.

Offline Ian Kharitonov

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2016, 02:35:49 AM »
Aesop's Fables are hugely popular among Kindle readers.
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Offline alawston

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2016, 03:00:23 AM »
My wife is on a rampage through the classics at the moment. Then she read Girl On The Train. To say she was unimpressed would be something of an understatement...


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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2016, 03:51:23 AM »
Great discussion topic! . . . . I'm going to move this to the Book Corner . . . . sorry for any confusion!

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Offline JTriptych

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2016, 04:22:54 AM »
They're called classics for a reason. I rarely read any indie stuff, and prefer older literature.

Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2016, 04:30:44 AM »
As with any books, a general genre is only part of the story.  I tend to like mysteries and thrillers. Still, I've read books in those categories that I didn't care for at all. And I tend NOT to care to read memoirs or autobiographies, even of people I admire. But I recently picked up Springsteen's Born to Run and enjoyed it very much.

"The Classics" are the same for me. I've read some that I really enjoyed very much. . . . . and others that I absolutely could not see what all the fuss was about.

I have been picking up some minor classics lately as they tend to be free. Some I enjoy; some not so much.

It definitely IS the case, of course, that there are a LOT of books out there . . . . . I don't think I could go 'all classics' any more than I could go 'all contemporary'. I like a mix and when a book was written doesn't matter to me as much as whether or not I end up enjoying it.

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Offline Jean E

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2016, 04:56:24 AM »
Dickens.  What characters, what insight, compassion and storytelling.  Hard to beat.

Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2016, 05:03:41 AM »
Dickens.  What characters, what insight, compassion and storytelling.  Hard to beat.

I'd say some Dickens. :) I very much enjoyed Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol. But it was a REAL SLOG to get through Pickwick Papers and Bleak House for example. I did finish A Tale of Two Cities but there were points where it was a bit of a slog as well.

So . . . . again, I guess I'm loathe to generalize. ::)

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Offline alawston

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2016, 05:13:37 AM »
I'd say some Dickens. :) I very much enjoyed Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol. But it was a REAL SLOG to get through Pickwick Papers and Bleak House for example. I did finish A Tale of Two Cities but there were points where it was a bit of a slog as well.

So . . . . again, I guess I'm loathe to generalize. ::)

My favourite Dickens remains Nicholas Nickleby, but I'm fairly sure that's mostly because it was the first I read, and through associations with the RSC stage adaptation that was broadcast by Channel 4 in the 1980s - formative experience stuff!

I read A Tale of Two Cities fairly late, just a couple of years ago while I was rehearsing a stage production (literally - at one point I was reading Madame Desfarge's death while our two actresses were rehearsing it just a few yards away). It definitely picks up immeasurably when the action moves wholly to Paris.


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Offline ThomasDiehl

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2016, 05:56:29 AM »
Already in school and stronger yet when taking American literature courses in college, I have come to the conclusion it is not quality that makes a classic, but importance. A classic may be terrible yet earn its place by its literary influence or historical significance. Just as well, it may be a great book.
Classic status becomes even less a mark of quality once you define classics by the authors who wrote them instead of individually. Dickens has been mentioned, but even Shakespeare did create some duds.
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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2016, 06:00:08 AM »
Already in school and stronger yet when taking American literature courses in college, I have come to the conclusion it is not quality that makes a classic, but importance. A classic may be terrible yet earn its place by its literary influence or historical significance. Just as well, it may be a great book.
Classic status becomes even less a mark of quality once you define classics by the authors who wrote them instead of individually. Dickens has been mentioned, but even Shakespeare did create some duds.

Agree!

Even when I can't slog my way through something considered "great" I can often get why it's considered an important work. Doesn't mean I want to read it for fun. ;)

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Offline cadle-sparks

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2016, 07:01:08 AM »
I can't make a blanket statement. Some classic novels thrill me. Others bore me. Some I "cheat on," skipping the long dull bits about chancery court to get to the people parts. And I confess to having read a few abridged versions where an editor took the dull parts out for me.

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2016, 06:33:46 AM »
Understanding any book, whether a classic or modern, requires understanding the context in which it was written. Appreciation for the classics often requires an understanding of the time period in which it was written. it requires a great deal of literary literacy. If you don't understand the political environment of the time, a lot of Shakespeare doesn't make sense. But Shakespeare was a very political writer, and a lot of his work makes subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) references to things going on in his time.

