Friday, November 4, 2011
Back to the Classics Challenge 2012: What is a Classic?
This Challenge is getting some great attention already! So many people are talking about it, Twittering about it... the enthusiasm is incredible. So thank you for all that. I love that you are as excited about this challenge as I am. A few people have already formally signed up and posted book lists already. You are already a step ahead of me! But I'll get there, I promise. But in the meantime, I am seeing lots of comments and questions asking "Does this count as a Classic?" "I want to read this, but I'm not sure if it is a Classic or not..." Well, I am going to try and answer that here. Try being the operative word here, because as most avid readers will tell you - just about anything is debatable, and the definition of a "Classic" is certainly no exception.
I created this Challenge last year to almost force myself into reading some of the great books out there that I hadn't gotten to yet. It worked for me. I don't want to lose that. I have noticed that I am reading more and more new(er) release books lately, and I want to keep myself grounded in the Classics. Therefore, I am continuing the Challenge. Also, I really have a lot of fun with it - not to mention meeting new people & their blogs.
So, for the purpose of the Challenge - What is a Classic? I think a basic working definition to use here would be any book that has left its mark on the world. I want to say "literary world", but that is not always exactly the case, is it? It is a book that is remembered, or can conjure an image in anyone's mind whether they have read it or not. In most cases, these books are old. But I also believe that some more recent works could be considered Classics, which is why I kept the "20th century Classic" category.
I really want this Challenge to be challenging and fun at the same time. If you have a book that you want to read, feel that it is a Classic though maybe others might be on the fence about classifying it that way - argue your point. In your review/comments on the book once you've read it, state your position and why it counts as a Classic. Does that sound fair? What do you think?