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Reading the classics.

I have often pondered the idea of reading “the classics”. It just feels like something I should do. Sure, I have read my share, by happenstance, or sometimes cajoled by an English teacher (ie, assigned). Would I have ever read Hamlet or The Great Gatsby if left to my own devices? Who’s to know? I did go through a huge John Steinbeck phase after reading Of Mice and Men and lord knows I’ve made reading Little Women a yearly event. Confession time- there have been many of the classics I just haven’t been able to make it through. I tried reading War and Peace when I was a junior in high school and have never picked it up since. At the time I was quite hung up on the fact that those names were just too foreign for me. I like to be able to pronounce the names of my protagonists! The Sound and the Fury -oh my! I have not been able to get through Faulkner’s prose!
I have however been able to get through a lot of the more “accessible” classics. Some of my favorite novels are listed in the “classic” genre. Have you ever felt the need to try to get through some of the classics? I found this definition of what makes a book a classic: A classic is a book which with each rereading offers as much of a sense of discovery as the first reading. A classic is a book which even when we read it for the first time gives the sense of rereading something we have read before. A classic is a book which has never exhausted all it has to say to its readers.
Sounds good to me. Rereading a book is like visiting with an old friend…
-Submitted by, Estel