Lots of people love to say they find modern books more appealing than classics. But of COURSE you would find modern literature more appealing...you live in the context in which it is written. Even if the book is an epic fantasy set in a magical world, the work itself is grounded in the world you know. You don't have to really work at it to pick up what it going on. Classics? They require work. They were written for time periods and cultures that have pasted. They make assumptions about the knowledge base of the reader that may not be true about readers today. You can't really understand most American Literature before the 20th century without having a firm understanding of the literary influences of the Bible. Most literature out of the Middle Ages assumes the reader has a strong foundation in classical mythology. If you don't, you will simply miss a lot of the references and innuendos.

Human nature being what it is, we always find more appealing that which more closely reflects our reality. The classics require leaving our comfort zone and looking at the world in a different way. That is hard for a lot of people. It also requires a certain level of empathy for the past. It is very easy to simply dismiss a classic because our modern sensibilities consider it racist or sexist or whatever. But if we can put aside our self-congratulatory righteousness, the classics can provide a valuable window into the past.

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Offline Jasperwocky

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2016, 06:36:07 PM »
Understanding any book, whether a classic or modern, requires understanding the context in which it was written. Appreciation for the classics often requires an understanding of the time period in which it was written.

This is true.

However, some classics are universal. I'm reading Middlemarch by George Elliot at the moment. It's absolutely brilliant because she understands humans. I'd probably get a more out of it if i knew more about the Reform Act or the dissenting church, but the main joy comes from an author gently skewering our little vanities, pretensions, conceits and concerns, which haven't actually changed at all.

I also listen to the classics on audiobook. This started with me being a cheapskate and wanting the longest books possible for my one monthly audible credit. Now I love listening to some rambling digression on the economics of victorian farming (looking at you, Victor Hugo!) as I walk to work, it puts me in a kind of meditative state.

Offline Geoffrey

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2016, 01:35:25 PM »
One of the most difficult parts of being an English major was that I found much of the required reading tedious.  Most things pre-Georgian I enjoyed (except those dreary Puritan writers) but I never really enjoyed writers from the Georgian and Victorian eras with some few exceptions.  This is more true of English and American writers in those eras, but it's not until the early 20th Century and not into the 21st that I've enjoyed the writing styles of various periods again.



Offline MariaESchneider

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2016, 08:34:34 AM »
I was never a big fan of it.  I revisited some of the classics that I hadn't read when I started writing cozy fiction (I don't know why.  I just thought I should be well read.)   I liked Mark Twain and that's about it.  I tried for the third or fourth time to get through Wuthering and I still loathed it.  I'd already read 1984 and found it dark.  I read a short story by Abraham Lincoln (not really a classic, but it seemed like the thing  to read at the time).  Classics tend to have some sort of historical significance, but I found them unpleasant to read.  Some of them were like peas, okay, but not really a meal.  Others were like drinking milk that has just started to turn.  You keep sipping, but it's generally distasteful, although probably still nutritious.  You're not sure it's turned, but you'd rather not drink it.

I guess I'm mostly a milkshake drinker.  I want my chocolate and I want my ice cream.  I'll research a topic I'm interested in until no word is left unturned...but I'm not going to force myself to read anything anymore and the classics are on the list of "probably not for me."

Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2016, 01:09:44 PM »
Family Guy covered The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn, and Of Mice and Men in their episode Sunday night. I find that show to be hit or miss (more miss than hit, if I'm honest), but when they do these "re-tellings" they're not bad -- especially if you're familiar with the originals.

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Offline IgnorantArmies

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2017, 08:50:39 PM »
I'm glad to see so many people expressing continual interest in "classic" literature. My reading tastes range from truly "classical" stuff (e.g., The Aeneid and The Oresteia) to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Sure, almost any novel from before the 20th Century requires a realignment of one's attention span, but the effort is usually rewarded. Right now I am reading Thomas Pynchon's Bleeding Edge, which makes demands on the reader just as heavy as those made by George Eliot's Middlemarch, but any Pynchon novel is a genuinely uplifting experience.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2017, 04:43:09 PM »
Depends. I have little to no interest in reading something like Ulysses, but I love Hemingway and Orwell. A lot of Hemingway's best stuff is almost 100 years old now.

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Offline WHDean

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2017, 06:12:56 PM »
"Classic" is a pretty broad category. It encompasses different kinds of books and different motivations for reading books. The Brothers Karamazov, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The Great Gatsby, for example, are all classics. You read the first because it's meditation on God, the human condition, and human nature. You read Holmes because he's an iconic character and the series is founded a genre--reading the stories is as much about cultural literacy as anything else. Gatsby is still read because it captures--for some at least--the Gilded Age in America and because Fitzgerald is a master of English prose.

