In defence of classics- again!

thoughts orangutan

Prepare yourself, for I am about to say something *ground-breaking*, *momentous*, *lifechanging* even: classics are worthwhile and important. I know, I know, you can stop the applause now 😉 I’m pretty sure I’ve made my defences for classics before and talked about their upsides. Alas- this seems to be the perennial problem of our age that won’t go away. Every week or so, I still see people telling others not to bother reading classics. And I despair whenever I see someone using these horrible, terrible, NOT GOOD arguments. So, it’s about time to put down those swords, grab the much-mightier pen, and let’s break this down, shall we?

“They’re pretentious”- I hear many-a misled individual moan. Here’s the kicker- complex/beautiful/unusual language *is not* automatically pretentious. In fairness, I think there are multiple reasons for this misbelief, starting with the fact that they can be written in archaic language, which is less accessible to the modern reader. Now, where the mistake is being made is that using complex words and a style from 200 years ago DOES NOT mean the author’s intent was to impress upon you its importance in some hoity-toity way. Hard for the modern reader ≠ pretentious. A lot of classics were aimed at the “mass market” (as much as that existed) in the same way a popular paperback might be today. It is a truth universally acknowledged that poor people went to see Shakespeare back in the day 😉 This is not to say that there are no pretentious classics- BUT (and this will come as a shocker) classics are not all the same and come from a range of genres- as was brilliantly pointed out by Pages Unbound.

“There’s no benefit/it’s the same to just watch the movie”- erm no. I mean, I’m not sure I have to explain the difference between reading a book and watching a movie to a bunch of bookworms 😉 Let’s just say, I think we can all agree that there’s endless complexity when it comes to books, it stretches the brain and this is particularly important when it comes to children’s development. Because, yes, classics may provide more of a challenge, but that is really beneficial when it comes to education. You wouldn’t expect an athlete to get better only competing at the lowest level. The language of classics alone often makes a huge difference as well- you can’t just cheat the system by brushing up on sparknotes. There are so many literary devices that you miss if you don’t read it on the page. I’ve heard it said recently the difference is much like looking at a photo versus a painting- the depth is so much greater when you can see the layers for yourself.

“They’re elitist”- seems to be a very pervasive point of view at the moment. Unfortunately, it hurts the very people it pertains to help. Somehow, it’s supposed to help people from lower socio-economic backgrounds to tell them they don’t need to read classics- yet in truth this race to the bottom mentality stands in the way of self-improvement and stops poorer kids from levelling the playing field. Not only will it be impossible to out-compete people who have top-notch educations with this attitude, but it also means our societies will be less educated for it. In the words of headteacher and founder of the Michaela Community School, Katherine Birbalsingh “They are denying a decent education to black kids, because being able to understand Shakespeare is a right that my kids deserve and knowing who Mozart was and hearing his music is a right that they should be able to access.” We should be fighting for underprivileged kids to get good educations, not standing in their way! And on that note…

“They’re all written by old white men”- ahh the criticism that historically speaking Europeans were European. Aside from the what do you actually expect to come out of Europe? counterargument, I do think that there’s other problems with this outlook. One, you may need to re-examine the last few hundred years of the European literary canon; two, I will always advocate expanding your horizons and considering reading *outside* the Western canon. Go on, I dare you 😉 Though there are benefits of reading in the original language, which I’ve mentioned, you can still get access to the ideas and learn something new. But, even if we were to assume all classics were written by “old white men”, it doesn’t actually reduce their merit, make them less valuable or stop them being important for the reasons already stated.

“They put children off reading”- well, I wouldn’t say this is true for a lot of children, as Briana @Pages Unbound wrote about in: “Why I fell in love with reading because of old boring books”. I feel much the same way and many, many literature students will tell you the same thing. Unfortunately, I can’t say that every teacher will be brilliantly inspiring. Plus, there is always the matter of personal taste (although I will urge people put off by a few books not to throw out the baby with the bathwater). Now everything I’ve said so far might indicate that I want children reading classics, whilst playing the violin and sipping tea. Truth is though, I prefer to take the middle ground when it comes to the “what kids should be reading” debate. There should be a balance in children reading for pleasure and for educational purposes. As Krysta @Pages Unbound pointed out in her post “The Unacknowledged Nuances in the Argument for Choice in School Reading“, left to themselves, children will never pick up certain types of books and will nearly always go for the easy option. While it can seem quite prescriptive, the real trick with reading lists is to find a balance- a lot of teachers try to find a mix of well-written/enjoyable/imaginative reads etc. But they’ll also understand that there have to be progressively more challenging books. After all, in the words of George R R Martin:

a mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone

Classics are the *ultimate* whetstone. And on that weird analogy, I’d like to ask you if you think classics have value? What other defences do you have? Let me know in the comments

82 thoughts on “In defence of classics- again!

  1. This is a great post, as always! I am a lover of Classics so the constant putting books down does hurt my soul a bit every time that I see it. Particularly because there are PLENTY OF CLASSICS outside of White People. “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez is beautiful and relies heavily on the history of Colombia and I think is a reason that Magical Realism has become more mainstream. “Don Quijote” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho are both incredible novels originally written in Spanish and Portuguese that are widely translated today.

    Not to mention that when a book is deemed a “classic” it has its genre removed/de-emphasized. Genres existed 200 years ago, but for some reason, the West’s educational system teaches Frankenstein as a Classic and not science fiction and Gothic Horror. 1984 isn’t discussed as speculative fiction, Slaughterhouse-five isn’t science fiction.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you! I *completely agree*! It’s always shocking when people make that argument- because, have they looked at the canon in the last century?

      And yes I very much agree- so many books fit into more modern genre classifications, but they still belong in other categories too!

      Like

  2. I think classics are important for any reader and it’s possible that not every classic book is going to be catered to everyone’s tastes but that’s half the fun, isn’t it? To understand what you like and don’t like after reading those books? There’s a treasure that often goes unexplored simply because people find the language too stuffy and too elite. I was one of those people for a while but once I read a few classics, I realised something very important to me, at least. It’s absolutely fascinating how the written language has changed over the years and accommodated itself accordingly, the trends in writing in general.

    To say nothing of the classics outside of the Western canon because being an Indian, I have read my fair share of Indian classics too! It’s just fun, okay? To see how things change in the literary world as time passes.

