Author Topic: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?  (Read 5138 times)  

Offline Alberto L Pupo

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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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Offline KBaker

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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

Offline Elsye_Harwood

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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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Offline Orchid6

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2018, 04:36:01 AM »
To be sincere, I find classical literature more and more appealing as days and years fly x)


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Offline Nikolas TorVald

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2018, 05:01:47 PM »
I love the classics. In fact, I think the availability of ebooks has increased that love because I'll read several ebooks, grow bored, and then pick up a classic. It's such a different experience, it makes reading fun again.

Offline dgcasey

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2018, 10:18:38 AM »
I find I just don't have the time to read the classics like I used to. With my Kindle Reader having over 150 books loaded into it, ready to be read, finding time for a classic is hard. That being said, I am currently reading three books, one of which is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
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Offline Kayla Drake

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2018, 11:44:00 AM »
The opposite is true for me right now. I just re-read 1984 for a book club, and I was so captivated by it that it made me think about what other classics I want to read or re-read. I have two more book club books to read next, and then I think I might pick something by Dickens after that. He tells a good story, and the touches of melodrama don't bother me much.

Offline williammeikle

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2018, 01:17:47 PM »
Re 1984 - I refuse to acknowledge a book written just ten years before I was born as "classical" :-)

But no, I don't find the classics less and less appealing. Exactly the opposite in fact. Quite a large fraction of what passes for popular fiction these days leaves me stone cold, and the classics call to me to show me how it should be done properly.

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Offline LarryM

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #58 on: February 03, 2018, 01:39:43 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.

This pretty much says it for me. I tried many such works. I wanted to like them, but for me, they were just too much work to get through. For those who enjoy them, more power to you.
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Offline ThomasDiehl

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2018, 01:19:22 AM »
I wonder, does this thread count as an example by now? For classical literature, I mean, not for becoming less appealing.

It's really old (by internet standards), likely read rarely, but still commented on years later. See, classical literature right there!
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Offline Kristen Tsetsi

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #60 on: February 04, 2018, 03:29:32 AM »
Not at all. I finally got around to reading Catch 22 and Brave New World and love them both. (However, I also finally read On the Road and wanted to punch every character in the novel, even if the writing itself was - imo - good.)

Depends on the book, as with any period.
           

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Offline Michaelshu

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2018, 09:10:14 PM »
Absolutely not! I find it more and more worth reading, especially after tasteless books, sometimes I feel "hunger" for classical literature, which is like wine becomes beter with years.

Offline Linjeakel

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2018, 07:42:22 AM »
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 remember that production - I think it was the first time Dickens really appealed to me since I'd been put off by having to study him and other classic authors in school. It set me off reading a whole load of classics, some I loved, some not so much.

I don't read many classics nowadays - since getting a Kindle back in 2009 I've been able to take a chance on so many new authors (through sampling, freebies etc) that I have a seemingly endless list of books lined up to read and it's only very occasionally that I'll go back to old favourites.
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Offline MJAshwood

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #63 on: April 17, 2018, 05:35:23 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.

Jules Verne, Lovecraft, Howard, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, etc are still highly readable and very engaging. As for more Literary" fiction, I actually find more modern stuff much less readable than the classics.

...Which is not to say I hate new books. I don't. I'm mostly a genre reader though, and not a massive Literary fan aside from the classics.

Online MissingAlaska

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #64 on: May 01, 2018, 10:17:10 AM »
To be sincere, I find classical literature more and more appealing as days and years fly x)

This is me too. There are several books that I tried reading as a teenager and hated -- now I'm revisiting them with a different perspective and loving them (e.g. War of the Worlds, Moby Dick, Far from the Maddening Crowd, Catch-22, 1984). I'm not sure why we torture teens with books that require a certain understanding of the world before they can be appreciated. What speaks to me as a middle-aged man is certainly different than what I appreciated as a nave teenager.

On the other hand, I recently tried to read "Pride and Prejudice" and just could not get through it.  I found the writing to be clever and agree it's a masterpiece -- but the themes don't resonate with me. Maybe this is one that I would've appreciated more as a wide-eyed teen?

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Offline Linjeakel

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #65 on: May 07, 2018, 08:46:05 AM »
I just read a quote and immediately thought of this thread:

Quote
'Classic' - a book which people praise and don't read. - Mark Twain

I think we've had this dicsussion on KB before about how many famous books people say (and even actually think) they've read, when in fact they haven't. We hear these books discussed, we maybe see movie versions and think we've read them but haven't.

As I said before, I did read a whole load of classics when in my 20s but rarely read them now. Is that because, as the OP asks, they're less appealing now? I think for me it's just that there are so many books out there I want to read it doesn't often occur to me.
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Offline shaunduke

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Re: Do you find classical literature less and less appealing?
« Reply #66 on: May 15, 2018, 06:05:06 PM »
If you'd asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have said an emphatic "yes." Like a lot of people, I was introduced to the classics in school, and never in a way that was particularly engaging. I still hate Romeo & Juliet (other Shakespeare is better; burn that play to the ground). It wasn't until I started teaching the work myself at the college level that I gained a new appreciation for a lot of the classics (not all, but a lot). Titus Andronicus is now my favorite Shakespeare play (see the movie version called Titus with Anthony Hopkins; Julie Taymor's direction is amazing). But it took a while to get there, and even now I still hate some of the works others would call classics, which seems to be right up there with any other kind of reading. Nobody will like all of the classics just as they won't like all of the contemporary fiction they read. The reasons may or may not be different (they are for me...).

This is part of the reason I think K-12 schools should do more to open the gates for what young people read, even up to giving them some control over the stuff on the syllabus. *shrug*