Let’s Talk Classics!

Posted on Jan 18 2017 - 12:00pm by Claire Herbaux
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Talking about classics is awkward: Which ones do we consider classics? And also, what if we haven’t read one of them? Surely you can’t be found out having not read one?
When we talk about them, we always point out we are re-reading classics, because how bad would it look if we were just reading them?

Let me reassure you, you can’t have read them all. Some you will have been forced to read in school, some you will have read by choice. But there is no way you have read them all. So let’s make a deal: We will discuss some of the classics this year, and you can take part in the discussion or read it as we go along, I will let you know which one it will be.

Again, we won’t cover them all, but hopefully there will be a couple you don’t know, and some you just enjoy discussing with us. And even the ones you know, you may want to re-read them anyway. Here is the wonderful thing about these classics: They may not change, but our perception of them will. Depending on our life experiences, we will see, understand, and experience them differently. Some books about basic everyday life will have seemed boring to us in youth, makes more sense to us once we have had a mundane everyday, have been stuck in boring jobs, or simply know how easy it is to get into a rut.

In case you are not convinced, let me tell you about a study which showed that reading classics has some great side effects: These character driven novels makes you more ethical and gives you a higher emotional intelligence. Of course, you also learn more about history (I know, you can watch Downton Abbey for historical context, but we prefer books). Especially since many of the classics focus on describing surroundings, you will learn a lot about the period of history you are reading about.

So, one of the reasons why I love reading (and re-reading) classics, is because they are the books some of our favourite authors now have read themselves. The classics are the ones who have taught today’s authors how to write. So to anyone who loves reading, this is a way of exploring history.

To start out with, we will start with some of the first names coming up when talking about classics – and you get to have a say. You have the choice to choose between the two Brontë sisters: In time for Valentine’s Day, would you like to talk about Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre? We will be putting up a poll on Twitter soon, so keep an eye out for your opportunity to choose. We will also let you know the results so you can dig out your copy in time for the discussion. We hope you will enjoy it!

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