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Old 26th Jun 2006, 18:58   #1
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Default Classic Titles

I've recently been rediscovering a fondness for the classics, as I've begun reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. It's something I've wanted to read for years, but never got around to before.

I was just wondering if any of you would be willing to share with me what your favorite classic read was/is, and why. I'm hoping to que up a couple more once I finish with this one.
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Old 26th Jun 2006, 22:26   #2
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Default Re: Classic Titles

hmm, fear we might end up debating the definition of classic, but I'll resist my hereditary pedant and just say
Zola - Germinal
Camus - La Plague
Dostoyevsky - Crime and Punishment
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Old 26th Jun 2006, 22:42   #3
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Default Re: Classic Titles

Interesting. Thanks for the reply.

Originally Posted by chillicheese
Dostoyevsky - Crime and Punishment
I remember reading this one as a requirement in high school, but I'm afraid I don't remember much about it. It seems like I enjoyed it for about the first quarter to half of the book and then was rushing to finish it for the assignments. In fact, I almost ordered a copy of it instead of Dumas but opted for The Count at the last minute.
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Old 26th Jun 2006, 23:32   #4
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Default Re: Classic Titles

All of Thomas Hardy! Jude the Obscure, especially. What I love about hardy - the Jude and Tess novels in particular - is the concept of fate. There's a great poem by Hardy - "The Convergence of the Twain" - about the sinking of the Titanic. The poem really summarises Hardy's idea of fate. Anyway - Jude the Obscure for sure!

And because Chilli mentioned Zola - I'll add Therese Raquin. A stunning novel about an affair, a terrible deed, and how guilt changes everything.

Others? Um...
Pride and Prejudice.

There are more...shall try to think back to when I was studying and reading the classics....been a while!
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 1:33   #5
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Default Re: Classic Titles

Just to get there first...

Bleak House - Charles Dickens

Also anything Bronte, Hardy especially Jude or The Mayor of Casterbridge, a pile of Shakespeare, most of the rest of Dickens, everything Austen, Anna Karenina, since you're on Dumas do the Musketeers next, something really old like The Odyssey, Beowulf or Le Morte D'Arthur...

I could go on, but those are some of my basic favourites. A good start to the literary feast that is classic writing.

Oh, and everyone else will disagree, but read Ulysses!
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 7:26   #6
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Default Re: Classic Titles

Oh yes... Do read Ulysses ... but not until you've read quite a few others first. Joyce surely expects a rather well-read audience.

My favorite classics...? If I was recommending for someone who hasn't read too many classics already I might suggest Sterne's Tristam Shandy, Dickens' Tale of Two Cities, Nabokov's Lolita, Hugo's Les Miserables, Tolstoy's War and Peace, Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther, Cervantes' Don Quixote, and almost anything by Shakespeare (Hamlet, King Lear, and MacBeth are a good place to start). I think all of these are easy to read (even if some are of a rather daunting scale) and all worthy of rereadings later as one becomes a more experienced reader in the classics. But then again... I am an fan (as in "fanatic") of that most daunting of the classic writers: Dante.

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Proust-"In Search of Lost Time"- Proust-(this may take a while)
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 8:23   #7
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Default Re: Classic Titles

I'll second Madame Bovary, and throw in Gulliver's Travels, which, although written in the 18th century, seems much more modern than most 19th century classics I've read. Oh and Moby Dick.
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 10:31   #8
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Default Re: Classic Titles

Definitely Anna Karenina, Bleak House, Great Expectations and most of Jane Austen's. I tried Moby Dick at University and really detested it, but that was a long time ago so maybe I should try it again. I also hated (perhaps controversially here!) Wuthering Heights, but enjoyed Jane Eyre and all of the Shakespeare plays I read.
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 10:36   #9
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Default Re: Classic Titles

I'd second Bleak House, Austen, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights. Also Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Shakespeare too of course. I also enjoyed reading Dumas when I was half the age I am now (but can't remember much about it other than that I enjoyed it)
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Old 27th Jun 2006, 12:28   #10
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Default Re: Classic Titles

Well, Wuthering Heights, obviously

Try Richardson's Pamela for some light summer reading, it's highly entertaining.

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