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Book Club Classics Meme

Kristen at Book Club Classics has created this meme to promote her new site, Lit Guides, and The Kool-Aid Mom has tagged me to do it as well! The questions are as follows:

1. What is the best classic you were “forced” to read in school (and why)?
2. What was the worst classic you were forced to endure (and why)?
3. Which classic should every student be required to read (and why)?
4. Which classic should be put to rest immediately (and why)?
5. **Bonus** Why do you think certain books become classics?

1. What is the best classic you were “forced” to read in school (and why)?

Jane Eyre, beyond question – it’s become one of my favorite books. There’s just so much to love about it. Great characters, plot, and most of all atmosphere and tone. I love Charlotte Bronte’s writing. I had to read it in high school, once by choice and once I was forced. I have tons of other contenders, though – Dracula, Pride and Prejudice, The Mill on the Floss, Far From the Madding Crowd, Rebecca … the list goes on.

2. What was the worst classic you were forced to endure (and why)?

Heart of Darkness. I read it three times. I was too much of a good student not to read it every time it was assigned to me, but I hated it every time. The thing about it is that I can see its literary merit as an English major, but I just can’t stand the writing and I think it’s the most boring book I’ve ever had to read.

3. Which classic should every student be required to read (and why)?

This question is challenging. Every student is different. I am, however, going to jump on my favorite bandwagon and say that every student should read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and in particular one of the bawdy tales. Chaucer was a brilliant man in many ways. This work is not only extremely influential in a literary sense, it can show us the history of the English language and culture and more importantly, the fact that literature is hilarious and fun, even when it’s from the 14th century.

4. Which classic should be put to rest immediately (and why)?

I don’t think any of them should be put to rest. They all have value and everyone has different taste – why deprive someone else of a classic just because I despise it?

5. Why do you think certain books become classics?

I’m with the chorus on this one, because I think that certain books become classics because they speak to something universal in all of us. They may also display some significant aspect of history, culture, or human nature. And in my opinion, you can never tell what’s going to become a classic. Charles Dickens was a sensationally popular author to the tune of Stephen King today and he is now read in every high school as serious literature.

I’ve decided not to tag anyone else to do this meme because I want everyone who wants to answer the questions to steal it! It’s been fun. =)

Keep on reading!:

  1. Classics Month: March 2010
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3 comments to Book Club Classics Meme

  • Interesting you chose Chaucer for the required reading, but not surprising given you are the medieval bookworm ;-)

    I also loved Jane Eyre when I read it in high school. In fact, it had a rather unfortunate effect on my life. I actually believed the story could happen, and tried living it so. Didn’t work out so hot. :-\

  • Thanks for joining in!! I really enjoyed your answers! I, too, had to read Heart of Darkness for a number of classes and although I “appreciate” it, I certainly didn’t enjoy it! :) I love Jane Eyre, too… Glad I found your site!

  • Jane Eyre is amazing… as usual I didn’t like it in school b/c I was forced to read it.. but when I read it on my own I loved it. I got tagged for this too, I’ll have to get on that!