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Challenge Update: Classics

Continuing in the theme of challenge updates, we have a slow-starter here, for me at least. Good thing I only signed up for a bachelor’s degree in this Classics Challenge; I’m feeling rather ho-hum and not too proud of it.

The idea, as designed by Stiletto Storytime, is expressed with some purposeful vagueness: we get to decide what a classic is! The bachelor’s level comes out to 10 books in a whole year. I can do this! I just haven’t started yet.

I do have a few ideas in mind… I have The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera set aside… and I keep wanting to reread The Count of Monte Cristo. But I don’t think a reread should count; do you? Ah dear. Which brings me to my question for this post – please do comment and let me know! What is a classic? How does one choose? How old does it have to be to be a classic? Can we judge a 2010 book as being a “classic” already? It can be fiction or non, right? The challenger answers thusly: “A classic to me is a book that has in some way become bigger than itself. It’s become part of culture, society or the bigger picture. It’s the book you know about even if you have not read it. It’s the book you feel like you should have read.” …which I think pretty clearly allows nonfiction, but hasn’t settled my question of publication date at all. I don’t really have a book in mind that I’m questioning, but I’ll definitely ask you if I come up with a specific question. 🙂

I think I’m still (still!) suffering from laziness-in-books, after finishing graduate school 14 months ago now. I’m so entertained by fluffy genre fiction (Child! Connelly! Burke! ok he’s less fluffy, a bit), and have trouble getting into heavier books. Does a classic have to be heavy? I did recently sit down and devour Pride and Prejudice in one sitting, yum. (another reread.) Wish me luck in this one… this might be my most challenging challenge, so I’m glad I took it on! Will let you know how it goes.

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