I have decided to start participating in Weekly Geeks. This week has to do with Classic literature … the topic explanation is rather long, so if you’re interested in reading it, let me point you there.
I think I have always loved the ‘classics’. The first I remember really LOVING was Wuthering Heights. The tale of passion between Heathcliff and Catherine is heart-wrenching. The depth of feeling that Emily Bronte portrays between the two is amazing. I think it determined for me what real love should feel like. A lot of people don’t get past the first few chapters of the novel. They are a little difficult to get past, but believe me, as soon as you get past them to the real story of Catherine and Heathcliff, it is definitely worth it!
A little later, I read A Tale of Two Cities, which in my opinion is Charles Dickens’s best work. It has all the right ingredients: it is set in a turbulent time in history (the French Revolution), it is a wonderful love story, and, like most of my all-time favorite novels, it makes me cry every time. Anyone with a romantic soul should read it. I love it so much that I actually own a first edition, first issue copy. The first edition, first issue has misprinted page numbers. Page 213 is misnumbered 113.
I’m always on the lookout for a first edition of Wuthering Heights as well. They’re always extremely expensive, but one day I’ll find one I just cannot resist.
I by no means read ONLY classics. I think the last one I read must have been a reread of Macbeth at some point last year. These days, I read mostly ‘literary fiction’, which I suppose is what the ‘classics’ were once upon a time. After all, what defines a classic? Is it simply something that is old? Or is it literature that has timeless value? If someone told me they only read the classics, that’s the argument I would make. And then I would hand them Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and dare them to tell me that that is not a classic! It may have been written in the last few decades, but it is nothing short of marvelous!
I also want to thank Marg for reminding me that I REALLY have to read Mr. Pip!! It’s been on my list for far too long now!