I think some classics are truly timeless reads. The kind of classics I'm talking about are much different than yours though.
I speak of books like Moby Dick, The Sea Wolf, Journey to the Center of the Earth. And who could forget such classic poets like John Keats (Ode to a Nightingale), Edgar Allen Poe (Annabel Lee), William Butler Yates, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Those poets and the books I mentioned are definitely irreplaceable to me.
“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system." - Bruce Lee
I haven't read Moby Dick, but may end up doing so in the future. I've never heard of The Sea Wolf. Journey to the Center of the Earth isn't really my...type of book. I don't go too far into the sci-fi stuff. Fantasy, sure, but sci-fi just isn't my...cup of tea...
Edgar Allen Poe is the only one of those that I have heard of. I really like his works. I also like Emily Dickinson a lot.
Journey to the Center of Earth isn't your typical science fiction read. I actually haven't read the entire book all the way through yet. What I have read of it I found profoundly fascinating.
Lost Horizon is a science fiction book you may enjoy. I never use to like reading nerdy science fiction either, but once you give it an earnest chance, you may decide otherwise. Lost Horizon is also a classic!
It seemed too wrapped up in vanity and was too obviously moralistic. Some classics have their charm, especially French, but perhaps this one was just not for me.
Hunchback of Notre Dame will always be a favorite, partially because of the gorgeous archhitectural studies. The characters are also very easy to sympathize with. I wish I could read the original in French.
Honestly...modern writing is more to my liking and some post modern novels as well. I suppose something like 'French Lieutenant's Woman' would be considered a classic by now.
I will have to mirror Knight in regards to classic poetry though.
What does it take for something to become a classic? Does a classic have to defy genre and transcend its form? Does it really have to be timeless or can it be a vivd, candid and penatrating picture of its time?
"Let your passion for life burn through every obstacle."
Classic literature can be boring and tedious to work with at times but, it is definitely more well written. Books like Twilight are so poorly written they make me want to hurl. They seem like some bored teenage fantasy without any meaning or point.
I definitely prefer classic literature because I think not only are the stories better, but the writing is as well. The kind of books which are published now and which become popular, don't even deserve to be put on the same shelf.
"Fat man, take warning! If you go on, I shall feel myself constrained to cuff your face."
yes i prefer the classics also, in general. keeping to mid to late nineteenth century work, I'd like to suggest Oscar Wilde. He writes well and is generally interesting and thought provoking. I really like Lord Byron. A lot of his themes are now genre-defining (by that i mean for the period) eg what it means to be "byronic". His versions of romanticism and individualism were very influential. I found George Eliot's middlemarch to be rewarding, but it is not small. Philosophers: Emerson (his essays) and Nietzsche. I'd offer a much longer list but that would be kind of self indulgent. I'd also say read the Greek classics (they were the models for most european thinkers and writers in general). In particular I enjoyed Plutarch.
The Birds by Aristofanes or Tristram Shandy by Sterne can be more modern for the 21th century reader than Phillip Roth's novels or even as modern as Edward Foster Wallace writings. I think the term classic is a way we have to talk about old books but not a style itself. But I prefer masterpieces nevertheless.
Wuthering Heights is my favorite book. I also enjoyed The Vampyre, Dracula, Jane Eyre, Carmilla, Les Miserables, Frankenstien, Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, and many more I can not recall at the moment. Currently I am reading "Tess of the d'urbervilles" I HIGHLY recommend this book!
I didn't expect this topic to become so popular. I apologize for being late in responding. Thanks for all the recommended books. o.o I shall have to look into some of them. The most current book I have been reading, although not a classic, was "Mermaids: The Myths, Legends, and Lore" by Skye Alexander. I love legends of mythological creatures and people as well. Back on topic: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux was an amazing book!! Maybe even one of my favorites.
Some of my favorite classics are the works of Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, etc.), Dante's Divine Comedy, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (I absolutely LOVE this book), and Edgar Allan Poe (specifically The Tell-Tale Heart, Annabel Lee, and the Fall of the House of Usher).
I hate how close-minded people can be when it comes to classics. Simply labeling it boring because they can't get through the entire thing. Perhaps it's because you don't understand it can not because it's boring. The language in the classics is very sophisticated and for the modern day person to grasp that, well let's just say that they don't even try.
Right now I'm struggling to bring my writing up to par with that of the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Milton and such. I feel like I can't get there. I know I have a lot to learn. It frustrates me that their work is slowly because their work is becoming eclipsed by the literature of today. I'm not saying that all modern literature is garbage but the standard being set today isn't very high when it comes to what sells. I don't hate a lot of the literature I read. I'm a very open-minded person when it comes to things like this. I'm mad because no one will take the time to appreciate what was left behind. For instance right now the one of the biggest things out in books is the "Fifty Shades of Gray", a Sadomasochistic Erotica. I don't get it. I really don't get women's love for this kind of thing. A lot of romance is the same concept of some damsel in distress of course a lot of Gothic literature was like that too. I really don't care about orgasms and things like that. I just want an actual plot thank you. I do occasionally read erotica, but it has to be at the place where that is just a element in it and not the whole thing otherwise it's a waste of my time.