So, the answer to the OP's question depends, for me at least, on what I want to read. If I want to be entertained, the books I mentioned--except for Holmes--are unappealing. Only a masochist could be entertained by Dostoyevsky. But if I wanted to expand your experience--and that motive some times move me--he's the category of classic that I pick up. If I want to be entertained, I'll probably read another installment of Craig Johnson's Longmire series.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 06:34:38 AM by WHDean »

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2017, 03:56:35 PM »
I find that I too find modern books more appealing. My favorite genre to read in is historical, but I still prefer when it was actually written in recent years. I think that many of the situations and emotions portrayed in older works are true to human nature, making them relatable to anyone. Still, I don't think we connect as easily with those emotions because of the way the stories are housed. Tastes have changed. Just look at the way movies have also evolved over the years. In October I went to an old theater that was playing "Arsenic and Old Lace" in honor of Halloween. I'm a huge Carey Grant fan and love that movie, but part way through I realized that many people who like new movies would be bored by it. The movie takes place almost completely in one house and the action only comes in spurts. Otherwise it's pretty slow-going with a lot of repetition which had the tendency to bore modern audiences ("Teddy's" constant lapse into Theodore Roosevelt's character etc). Though the movie is thrilling in the mystery of it, it's slow. I think that's a tone modern readers don't always appreciate in books today either. Many times older movies and older books take patience. I find myself enjoying books that give me lots to think about, move quickly and keep me on the edge. Not that older works aren't exciting, but the manner in which the thrill is offered has evolved over the years.
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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2017, 04:38:19 PM »
  Is Jules Verne classical literature?
  I wanted to increase my consumption of books that are more than 100 years old, so I read 20,000 leagues under the seas.
  It was very awful. It was an adventure novel written for educated people back then to have some fun I think. It spends so much time listing natural species that the characters observe in the ocean. Naturalism was getting very big back then, but it is one of the most boring books I have ever read.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2017, 04:41:09 AM »
My favorite 'relatively recent classic' is Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Hundred Years of Solitude

Talk about an amazing book.

The opening line says it all:

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buenda was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

While the MAGICAL REALISM that Marquez uses in this classic was actually pioneered by GERMAN authors, his take on it (especially with what's going on with the post-World War II wars of colonial liberation) really takes this book on a whole other level.



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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2017, 02:08:05 PM »
I read literary fiction but I don't read a novel just because it won a Pulitzer Prize, I read it if it interests me.

Two or three years ago I spent some time reading early Pulitzer winners that I hadn't read already and I was surprised at how much I had missed.  I first read Tarkington's "Alice Adams" and I liked it a lot so I read "The Magnificent Ambersons" and these are the two that got me started with the early Pulitzers.  For some reason I still think about "The Magnificent Ambersons" a lot although while reading them I liked "Alice Adams" more and thought it was the better novel.  Still, I don't think much about it after reading it.

Tarkington won the second ever Pulitzer for fiction with "The Magnificent Ambersons" and the 4th one for "Alice Adams".  I think it was curiosity about why an author won 2 Pulitzers almost in a row that made me read them.

And then came the real gem, Edna Ferber's "So Big".  I've read her books all my life and I've always liked them but she was never one of my favorite writers; just a good writer fun to read sometimes.  "So Big" was her first novel, the one that made her famous and, as much as I enjoyed her later books she never came close to this kind of power again.  Don't read "So Big" because it's a Pulitzer winner, although I did.  Read it because it's magnificent!  Read it because it's fun!

I'd already read several Pulitzer novels and I do like re-reading good books so I read Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific" again.  Probably my favorite movie was the musical made from that so I don't know if I can really judge the book fairly.  By the way, the musical version also won a Pulitzer.   It should have and did. :)

I think the reason I like using the Pulitzer as on occasional guide isn't anything to do with what critics or some board decided.  I do it because it's led me to such fine books.

A lot of them I read not knowing they'd won Pulitzers.  "The Good Earth" has always been a favorite.  It's one of the books I re-read every few years.  If I had to pick a single book as a favorite, which I don't think I could really do, this is one of those I'd have to consider.  The same is true of "The Grapes of Wrath" and anything else by Steinbeck.

A few critics don't decide which books are classics.  We do!  Books become classics because we read them and recommend them and talk about them and think about them and feel like they've become part of us.