    Sorry for babbling!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah yes, the old, “Classics are pretentious books by dead white European men written for rich people” argument. I always wonder if the people who make that argument have bothered to read any Classics at all, if they’ve gone looking for non-European classics, or if they’re just looking at titles and shouting “It’s all awful!” because they think it’s fashionable in some bizarre way?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Definitely agree! Reading classics to better understand a time period is one of the most important parts of studying literature. If you’ve read a lot of classics and find you simply don’t care for the style of a certain era, that’s down to taste, and not the bias of your own period/society creeping in. I haven’t picked up a genuine classic (published before 1960) in I don’t know how long – but it’s from personal choice, not because I don’t see the value. The latest ridiculous argument of the “cancel culture” – being that classics are racist, sexist, etc. – just gags me. If you erase something – regardless of its problems – from a culture entirely, then you’ll be following its examples of how-not-to-live within another generation!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I really agree with you! And yes absolutely- I think it’s fine to have different tastes (and yes, sometimes that does come from a modern bias). And that’s totally fair- I definitely don’t think everyone needs to be forced to read them all the time. But I think I do draw the line at saying “kids don’t need to read them”- because I don’t agree with that at all (to me it’s like saying, kids don’t need to do logarithms because they’re hard). And yes, I find it really galling. Absolutely!! So many classics can teach us how *not* to behave. It can be more valuable to read and analyse why something is objectionable, rather than try to erase it.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Perhaps some of those who raise the argument that classics are all written by ‘old white European men’ need to re-evaluate their understanding of what a classic is. Classics cross genres, continents, races and gender. I’m glad you raised the point that some of these same classics were once written for ‘mass consumption’. Just because our society has changed and our language has evolved doesn’t mean the classics are less valid or not applicable. They can teach us about the way life at a particular time and the perspective of a part of society at that time. Additionally, not every classic is going to be to your taste. I’m a Latin American History teacher and I personally do NOT like 100 Years or Solitude at all! But that does not make the story less valuable and I ALWAYS recommend it to my students. Classics are varied and there is something for everyone, if you’re willing to research them!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I very much agree with you! As some people have pointed out to me, classics have incredibly diverse origins, so it’s a very biased view to make this assumption. Absolutely! I’m in the same boat as you on 100 years of solitude- even though I completely understand why other people like it (I just have never been able to connect with stream of consciousness, so it’s entirely a personal taste thing). But, regardless of taste, classics have incredible value!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. The stream of consciousness in that book drove me crazy! And the same name over and over and over and over. Lol. I just thank my lucky stars that we didn’t have to do it in Spanish when I was at uni. I might have dropped out of school 😂
        And yes… classics do have value… including 100 years 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post it defends classics so much. As an English major I love them but there are times when I don’t understand them but that does not stop me from loving them. I grew up hearing classic stories like Oliver Twist as bed time stories, so you cannot be like you don’t understand them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s my understanding that people who don’t want to read classics, don’t want to read at all. People who like to read don’t shrink away from classics, even when they’re written by “old white men”. The canon of the world literature contains a fair number of books written by authors who were not old white men. And most important; a book derives its value from its contend, not from the writer’s identity or the time frame wherein it was written.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I very much agree with you! I’ve actually seen people make the argument that they can just watch the movie instead (and these are people who supposedly love reading) in which case why not just take shortcuts with everything? I get wanting to read a mixture of easy and challenging books- but ruling out some of the most important works of literature because they are hard is very questionable. And definitely agree with you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think I the argument that all classics are by dead white men is lazy. While many schools do focus on such texts, that doesn’t mean other writers didn’t also write great books. I think we could find them, reclaim them, and promote them, if we wanted, instead of just dismissing all classic texts. The real problem is most people just stick to what they were taught in school–even teachers. So the diversity of classics out there isn’t highlighted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I very much agree with you! And absolutely agree with you there. I do think that there is going to be a preponderance of books by people from certain groups, just by virtue of playing a numbers game. But there is room for widening the syllabus, especially as these things change with time. To me though, this will never be a good argument for not reading, say, Shakespeare. The quality of his work doesn’t decrease just by looking at his personal characteristics and is a rather reductive way of looking at art.

      Like

      1. I agree! First of all, I think you’re right in saying it’s not really surprising Western countries have focused, historically, on Western works. With increased globalization and more diverse societies, it makes sense for that to change. But that doesn’t mean Shakespeare isn’t worth reading now.

        I also think, to expand on my previous point somewhat, that people forget that classics are often made by people. They aren’t always just around because they’re just so awesome. It took J. R. R. Tolkien to make literary scholars take Beowulf seriously–it just didn’t impress people with its sheer merit for awhile. Likewise, Dante disappeared for awhile before he was brought back. Shakespeare disappeared when the theatres closed and initially was brought back because no one had any new plays written immediately after the Restoration. Great works are often brought to public and scholarly attention though specific people or historical accidents. So, if we’re not seeing diverse classics widely known, I think it’s because someone needs to find some worthy books and publicize them! All you would need, honestly, is one of the Big Five to take some older works and publish them under a classics line and then the public would understand they are classics. It would help if some schools began teaching them. And that’s basically what it takes for a work to become a classic. You need literary and academic circles to say so.

        But, again, I agree with you. We can expand the syllabus. But Shakespeare’s still a great writer. I don’t think we should discount him just because he’s old or dead or white or male. I think we should look at his writings.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes absolutely! I definitely think things are evolving and expanding and becoming more diverse (and there’s more and more books entering the canon that are much more diverse, especially from the last fifty years), but Shakespeare will always be worthwhile.

          And I definitely agree with you and that’s a great point. A lot of the time it seems to me that people think certain books from diverse backgrounds don’t exist simply because we don’t study them. Unfortunately, the same is also true about classics from other cultures. And yeah I agree- I think the biggest difference would be if schools started teaching them because I think it’ll show that there’s a demand to publishers.

