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Great classics

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#1 Marjolein



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Posted 01 May 2004 - 01:59 AM

I never got to read very many classics in high school, so i'm reading as many as i can now.

What do you think is a great classic everyone should read?

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 03:45 AM


#3 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 04:01 AM

Great Expectations!

#4 dido


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Posted 01 May 2004 - 04:40 AM

Don Quixote. The Iliad, Middlemarch, the Brothers Karamazov, the Aeneid, The Persian War (Herodotus), the Peloponnesian War (Thucydides), the Annals (Tacitus).

Those were the first that sprang to my mind.

#5 Watermill


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Posted 01 May 2004 - 05:44 AM

Turgenev's Spring Torrents is one of my favorite non-painful classics.
The strange but wondrous Parzival by Wolfram Von Eschenbach is another.

BTW: the definitive list of classics was compiled by the erstwhile Harold Bloom in his The Western Canon
Check it out: The Western Canon

I refer to Moby-Dick as painful because I was once reading it in bed while holding it over my head...fell asleep and dropped the tome on my face. Where's Starbucks when you need him?

Damn you, white whale!


#6 Ari


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Posted 01 May 2004 - 05:54 AM

All of Jane Austen.

#7 Mel Johnson

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 08:22 AM

RUTH (In Wonderful Town): I was rereading Moby-Dick the other day,... and it's really worth picking up again,...that is, if you've ever.... It's about this whale.

#8 Hans


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Posted 01 May 2004 - 08:30 AM

The Age of Innocence, which made Edith Wharton the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize. Also, Crime and Punishment, which is not as bad as it sounds, Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, and Vanity Fair.

#9 vagansmom


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Posted 01 May 2004 - 09:19 AM

Check out St. John's College Great Books program list. It's got a list of 100 western classic through the ages. Some are philosophy books, others are novels. There are other groups that put together lists like this, but St. John's program (originally developed at Univ. of Chicago) is the one all the others have imitated.

My own personal list:

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice or Emma.
Tolstoy: War & Peace. I read it once a decade. Make sure yours is unabridged.
Willa Cather: Death Comes to the Archbishop, Song of the Lark or My Antonia
Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities
Toni Morrison: Song of Solomon or Beloved
Arthur Koestler: Darkness at Noon
Flannery O'Connor: A Good Man is Hard to Find
John Steinback: Grapes of Wrath

#10 MakarovaFan


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 04:55 AM

Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton and I are cousins)

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
Jane Austen: Persuasion

#11 Ed Waffle

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 07:46 AM

With the exception of Homer and the Bible all written in English.

Shakespeare-- Julius Ceasar and Antony and Cleopatra were two of my favorites years ago, since they were full of historical figures that I recognized--didn't have to spend so much time figuring out who was who.

The four Gospels, The Acts of the Apostles and The Book of Revelation. King James version.

Homer--The Illiad

James Joyce--Dubliners--the ubiquitous and occasionally exercable Harold Bloom calls it the greatest volume of short stories in English.

Thomas Hardy The Mayor of Casterbridge

Joseph Conrad Typhoon

MelvilleMoby Dick and Benito Cereno

Edith Wharton Custom of the Country

Mark Twain Life on the Mississippi

#12 tempusfugit


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 08:20 AM

thank you, Mr. Waffle, except that I would say the ubiquitous and FREQUENTLY execrable Harold Bloom....... :green:

as much classical literature as you can read, including all the works mentioned already (the Iliad, the Aeneid, Thucydides, and various Romans as well)

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

Dante: The Divine Comedy (there are now some good translations, including side-by-side)

Melville: Moby-Dick

Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment

Flaubert: Madame Bovary

Tolstoy: Anna Karenina

Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James (Henry): The Portrait of a Lady

Cather: Death Comes for the Archbishop

Wharton: The House of Mirth

#13 Kate B

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 09:33 AM

I loved Vanity Fair. It's amazing when something that was written 200 years ago can have really recognisable characters and be laugh-out-loud funny too.

#14 GWTW


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 09:47 AM

This is a great thread and as always I feel I should be reading the books I haven't read yet, instead of reading the thread, but it's kind of funny because it really shows off the Americentricity (that's not a word, is it?) of this board.
Marjolein, I notice you're located in Belgium, and I don't think that everything listed here will be considered a 'great classic' in Belgium, for instance Willa Cather or Mark Twain.
Notwithstanding, I'll add some of my own biased choices: the Old Testament esp. Genesis and Alice in Wonderland,

#15 Watermill


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 09:55 AM

Want some real fun? Read Vanity Fair followerd by Bonfire of the Vanities Wolfe is our Thackeray...proving yet once again: the more things change the more they stay the same.
But if one doen't read the classics how is one to know that?

BTW: I'd admit Bloom is sometimes flatulent... but never execrable.

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