30 Days of Books, Day 10 – Look out, a gigantic Worm!
March 26, 2011 1 Comment
Day 10 – Favorite Classic Book
What exactly is a Classic Book? I thought it meant One You Read at School Because You Had To, which seems to me a bit limiting. So I turned to the internet, as I often do in times of need, to find the answer.
A Classic Book, technically, is one written in the Classic languages of Greek or Roman. So, Homer, Cicero, Plato – you get the idea.
Alternatively, Italo Calvino said in his essay “Why Read the Classics?” that “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say” and comes to the crux of personal choice in this matter when he says “Your classic author is the one you cannot feel indifferent to, who helps you define yourself in relation to him, even in dispute with him.”
Consideration of what makes a literary work a classic is ultimately a personal choice, and constructing a universal definition of what constitutes a Classic Book an impossibility, so we all have to invent our own ideal library of classics.
Classic One – A Book You Read At School Because You Had To – The Borrowers by Mary Norton. A classic children’s book and yet so much fun! I looked for Arrietty everywhere the summer I read this. #
Classic Two – The Odyssey by Homer, which has the distinction of being the only actual classic I have read (in translation) rather than finding bits of in other places. Even though there is debate on whether Homer existed and, if he did, whether he wrote the Iliad and The Odyssey, or transcribed the oral work of other poets, in the process making them more accessible.
Classic Three – Calvino’s Theory leads me to Dune by Frank Herbert. I don’t know how I forgot this book for the Read More Than Three Times book as I surely have! This has everything: a mad sisterhood, giant worms, a corrupt empire, a family fighting to stay alive, love, betrayal, hatred – everything. Plus it is a Science Fiction classic, having inspired writers since it was written.
If you haven’t read it, then you should. There are sequels, and spin-offs, but Dune remains the original and best.