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Classic Literature Challenge

Another book challenge:

Although I’ve been an avid reader almost all my life, this is one area where I’ve been a bit negligent. I managed to avoid most of the reading I was supposed to do in high school (thanks to Cliff’s Notes), and now there are a lot of books I feel I “should” have read, but I haven’t. So, I would like to read more of them.

I like to make my goals quantifiable when possible (so I know when I’ve completed one) . . . so, I’m going to challenge myself to read 12 classic novels (one per month this year, unless I get speedy and read them more quickly).

I’m planning to start with “Phantom of the Opera,” which I checked out from the library earlier this afternoon.

ETA: A LIST (or the start of one, anyway)! :)

Phantom of the Opera
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Scarlett Pimpernell
Northanger Abbey
Jane Eyre
Oliver Twist
Portrait of a Lady
Around the World in 80 Days


Jan. 9th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
I ended up reading quite a few classics simply because of Masterpiece Theatre; I became interested in seeing how the video version differed from the originals. :) I adore Jane Austen (if you like books of that era, read Georgette Heyer...she was the Master), can't stand Hemingway, like Thomas Hardy (though they are dark)...oh I could go on. *L*
Jan. 9th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
Me too! I used to watch Masterpiece Theatre when I was a kid, and that made me interested in classic literature, to the extent that when I was a teenager I read far more real literature than I read now. I could have done without the pretentious Alistair Cooke and his pipe, though, although he was made worthwhile by the Sesame Street bit Monsterpiece Theatre, with Alistair Cookie Monster. But I digress.

Masterpiece Theatre inspired me to read Tom Brown's Schooldays and Pere Goriot, among others.

Also agree w/ you about Austen and Hemingway.
Jan. 11th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
I watched loads of "Masterpiece Theatre," too, but I don't remember too many that were based on classic literature. Well, I guess "The Pallisers" was? I wouldn't call "Poldark" classic literature (although it was my fave MT presentation. At least I think it was MT. I adored Alistair Cooke, though.

I actually have read a lot of Austen, and one of the few classic I did read in school was by Hemingway and it traumatized me so much I've avoided him every since. :D
Jan. 11th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
I, too, love Austen. I've read four or five of her books, IIRC. I will check out Heyer.

Also WORD about Hemingway. I read "The Sun Also Rises" in high school (the only book I actually remember READING for a HS English class), and it traumatized me. I thought it was awful and annoying and I hated the characters and it put me off Hemingway . . . well . . . forever, maybe. I suppose I might try something else of his eventually, but it's not high on my priority list after that awful bullfighting madness I read.
Jan. 12th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
I can't stand the way Hemingway demeans women; I know he fell in love during the war w/ an older nurse and she eventually turned him down...seems it affected him in such a way that he took out his pain and anger in his writing. And drinking. And multiple wives.
Jan. 12th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
You know, it's interesing that I never thought of it like this before. I was young when I read this book - 16, I think - and I didn't yet have a frame of reference to identify it as him demeaning Brett. I just thought she was lame. :D But now, looking back, yes, I can see exactly what you mean.

It didn't take me long to get that frame of reference, though. For sure, by the time I read "Witches of Eastwick" a few years later (when I was maybe 20) it was clear to me that Updike is a misogynist. (Something which became even clearer when I later read a bit more of his work). *sigh*
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