Armchair BEA – The Classics and Me

May 28, 2013 Uncategorized 42

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Design Credit Nina of Nina Reads

 

Armchair BEA, The Classics and Me

It’s funny that we’re talking about the classics, because when I was younger, I did everythig I could to avoid reading any classics at all. Yeah, I wanted to be the one saying (sagely, I thought) that I didn’t need the classics to understand neither life nor literature…

Now, though, I love the classics, and I think that one of my favorite parts of going back to university is having the opportunity to discuss different classics with other students. And there are many different reasons why I love the classics now.

1) There are some things that seem to be universal when it comes to human condition. I was especially touched by this when I read George Eliot’s Adam Bede. The tight-knit community that just stopped talking about Hester all together when they found out what she had done. Also, how lonely and lost Hester felt,  – it’s the same that happens in literature today. And those are feelings we can all have when something happens to us and we feel as if we have lost everything.

2) Inventing new words. Yup, I’m talking about the bard – Shakespeare cracks me up with all the words he’s making up as he goes. The man was a genius, both his plays and his poetry is really beautiful IMO. Not all of it is excellent of course, and I know very well he didn’t write it all alone either. But I imagine sometimes how he, Marlow and the others sat around talking about different ideas, then almost had a race to see he could get it down on paper and ready for the theater first. And Shakespeare clearly had an advantage there, since he was also part owner of a theater. Next year, my last English class in uni is called Shakespeare in Performance. And yes, towards the end of the spring semester, we’re going to London and Stratford-upon-Avon to see some plays.

3) Even people who love really dark stories could turn to the classics, ever read a Charles Dickens novel withouth feeling sad and lonely? Especially Oliver Twist or David Copperfield come to mind.

So these are some reasons why I love reading classics, what about you? Do you read classics? By choice? Do you like it or loathe it?

Thanks for stopping by :) Continue having fun with Armchair BEA, and happy reading.

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42 Responses to “Armchair BEA – The Classics and Me”

    • Lexxie

      I know! And since I read many different genres, I guess I really need to stay healthy – so I live long enough to read at least a good part of the books on my TBR :)

      Happy Armchair BEA week to you too, Michael, thanks for stopping by :)

  1. Charlene

    I very much agree with you on loving the Classics! The ‘inventing words’ one is one angle I didn’t think of though! :) They are such timeless stories and they have depth to them and many times if I reread them, I can find something new that I hadn’t noticed before.

    • Lexxie

      That’s the beauty of re-reading :) Discovering new things, and seeing the things I had already noticed in a new light :)

      Thanks for stopping by Charlene!

  2. Becca Lostinbooks

    Isn’t it funny how we can be so adamantly against a genre only to find out later we love it? That is how I was with YA as an adult. I thought it couldn’t possibly relate to me, but they have much more universal themes than they used to. You never know!
    Becca Lostinbooks recently posted…Armchair BEA: Why I Love the ClassicsMy Profile

    • Lexxie

      That’s really true about YA. I never felt like it wasn’t for me, but I love the coming-of-age stories, and how teens deal with becoming adults. You are right, they do have universal themes quite often.

      Thanks for stopping by Becca :)

  3. Sam (Tiny Library)

    I’m a big classics fan. Luckily, I had great experiences with them as a child/ teenager so I’ve grown up with them.

    I totally agree with your point about them being universal to the human condition, I felt like that when I first read Anna Karenina.

    I’m a new follower of your blog :)
    Sam (Tiny Library) recently posted…Armchair BEA: ClassicsMy Profile

    • Lexxie

      Thanks for stopping by Sam :) I need to do a re-read of Anna Karenina one of these days. One of the things I love the most about owning a kindle is that I can get so many of the classics for free! Project Gutenberg is the most awesome site ever.

