#SaveTheClassics

Hello all!! I’m back from my work trip and have the day off to catch up on sleep- so naturally here I am talking to you guys. While I was away, I was tagged by the lovely LibroLiv to join in the #SaveTheClassics conversation and I was really excited when I heard about it.

I wasn’t aware of the project until I read LibroLiv’s post– but the second I heard about it I knew it was right up my street. As LibroLiv said, Classics really don’t get enough attention these days. Personally, I think Classics bashing seems to be a bit in vogue right now- whether it is with people criticising the writing style or saying the subject matter is out of date. And that is a real shame for so many reasons. Not only are people missing out on all there is to learn from these great works of literature, they are also ignoring the great tradition from which all literature follows. For me, Classics aren’t just a way of looking back at literary history- they underscore everything that has been written since.

It is therefore a pleasure to find a post like this- thank you so much to LibroLiv for tagging me and making me aware of this project! I’m really looking forward to answering these questions- so without further ado…

The Rules

  1. Answer a few of the questions below. You don’t have to answer all of them if you don’t want)
  2. Link to the project: clickhere.
  3. Tag three bloggers/friends that might like this challenge and continue it.
  4. Use the hashtag #SaveTheClassics
  1. What is your favourite classic book?

daniel deronda

That is such a hard question! Let’s be honest, I have many favourites- but since I have to pick one, I’ll give Daniel Deronda a mention, since I don’t feel like I talk about it enough (okay, I may have given it a shout out a few dozen times before, but whatever)

  1. If your life was a classic, what would it be?

Alice's_Adventures_in_Wonderland

Haha oh dear that’s a hard one- I don’t know if I can actually answer that honestly- I guess there’s some similarities with Alice in Wonderland, cos my life can be weird and wacky and unpredictable.

  1. With which writer from the past would you like to have dinner?

oscar-wilde_featured

Oscar Wilde- can you imagine how much fun that would be? He was one of the funniest, most entertaining writers that ever lived and I bet he would he would make the best dinner party guest imaginable.

  1. Which classic literary character best describes you?

peter pan and wendy

I reckon I relate most to Peter Pan- because let’s be honest, I never want to grow up and I don’t expect I ever will.

  1. What’s the first classic that you read?

rebecca

I reckon it was Rebecca because it’s one of my mum’s favourite books and it was one of the first books she recommended to me.

  1. Which classic book could be the best gift?

aesop's-fables

Since I’ve had this as a gift and I know how happy it made me to get it, I reckon this is a great one to choose. Not only is it exquisite on the outside, but the illustrations on the inside are glorious too.

I tag:

Zezee

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books

Jill @ Rant and Rave about Books

Donna @ Chocolatenwaffles Blog

Nicole @ Sorry I am Booked

Claire @ Art And Soul

Books and Bakes

Keira @ Signing On

Words and Lyrics

Hiraethforthepages

Hope you all have a great Friday! And there is still a few hours to enter my 500 followers giveaway- you can do so here.

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59 thoughts on “#SaveTheClassics

  1. Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

    I love the idea of this tag I’ll definitely have to look into reading Daniel Deronda. I’ve yet to complete a George Eliot novel, but I did start The Mill on the Floss once 😛 I’d definitely have Oscar Wilde over for dinner. The Picture of Dorian Gray is actually my favourite novel, and I’ve made it my personal mission to read all of Wilde’s works 🙂 I’ve heard people mention that Wilde may have been a misogynist (a lot of people say the same for Hardy too): do you agree?
    Rebecca is definitely one of my favourite classics too! It’s so haunting that I haven’t been able to forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ah well I’ve only read two- I like Daniel Deronda but didn’t enjoy Middlemarch that much. I know right- it’d be pure entertainment! Ahh sounds like a great plan 🙂 He could be- I’d say the evidence is inconclusive- Wilde was gay and did follow a lot of Classical teachings (which were pretty misogynistic)- it’s just impossible to know what he did and did not believe given that he was rarely serious about anything. With Hardy, I’d say less so, because you could argue books like Jude are proto-feminist. (Again I don’t actually know for certain- it’s not like Hesiod or something where it’s a cut and dry case) But then people are all kinds of things and it doesn’t stop me enjoying their work.
      It is a wonderful book, isn’t it? Me too! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

