It’s So Classic Tag
1. Link your post to Rebellious Writing (www.rebelliouswriting.com)
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag at least 5 bloggers.
1. What is one classic that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, but really needs to?
This was a recent Top Ten Tuesday…I stand by all my answers but will add one more: Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev. I rated this book very highly and feel it would appeal to anyone who enjoys costumes dramas, while offering a new perspective. (We need more Russian literature adaptations in general. Just sayin’!)
2. What draws you to classics?
It is hard to put a scientific answer to this, because I got into classics at a young age and they became a core part of my life. If anything, I love them most of all for sentimental reasons. Apart from that, it’s the depth of the writing, the complexity of the characters, and the different perspectives which I value so much. Also, the time-travel feeling you get when you’re reading them…
3. What is an underrated classic?
I feel Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White is hugely underrated, compared to Dracula and Jane Eyre (and I love those two, too, don’t get me wrong :)). The Woman in White is an incredible tale of sisterly love, domestic abuse, mistaken identity, and, of course, romance. If you haven’t read it, give it a try!
4. What is one classic that you didn’t expect to love, but ended up loving anyway?
Well, “love” isn’t quite the word, but I was surprised in a good way by Arthur Miller’s famous plays, especially The Crucible. It’s a worthy classic and gave me a new respect for plays.
5. What is your most favorite and least favorite classics?
Most favorite: It definitely changes over the years, but currently: Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin. I know, I know, I’m a broken record… But I love it so much, and it makes me sad it’s not very well known outside of Slavic countries. I hosted a read-along of it several years ago, and most readers enjoyed it greatly. Maybe it’s time to do another one?!
Least favorite: I have incredible loathing for Franz Kafka’s The Castle. It’s especially annoying because I otherwise love Kafka, and so I forced myself to finish The Castle because I wanted to read all of his fiction. One of the worst reading experiences ever.
6. What is your favorite character from a classic? Or if that is too hard, one is your favorite classic character trope (e.g. strong and silent, quiet sidekick, etc.)
Not hard at all… Sherlock Holmes! Last year I did an entire podcast episode on why he’s my favorite…check it out if you’re interested.
In general, my favorite trope is the Loner, who may or may not be Intellectual, but is usually Misunderstood. 🙂 That covers Sherlock Holmes, Prince Myshkin (from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot), Razumov (Conrad’s Under Western Eyes), Jane Eyre, Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings), and many others.
7. What’s a popular classic that you felt wasn’t actually that great?
The Odyssey. I understand why it’s popular; I just couldn’t find anything to like about it, personally.
8. Who is your favorite classic author?
Wellll…currently my top three are something like: Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, and Jules Verne. I wouldn’t say I have favorites, though; it’s too hard to choose. 🙂
9. In your opinion, what makes a classic a classic?
Another past podcast episode! 🙂 [Not trying to promote the podcast (which is on hiatus), just FYI.] Universal themes is a big factor. I also think it has to do with culture. Each culture has its own set of classics that aligns with its values, and if/as subcultures become more and more prevalent, there will be fewer books universally loved or considered classics. That’s my prediction, at least.
10. Relating to newer books, what attributes does a book need to have in order to be worthy of the title “classic”?
I haven’t read a ton of newer books, but “modern classic” makes me think of three novels by Kazuo Ishiguro:
- The Remains of the Day (1989)
- An Artist of the Floating World (1986)
- A Pale View of Hills (1982)
These books involve what you might call common, almost universal history (WWII), plus themes many people can relate to – change, loyalty, betrayal, old age, fear, family, etc. They are written in a clear, simple narrative mostly devoid of trendy words or phrases that could be considered “dated.” He gets to the core of what people care about. It’s immersive, because it draws you in even if you have a different background than the protagonists. All these things make them classic-worthy, I think.
That was fun! I tag these bloggers, if they haven’t done it yet and are interested:
- Beth at Beth’s Bookish Thoughts
- Cirtnecce at Mockingbirds,Looking Glasses & Prejudices…
- Brian at Babbling Books
- Catherine Marie at Elle Lit Des Classiques
- Sharon at Gently Mad
Also, if you’re reading this and would like to do the tag, please feel free to jump on board! A couple of you are on still hiatus (?), and I had to resist the urge to tag many more…but I still want to hear what you all think!