Armchair BEA Genre Topic : The Classics

Genre Topic 1: The Classics

The Questions:

  • Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature.

Hmmm, that is a good question. Why do I love classics. First of all, the definition of a classic is quite large and vague… A book which by its timelessness and universalism is capable of touching everybody at any time being. A book in which any human being can find something to nourish their brain or full up their heart. I love classics because they are still relevant hundreds years after they had been written. I love them because our civilisation is based on those pieces of art. How many books, movies, paintings, songs have been inspired by Dante’s Inferno ? How come, more than 50 years after it had been published, The Grapes of Wrath is still relevant ? (plus holding a classic in a public place makes you look smarter :p )

  • What are your favorite classics?

Cornelian choice here… I’d say Grapes Of Wrath by Steinbeck, The Aventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Great Gatsby by F.S. Fitzgerald…oh and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo ! and so many many many many more.

  • If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it ?

I’ve met many young (and not so young) people you claimed they didn’t like classics. When asked why, all of them told me that it was because those were old long books, written in a dated and obsolete language. So I’d give those people The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger (even if it’s a very controversial classic) and maybe Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson…just to prove them how wrong they are and how fun a classic can be !

  • How would you convince them to give classics a try?

I’d suggest to maybe watch the movie first, if there’s any good adaptations out there, or to try a abridged and /or modernised version. Or maybe to read in group, so they can share their difficulties.

  • And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites?

Because I don’t have any other choice…that’s how true love works.

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