        That’s a fair point. My friend’s mother said she went to a party of some sort a while back, and she met the author of Wilde’s Women. The woman said something along the lines of: “Wilde liked strong women, and couldn’t tolerate the weak” and evidence of that is seen in the fate of Sybil Vane in Dorian Gray, arguably.

        I’m not so sure about Hardy. I finished Jude a few months back, and absolutely hated it because it was so depressing, but when I really analysed it, I realised that Hardy was criticising the institution of marriage and the Church (and not women- but Sue and Arabella were both horrible characters), but then I remember Tess and all the anger and frustration I felt at reading that. I’ve yet to read a Hardy that doesn’t frustrate me. I’ve heard A Pair of Blue Eyes is good?

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          Yes that’s exactly what I think about both Wilde and Hardy (I can understand why you hated it- that book is like Marmite. Most of the characters in that book are horrible- but as you said, it’s more about the institution of marriage.) Also Tess is about how fallen women are mistreated by society- again, the impetus is heavily on the side of women, so I’d say he’s pretty far from a misogynist. All of Hardy’s works are highly political and directed at the institutions that mistreat women and people from working class backgrounds. They’re supposed to be frustrating and get you riled up about the societal injustices, so I get why you would feel that way. I’ve not read that one- but in terms of happy endings, the only one I can think of is Far From the madding Crowd (Hardy wasn’t exactly big on happy endings as you might have guessed) I figure you’d find Mayor of Casterbridge frustrating as well, but Return of the Native is exquisitely written

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

            Yeah, I agree with you there. I’ve definitely considered reading Far From the Madding Crowd as I’ve heard Bathseba’s a pretty strong heroine. One of the reasons I didn’t particularly like Jude is because Sue, as a New Woman, is portrayed as a rather whimsical and fickle character – and she’s the only character I would have liked to, well, like. But she makes it so hard! She changed her mind probably 500 times. I don’t know. I just feel really frustrated when I read a Hardy novel, so I’m cautious when people recommend I read another. I’ll have to try Return of the Native someday, if it isn’t too depressing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • theorangutanlibrarian says:

              Ahh well I thought that she was interesting in the way she mirrored Jude- they’re both very similar in how useless they are. Although as you said, she’s not very likeable. That’s fair- a lot of people aren’t into him- it’s pretty dark stuff (to say the least). I used to alternate between Hardy and Austen- just so that I stayed sane. Maybe you should pick up some Austen instead 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna says:

    Oooh, that one is gonna be hard! Classics are such a big challenge for me! But hey, I ain’t afraid of nothing 😀
    I loved Rebecca. And I can’t believe I just said that. That’s how big my problem with classics is, haha! I haven’t heard of some of the books you mentioned, I’ll check them out. Who knows, you might help me overcome my fear of classics!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. r_prab says:

    Wow! Amazing! I am a lover of classics and this project, I would say is like an ocean in a desert! I don’t blame anyone.Times change and so do people’s tastes.It’s natural. The happiness lies in connecting with people of the old school and rejoicing the flavour we so dearly admire! 🙂 loved reading your answers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Krysta says:

    I love Middlemarch and Silas Marner was pretty good so I know I need to read more George Eliot, but I just haven’t gotten around to it! I am intrigued by your choice of Daniel Deronda, however. I think this is the first time I’ve seen anyone recommend it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      I definitely still need to give Silas Marner a go as well. Yeah- it is an unusual choice- but honestly, I wasn’t that into Middlemarch cos I couldn’t really relate to the provincial life stuff- I guess we all have different things we relate to and Daniel Deronda just really clicked for me