          Yeah, ultimately, I think that the focus needs to be on the quality of the individual’s writings. I guess I just don’t like the idea of overlooking an author because of their background regardless.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. Let them suffer the effects of their stupidity and ignorance. Let them writhe in the agony caused by their own decisions, with no hand lifted to help them. Let their minds shrivel, their intellects wither, their emotions to twist and their capacity for reason to fade away.

    In sum, let them become the animals they claim to be and let them die the death of animals.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I know. As much as I want my little comment to be true, I realize it isn’t. We don’t get to live in a vacuum, for good or ill. And jackasses like those people are definitely on the “ill” side 🙂

        Like

      2. Totally agree. Those classics are part of every kid’s heritage as a human being. It might not be possible for every student to read through all of them (in fact I know it isn’t), but at least we could open the door and let them take a look at what’s out there! (instead of closing the door in their faces) Then, once they have gained the ability to be a curious reader, they can romp wherever they like in the great meadow of classics!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I have to admit that I got put off the classics at high school – they appeared to have been written for the sole purpose of allowing the English teacher to be as boring as possible. Especially when it came to Shakespeare, who the teacher managed to reduce to an exercise in dullness. It was only wa-a-a-a-a-ay later that I discovered how fantastic, gripping, funny, and also a bit rude Shakespeare’s plays actually were. (Now I think about it, that particular English teacher actually managed to make Catch-22 dull, if you can imagine it…).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah I can imagine it unfortunately- there are always a preponderance of English teachers out there who somehow manage to make the greatest books dull! But you make a great point and this is definitely something I should have mentioned- a lot of the reason for these attitudes come from people being taught these books badly.

      Like

  11. Yes, on the surface it seems like the western canon is mostly white and male But people who make that argument often make it because they’re not very familiar with classic literature. Really you can find classics many marginalized groups if you look for them. Sometimes it’s about thinking beyond the stuff you were required to read in school. I’m not dismissing the books we were required to read: often there are good reasons those books were chosen (occasionally that reasoning should be revisited and reconsidered). But a lot of people see it as the beginning and the end of classic literature and it’s not.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. THIS. THIS IS EVERYTHING. You put every single one of these arguments AWAY!!! It’s frightening to me how many people buy into the idea that just because something was written or created hundreds of years ago means that it’s immediately discounted and is no longer important. Nothing could be further from the truth!! And yes!! Discouraging classics because they’re elitists does nothing but hurt kids in the “lower class.” Also, there are plenty of female writers who were up and coming in the olden times. Black, female, poets like Phyllis Wheatley, in colonial America, were standing up and using their writing talents. Jane Austen was wildly successful. ETC, ETC, ETC. Just because Emerson & Dickens were big too doesn’t mean their works weren’t INCREDIBLE. There is beauty in alllll of these writers. Cannot even begin to stress how MUCH I adore this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am wildly enthusiastic about this :’)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much!! I really agree with you!! And yes- that’s the part I find most frustrating. I don’t understand why people think the solution is to limit what kids get to read- this is only going to hurt them in the long run, because they’re the ones who will be denied a great education. And absolutely agree with you!! Thank you so much for reading it and for your wonderful comment!!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I love this post!!!

    Regarding:
    1. Pretentious – I feel that this is, at least in part, due to the mixup between literary ficture and the classics. If you’re not familiar with the Western cannon, you may look at modern literary fiction, get confused, and then assume that all literature, include classics, are the same.

    2. Written by old white men – This one gets my goat. While I appreciate the desire to read beyond the Western canon (which is awesome because even in Singapore we’re probably too focused on it), this does not mean that the Western Canon (or white writers in general) is somehow “bad”. It’s not! We have to realise that other places have their own classics and just because it’s not well-known in English doesn’t mean it’s not being appreciated.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I agree wholeheartedly with your post! I personally lacked the patience to read at the pace that I think classics can give the best experience (i.e, slowly and methodically) but with audiobooks coming out now, I’m finally getting to appreciate quite a few that I balked at reading.
    Also, I think it paints very interesting perspectives about the times,places and people that history books cannot give us. I’ve been told that authors like Charles Dickens put in a lot of research, and that has left all that info for us to find.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I think that’s totally fair- and I do relate- especially since I’ve found audiobooks help me get through the most difficult reads/books that I normally wouldn’t have tried (basically audiobooks are amazing 😉 )
      And yes absolutely!! Brilliant point!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post, as always.