    • Lexxie

      That’s what I will do this summer, and I know I’ll read some Shakespeare to prepare for one of my classes :)

  4. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    I love Shakespeare! It’s really awesome that you’re going to see plays, I’ve yet to see a professional rendition of a Shakespeare play. It’s really sad that the only Charles Dickens I have read is A Christmas Carol, I should really fix that. I hope you have a great Armchair BEA week and thanks for dropping by!
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Armchair BEA Day 1 – ClassicsMy Profile

    • Lexxie

      Thanks Michelle. Well, so far, I haven’t seen any plays either, but next spring, I will for sure! With my professors sitting next to me ;)

      I love Charles Dickens, but there are a lot of classics I’d still like to read, and those I like to re-read.

      Thanks for stopping by Michelle :)

  5. Wendy

    LOL, I love the inventing new words!! I must admit, something I have to have a dictionary at hand when I’m reading the classics :) Thanks for a fun post!

    • Lexxie

      We’re totally allowed to have dictionnaries at hand while reading the classics – I would love to have one with Shakespearian swear-words, but so far, I haven’t been able to find one.

      Thanks for stopping by Wendy :)

  6. Briana

    Great post! I haven’t read Adam Bede, but I’ve read two of Eliot’s other books and loved them, so I’m planning to check it out in the future. I’m pretty sure I even own a copy of Adam Bede…

    I’ve only read A Tale of Two Cities, so I think I have more Dickens to read as well!
    Briana recently posted…Armchair BEA: Genre: Classic LiteratureMy Profile

    • Lexxie

      I had to read Adam Bede for class, but I have several other George Eliot novels I want to read. Middlemarch comes to mind :)

      Thanks for stopping by Briana :)

  7. Stormi

    I love classics, but like you I didn’t just come to this love right away. I actually read my first classic book because I watched the movie with Danny Devito called The Renaissance man. In this movie Devito’s character teaches a group of no so smart army recruits. He decided to teach them Hamlet, as he thought you could get a lot from life out of Hamlet. Not once had I ever wanted to read Hamlet or any Shakespeare novels for that matter but I was curious after watching the movie so I read the book and loved it and read more Shakespeare, then moved on to Charles Dickens (only read a few of his), Charlotte Bronte,Jane Austen (my favorite being Persuasion!) etc. There are still a lot I need to try..I haven’t read Adam Bede..so I might give it a try. :)

    Happy Reading!
    Stormi recently posted…Book Review: Twice Tempted by Jeaniene FrostMy Profile

    • Lexxie

      It’s so amazing what can make us inspired to read something that seems to be out of our comfort zone! I love that a movie (YAY Danny Devito!) got you to read Hamlet :)

      Thanks for stopping by Stormi :)

    • Lexxie

      I agree. I have been looking for a book containing Shakespearian swear-words for a while… so far, I can only find different swear-words by the bard on web-sites. Maybe I should make a compilation myself ;)

      Thanks for stopping by Hollie!

    • Lexxie

      I think my all time favorite book (or poem, as it is) is the Faerie Queen! I love how the different characters play a game, and how some of them are able to fool others so completely. And the consequences are dire!

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  8. Adam @ Roof Beam Reader

    Great Thoughts!

    “Inventing new words. Yup, I’m talking about the bard – Shakespeare cracks me up with all the words he’s making up as he goes.”

    I love this. I was interviewed by a radio station about a year ago, regarding reading literary fiction and the classics (that big and ever-asked, “Why bother?”) and one of the very topics I discussed was Shakespeare and the way he still touches us today, with that massive, ingenious, and creative vocabulary of his.
    Adam @ Roof Beam Reader recently posted…Armchair BEA Day 1: Intro and The Classics!My Profile

    • Lexxie

      It’s really pretty awesome! I wish I could continue to study English literature forever!

  9. Robyn Jones

    I haven’t returned to the Classics since high school. I still carry images from The Scarlet Letter, 1984, The Great Gatsby, The Canterbury Tales (my favorite Lit assignment) and more modern classics like The Bell Jar and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It’s almost like the stories haunt me. Shakespeare was so hard for me to read and comprehend. I think if I returned to it today I’d find more magic than I experienced back when I was 16 and 17 years old. Maybe I’ll feel like being a student again and I’ll take a real Lit class. That would be neat.
    Robyn Jones recently posted…robgirlbooks’ Flash Review Marathon (part 2): Epic, Iron Man 3, Blood and Chrome, The Host, and How to Train Your DragonMy Profile

    • Lexxie

      Oh I can’t believe I didn’t mention the Canterbury Tales! I love those :) And yes, those stories do have a haunting quality to them.