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Offline marianneg

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2017, 08:31:36 AM »
On the contrary, I've found myself reading more classics on Kindle than I used to on paper. I still read tons of more modern books, but there are so many gems that are now in the public domain and thus available from many sites for free. I joined a Goodreads group that is devoted to dead authors (so not necessarily all what I would call "classics," but many are) and have found so many wonderful stories that I might not have ever heard of.
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Offline NeedWant

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2017, 10:21:59 AM »
I think the reason I like using the Pulitzer as on occasional guide isn't anything to do with what critics or some board decided.  I do it because it's led me to such fine books.

One of my favorite writers, Michael Cunningham, won a Pulitzer for The Hours. The movie version is one of my favorites but the novel left me a bit cold. I much prefer his novel A Home at the End of the World. That kind of tells me that my tastes don't align with the Pulitzer people. Not to mention that some of my other favorite novelists haven't won any big literary prizes, but that doesn't stop me from loving their work.

So yeah, I don't really care what the Pulitzer thinks is worthy. If it sounds interesting, I'll read it, but having their stamp of approval on something means nothing to me.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2017, 11:13:10 AM »
I've been feeling the opposite, like so much current stuff I read is trite and banal. Including my own writing. :-) So little truly stands the test of time. When I get into one of these moods I always return to the classics. Tolstoy, Dickens, Eliot, Austen and Hugo never disappoint me.


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Ditto for me. I have found some great new self-published authors with stories I really enjoy. But the books the big publishers are releasing? Same old plots, same old characters. You can just hear the formulas clicking in their heads: "We know this sells, so let's stick with this." I always have enjoyed the classics and find interesting plots, believable characters, and good prose irresistible.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2017, 06:00:08 PM »
Depends. I have little to no interest in reading something like Ulysses, but I love Hemingway and Orwell. A lot of Hemingway's best stuff is almost 100 years old now.

Owell is not an author I would ever say I enjoyed, but his works are the epitome of understanding the dangers of modernization.  "Animal Farm" and "1984" are such important stories that I cannot imagine not having read them.  And yes, I still turn my computer off every night...though I do not know, if it really makes a difference.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2017, 06:29:02 PM »
I'm finding classical fiction more and more appealing. There are too many modern stories about the same topics, written in the same easy-to-read formats. It's not very stimulating. I also find that I blow through easy-to-read works; they don't make me sit and imagine the stories to appreciate them and they certainly do nothing for my vocabulary.

That said, it would be exhausting to only read classic literature.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2017, 11:52:56 AM »
Yes, some of it, I do because the writing is so old-fashioned that it is hard to read.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2017, 08:08:46 PM »
No I don't find it less appealing, but I do go through "phases" in my reading with classic literature.
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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2017, 05:18:54 AM »
I think this  can happen based on mood and the way you approach it. Classic literature is timeless because the themes that these writers touch upon are universal and transcend era. However,I can agree that at times the study of the culture can become dated especially when dealing with the humor because humor tends to best reflect a particular era and it is one thing that does change through time.

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #51 on: June 06, 2017, 08:35:15 PM »
It's never been appealing to me per se, but I do appreciate it and like to sit down with a good classic on occasion. Then there are the select favorites I can always return to. i.e. Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, and so forth. As for preferences, I do like modern books better. I guess a lot modern books are faster paced which is appealing to me since I have a low attention span, so a faster paced plot reels me in easier and makes the book go by quicker. Of course, this is bad for great books because it means it's over sooner.  :P

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2017, 08:42:46 AM »
It always takes me a while to adjust  to a different authors writing style. So I've rarely been drawn straight into  what many would call a classic work of literature, but once into that writer I'll have no problem reading  more of their work and  can go on binges.

 I also  find it hard to jump from reading several  modern authors then moving onto read something a lot older, like Austen. It's too different, too wordy, so I have to ease myself in. A good Sherlock Holmes story normally does the trick for me. It's sort of bridge  between old and new and even though Conan Doyle  is a  classic writer.

I teach A Level  Classical Civilization to teenagers and I recently reread The Iliad which  for many years has been one of my favourite books. So I  was  shocked and disappointed  when I  became bored about half way through.  I was not pleased with myself.

Then for the second year of the  A level we had to read  The Aeneid,  which I'd always  found long winded and tedious. I was surprised when I found myself reading it for pleasure and loving the richness of the writing and human story line. As a student  I'd completely missed the pathos and tragedy of Aeneas's story and I could appreciate the subtle and not so subtle propaganda inherent in the book  regarding  Virgil's hopes for a  golden age under Augustus.

Some humour can be timeless as well. Aristophanes' Lysistrata  is a perfect example of that. My classes have been in stiches  when we've been reading it and  have even read it for themselves and recommended the play  to other students.

So for me some books are better now I'm older, but I always  need time to adjust to a different way of writing.
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