(This is a revision of my previous and perhaps for callous point of view of on the subject. For those tender, frail hearts out there who were hurt by my vitriolic words I ask for your forgiveness.)
Invictus666, it may be a good idea to learn to be able to write cohesively and coherently in a post where you condemn and criticise the standard of writing today, although I'll give you an out and allow you may be trolling - as doubtful as that is.
Some classical works have aged badly. The language has changed too much, or the subject matter has become irrelevant. Beowulf for one is a prime example of this.
As for you DragonGamer, as much as I enjoy King, I'm not sure I'd call his books classics
I've yet to read any Crichton, but I'm not sure that much today has distinguished itself enough to claim a title like that - by my personal definitions at least. Although 50 Shades may qualify, again, I've yet to read it though.
I'd determine something as being able to become classical now by either defining, or redefining, an area of literature. 50 Shades is apparently doing that with cliterature, bringing it into the meta on a level the proto-typical Mills & Boon books never achieved.
Potter, as perhaps the most successful literary franchise of recent years has been indoctrinated into the curriculum for a long time now, but doesn't merit an inclusion into any classical / classic listing as it offers nothing new, nothing special. It just caught the interest of the public.
Shut up. Stephen King put so much profanity in his work it's laughable. I tried to get through The Shining and every other word was a four letter word. Don't preach to me about Stephen King. If you want to make your point valid come at me with a modern writer whose work isn't garbage.
Just because the language is higher than your understanding doesn't make it worthless. Why the hell do schools make classics required reading if it's so useless. Huh, tell me that. Just because everyone knows Stephen King doesn't make his work worth reading. Everybody and their mama is reading 50 Shades of Gray. It's even on a Bestsellers list. All is it about it sex and perversion.
Harry Potter is an excellent piece of work. I'm not arguing that. So I'll give you that. However don't come at me with Stephen King. I'm really dying of laughter right now. Wow...when you find good literature to back up your statement you know where to find me. Oh god...Stephen King...*facepalm*
P.S maybe my writing is "incoherent" because you can't fathom the idea that you're wrong.
"I can't believe I did that. I just came out of the closet for real, didn't I? And I did it with a smile. 'Hello, Japan. I'm gay!'" - says Eiri Yuki from Gravitation.
Yeah, stop using words wrongly. Jackass means donkey. Obviously you can't get your point across without using profanity either which goes to prove to how low you've sunken. I'm going to leave you to rant on your on. Seeing as I wasn't even talking to in the first place and have no reason to glorify your babble, I'm going on to bigger and better things. No one said I was being supercilious. I'm just stating my point. Obviously Stephen King is a poor excuse of defending your point. What does that matter anyway. He's laughing all the way to the bank. So go ahead and answer back with how stuck up I am. I couldn't care less. Ciao.
King IS good literature ... The guy has sold millions, and can sell, based just on his name.
Using words wrongly?
You said "Why the hell". Why the bad / demonic (deplete based on beliefs) place do schools use it? That makes no sense. As does "Using words wrongly". Grammarians would slaughter you for that.
Your replies here kinda do prove you care, so ... failures all around for you really.
And I'm not sure if I mentioned it in this thread or another, but classics, classical and just good literature are quite precise things for me.
King is - despite Invictus the idiots claims - UNDENIABLY a successful and talented author. Is every book star quality? No. That's possibly subjective, but I doubt any reader / fan could claim such a vast body of work has no black sheep.
I adore Terry Pratchett, and I think his satire, wit and wordplay are superb, on a level, or even surpassing at times someone of even Tom Sharpe's calibre. Yet his early books are horrendously dated compared to his later novels. Are they all brilliant? Well, I'm tempted to say yes now ...
But I know, despite some great points in each, they aren't all balanced enough to be superb.
The Song of Ice and Fire series I can see possibly becoming a classic, and if not quite as lauded as LotR, I feel it could sit beside it well enough as a "modern day" classic.
As for the language, Beowulf is understandable? I'm talking about the original manuscript, not a translation, just to clarify :P
My university lecturer, who has a doctorate in Medieval Literature or something similar was able to read it in the original tongue, but he was the only one I knew of, out of quite a broad circle of friends interested in literature, so at least in my social circles, it isn't accessible.
The tropes and archetypes in them are of course still relevant and appearing today. They likely will be thousands of years from now. That's the nature of humanity, and the key to success in writing