      Liked by 1 person

  5. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    Thanks for the tag! Before I even saw you tagged me, I started writing my answers down. I love classic books! I’m participating in the classics guest post Pages Unbound is hosting next month. Of course, I’m talking about The Iliad. That is my favorite book of life. 😍 I think you’ll laugh at some of my answers. If I’m anyone from a classic, I’d have to go with Holly Golightly mixed with Daisy Buchanan, and a little bit of Katniss Everdeen, even though she’s not from a classic book. Haha! I’ll post this in the next few days. I’m in editorial hell right now. On the plus side, I found 3 publishers interested in my second manuscript, so I’ll have my head in a Word doc the rest of the weekend. That’s where I’ll be. 😂 I hope they sent you somewhere fun on your work trip. My boss tried to get me to travel up to the boonies of Pennsylvania for work. I told him send me to San Diego, Miami, or Honolulu and I’ll go. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      You’re welcome!! Ahh you’re an iliad fan?!? you’re officially my new best friend 😉 I’m looking forward to checking out that post when it comes out. haha that’s amazing!! I love those picks- and Katniss is an acceptable answer anyway lol. Ahh I’m looking forward to it/ Wow!! That’s fantastic!! Congrats!!! Ahh well it wasn’t too bad, just exhausting- I’m still completely wiped lol. haha awesome! 😉 it’d be funny if that’s what they did.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        Haha! And here I thought I was the only person that loves The Iliad. I’m completely obsessed with it. Everyone usually looks at me sideways when I tell them it’s my favorite. Yay, new best friend. 😉 Thanks! Classics are an easy one for me. I’ll post it this week. Oh, I hear ya. I’m exhausted. I haven’t posted as much because of it.

        Liked by 1 person

            • theorangutanlibrarian says:

              haha I like how Oedipus too! It’s so twisted! Really? I don’t get that- it’s one of the most famous stories in the world- how can they not know about it?? Ahh well fortunately half my degree was in Classics- so I don’t think you’re weird at all. (That being said, I was trying to convince my friend that Ovid’s “The Art of Love” is definitely worth reading- and unfortunately she just said “I’ll take your word for it”- she had no interest in reading it :/ So yeah, most people think my taste is weird too)

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Emily | RoseRead says:

    Definitely with you on Oscar Wilde and Peter Pan! I’ve also noticed that classic-bashing has become a thing, and while I understand that the lack of diversity in classic literature upsets people (“old dead white guys” is the phrase I hear and use a lot), we can’t discount it’s merit and importance. I gotta get back into reading classics; I don’t think I have since college and I have lots on my to-read list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ahh thanks so much!! Yeah it really has- to me there are countless reasons why that doesn’t make sense. I mean, firstly they are assuming that by being “old dead white guys” that these people were privileged- which of course isn’t even true (to name a few unprivileged authors of classics: dostoevsky, dickens, hardy, Eliot, even Shakespeare!)- being white does not automatically equal privilege. Secondly, they are discounting what anyone that they perceive as privileged has to say, which is such a waste and as you said we can’t discount their merit and importance. I just think it’s a crying shame, cos I read things based on merit and try not to worry about where it came from. Yeah I also feel like I need to read more! Me too!! I’m the exact same- after uni I’ve really slowed down my intake of classics- gonna have to work on that! Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Liam @ Hey Ashers! says:

    “For me, Classics aren’t just a way of looking back at literary history- they underscore everything that has been written since.”

    This is very well said. I agree completely.

    And your answers are great! Hopefully your life isn’t too much the disturbing aspects of Alice in Wonderland, though. And hell yes, Oscar Wilde as a dinner guest. That’d be amazing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nicola Alter says:

    Ooo I want that Aesop’s Illustrated Fables book – what a gorgeous cover! I recently bought a hard cover edition of the complete collection of Brother’s Grimm fairy tales, and it’s pretty, but not quite as pretty as that.

    Liked by 1 person

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