    I think the category “old white men” is overly broad and doesn’t really tell us anything about the authors. Any category that can include, say, Homer and Dickens isn’t very useful. They lived thousands of years apart and in such different cultures that they can’t have that much in common.

    Also, let me echo what others have said, namely that not even everyone who contributed to the Western canon could be described as a white man. St. Augustine’s Confessions is a foundational document from Christian history. He was from North Africa. The authors of the New Testament might have written in koine Greek, but they were Semitic. Alexandria (home of the famous library) was in Egypt, where there was a very interesting Hellenistic-Egyptian-Semitic cultural mix. Etc.

    My biggest problem when I think about the classics is how many of them there are. It takes an awful lot of reading to even be up on the basics of this huge, sprawling conversation that’s been going on for the last several thousand years. I don’t think I’m there yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!

      That is a brilliant and important point! It is yet another reason why this attitude is so phenomenally reductive.

      And that is such a significant (and often overlooked) aspect.

      And that’s a very fair point. I definitely think there is a conversation to be had about the canon and where we draw the line (and who gets to draw that line). I don’t think I’m there yet either 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Oh my goodness, the elitist and the white men arguments just drive me crazy 😉 There is a reason they’re classics, after all, and one would do well to find out for the themselves what the reason is, without name-calling! Great post xz 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I’m definitely going to start complaining about all those boring classics written by a bunch of dead white European men – oh, wait – there’s another book I haven’t read yet. And it’s a classic. I can’t miss this one. Oh, such a great story. All the history (I didn’t know that) the drama (swords and horses and politics and betrayal and mystery and murder and love) the incredibly complex characters (so beautiful and heroic and yet flawed) the moral dilemmas (no, no, no, yes, yes, yes, for pity’s sake) the unexpected twists (ACK! didn’t see that coming) and OMG – who would ever have thought of THAT ENDING?

    Sorry, catch me later when I start writing my complaint – too busy reading now…

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Great post! And I love your arguments! I am afraid I have not anything to add. I only hope classics from different cultures are translated so we can all enjoy them! And I also loved the comments, it seems there are a lot of bookworms caring about classics!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Okay so….having recently posted my thoughts on why it’s not a good thing to classify books into only two categories and those being challenging (which most people assume to be ‘classics’), I can see why it might seem a bit contradictory (to some who didn’t understand the point I was trying to get across – probably my own fault for leaving a few things out 🤣🤣😜) but I WHOLEHEARTEDLY SUPPORT EVERY SINGLE POINT THAT YOU MADE!! ❤️❤️❤️ And I totally love with post! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ And about classics being pretentious, I don’t think that the works on their own are pretentious or the writers were trying to be pretentious BUT I do believe that some people consider THE ONES READING THOSE BOOKS AS PRETENTIOUS. And as I talked about before as well, I don’t believe that people take up classics to be PRETENTIOUS! They just want to know more? They are curious? WHATS SO FUCKING WRONG WITH THAT!?🤣🤣🤣

    Anyway…I have never read a better defence of classics so….ENDLESS LOOOVEEEE FOR THIS POSTT, my favorite librarian! 😍😍😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hehe no worries! I think what you’re saying makes a lot of sense! There are different kinds of books which are challenging and not every classic belongs in that group (and plenty of genre fiction/contemporary works do). I’m really glad you agree!! And that is a fantastic point. YES! I think you’re making an excellent point, because genre snobbery really bugs me and this is just another form of that. Why is it wrong for people to want to read classics? In my view, people can read whatever they want.
      Thank you so much!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Really grateful for your lovely comment!! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly! Let them read what they wanna read and quit being a bitch about it! 🤣🤣 I guess people just wont understand unless we tell them as plainly as that hahahha!🤣🤣🤣

        You are must welcome!! ❤️❤️

        Like

  20. Great post! Classics are (usually) classics for a reason, and I agree that they should still be read and taught. Yes, maybe we need to be more aware of which classics are taught in schools, so that there is a better balance in author gender and nationality. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop teaching all of the classics just to avoid being biased.