      Heh, maybe I’ll convert more ‘mature’ people into studying English literature :D That would be fun! But you’d all have to come to Uni here with me ;)

      Thanks for stopping by Robyn.

    • Lexxie

      Hey, don’t worry Melissa, you can hate Shakespeare, but I would never hold it against you! One of the things that’s so great about the blogging community is the ability to chat with people who have a different opinion, and just have a chat about it anyway – without any pressure at all.

      I read a lot more contemporary than classic, too, but some days a classic is exactly what my heart desires.

      Thanks for stopping by Melissa.

  10. Nicole

    I love Shakespeare. I love everything about him. His sonnets sometimes make me cry because they’re just so beautiful.

    • Lexxie

      I agree, those sonnets are so beautiful, and so filled with meaning it’s something that’s almost difficult to read.

      Thanks for stopping by Nicole :)

  11. Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***

    I’m so ashamed I have yet to finish one classic! I’m currently reading Pride and Prejudice but it’s kind of an on/off thing, because the language is so above my pea brain lol. OMG I didn’t know Shakespeare made up his own words that’s actually really funny we have so much in common! I make up words like way too much but I probably won’t ever do it as well as Shakespeare.

    Thanks for sharing Lexxie!! I wish you could go to BEA I would’ve loved to meet you! :)
    Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain*** recently posted…Tuney Tuesday: A Thousand Years by Christina PerriMy Profile

    • Lexxie

      Hi Eileen :) thanks for stopping by! And don’t be ashamed because you haven’t finished a classic yet! I have to admit Pride and Prejudice is not exactly among my favorites…

      Maybe you’d enjoy Shakespeare – even if his new words sometimes have to be read more than once to make sense! And making up words is pretty cool!

      Are you in NYC for the BEA right now? (cries jealous tears) I am doing my best to come next year, even if that means I’ll do all my exams in August rather than in June…

  12. kim cuasay

    Have you ever watched the movie Anonymous? that movie definitely struck my curiosity and doubt some things Shakespeare but there’s no doubt he’s a genius! way ahead of his time XD

    I hope you have a safe trip to England and would be able to post some stuff about it.Enjoy! thanks for dropping by my site.
    kim cuasay recently posted…Airchair BEA: Classic Literature (Classics)My Profile

    • Lexxie

      Actually, I wanted to watch that movie when it came out, but I didn’t have time, and then forgot about it…

      My trip to England won’t be until next year, but I’ll try to take some cool pictures of the Globe and different places in Stratford-upon-Avon :)

      Thanks for stopping by Kim.

    • Lexxie

      LOL I think the forced to analyze thing (and even more so – agreeing with the teacher!) kills some of the poetry of reading.

      Thanks for stopping by Kim :)

  13. Bookworm Brandee

    Wow! Great post, Lexxie. You bring up some great points about classic literature. :) It is so true that there is commonality in all lit where the human condition is concerned. Ah, Shakespeare…I’m a huge fan and love that at least 2 of my children share my love of him. :) And I am OH.SO.JEALOUS that you’re getting to see some performances in London/Stratford Upon Avon. I will get there someday. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Dickens but I do enjoy his contemporary, Anthony Trollope.

    Oh, can you tell that I majored in English Lit as well?!? :)
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Fierce ~ Ginger Voight**My Profile

    • Lexxie

      Too funny that you majored in English lit as well! And when I get to Stratford-upon-Avon next year, I’ll take pictures for you! I really, really look forward to it. Both because of Shakespeare and the plays we’ll both read and watch, and because it’s my favorite professor who is giving the course :)

      Thanks for stopping by Brandee :)