    Also, while classics can be/seem pretentious, I would argue that there are plenty of modern books that are equally so. Don’t want to read a pretentious book? Great. There are plenty of others to choose from.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Excellent post! I think another common complaint is “the author is racist / sexist / colonialist / etc.” Maybe this is a sub-category of “all written by old white guys.” I believe that reading authors who reflect the prejudices of their day can be a helpful exercise in critical thinking and the ability to learn from people with whom we have deep disagreements (though ability to appreciate, enjoy, or value the work that contains such prejudice may depend on how integral it is to the plot).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! Yeah definitely- I kind of just went for the typical catch-all “written by old white guys” argument. And I couldn’t agree more- that’s a really important point. We don’t move forward as a society if we deny/change the past. And I very much agree with you there.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for defending classics 🙂
    These are awesome arguments. And on the ‘pretentious’ note, I have read a lot more contemporary ‘literary fiction’ which is pretentious.
    Books are known as classics for a reason. They still resonate with readers today and are enjoyable in spite of (or even because of) their old style language and themes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! I really do agree with you there- I think that the vast majority of literary fiction gets put in the same category and that creates this misunderstanding. I mean, it is possible for a classic to be pretentious, but in my experience, it’s remarkably rare (regardless of whether I like every classic or not!) I really agree!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Of course classics are important!!! This topic always enrages me because there are SO many good ones! I’ve heard all of those reasons and more, though, and usually from the other English majors I went to school with, and I’m always dumbfounded.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m really glad you agree!! And yeah that’s what really surprises me too- I’ve heard this argument from English majors (though not the ones I went to uni with, so I guess convincing us that classics are important is the one thing my uni did right 😉 ) It’s shocking!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I love love love this post!! See, I’ve been finding that the books I’ve been enjoying most lately have been classics, and it makes me think… hmm… maybe they are classic for a reason! Thank you for defending them ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I read a ton of classics when I was young. And every once in a while I’ll pick one up now as an adult. I love them because I feel like I get a perspective that I can’t get now. It says so much about how much humanity has changed!! I really dislike when someone reviews a classic and dumps all over it because it literally showcased the perspective of the time. So the writer was racist according to your definition!! That was his perspective… and yes, he’s old. He’s white. That’s how he was born. 😉 Keep up your defense!! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Yessss! Totally agree with you! Yes, some classics are written in language that’s not as accessible to the modern reader – but most are easy enough to follow when you get into them. And I think everyone should read classics! If you cant deal with Shakespeare, try Byron’s poetry or modern classic plays like Dont Look Back In Anger or anything by Pinter. Then go back and try Shakespeare… Jane Austen, Frankinstein, not difficult to read… and I agree, I think it is elitist to say they’re too difficult for people to read… oh, and I just mentioned 2 written by women, and have you heard of Alexandre Dumas… helllloooo black French man with the syph…

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Thank you for this post! This is so much of what I stand for. 🙂 As a former literature student, I think there’s an urgent need to build bridges between academics and the “real” world; I’ll admit it’s fun to sound all intellectual by analysing obscure old books, but the very nature of books is inclusive — not exclusive.
    I like what you said about children and classics; we assume far too often that children are drawn to what’s easy, and repulsed by difficulty. I owe much of my love for classics today to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy; I remember reading the Amber Spyglass and being intrigued by the quotes he incorporated from Milton, Blake, Shakespeare, Donne. Fast forward a few years and I’m falling in love with the work of these very authors!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I’m really glad to hear other people agree with me on this! I absolutely agree with you. I think reading is the best way to level the playing field as well.
      Absolutely! I really relate to that!! So much of my love of reading came from harder books/classics. We shouldn’t underestimate what children are capable of reading. I really relate!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Not only will it be impossible to out-compete people who have top-notch educations with this attitude, but it also means our societies will be less educated for it. – I disagree with this, it places classics as the way towards more advanced education and serves as a default. It comes across as another manifestation of “if you wanna make it, you have to act white/speak white” instead of allowing for and celebrating individuality. I enjoy classics, but I like the first point you made about it simply allowing children to flex their brain muscles.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Macey @ Brine and Books Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s