Books Magazine

Reflections: What Are Your Feelings About "Classics"

By Bookaholic @BookReflections

The other day, I ran into two different quotes about classics...
1.  Niecole from Fantasmagoriese posted an interesting quote by Mark Twain.
"'Classic' - a book which people praise and don't read."
2.  And Lisa from Her Book Self posted a thought-provoking quote from Clifton Fadiman.
"When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before."
Growing up, I read as many books as I could get my hands on.  One summer, my dad bought me a dictionary that included a list of classics.  I decided to read every book on the list for my summer reading.  Well... it didn't go well.  The books that I started, I managed to finish because that's what I do.  However, I didn't enjoy most of them and have steered away from them as much as possible.  I found they were boring and old-fashioned.
Fast-forward some years... I became a teacher!!!
I really struggled to get my students to connect with books.   So many of my students were reluctant to read anything (so frustrating for both a teacher and a lover of books).  On top of this, I was forced to make students read books that were considered classics.  What is a person to do?  Especially, when I wasn't sure if I agreed with forcing students to read books in which they had no connection.  Some of them were books I didn't even want to read.  One teacher told me that any book that wasn't a classic, was garbage and that there are some things students must be familiar with in order to navigate society.
However, I admit that as I got older, I enjoyed classics more than I did the first time around.  So I began to wonder if it takes maturity for some books of this sort.
So I ask you...
What is your feeling about classics?  Do you agree with the Mark Twain quote or the Clifton Fadiman quote? And what about maturity? Is this required to connect with or enjoy classics?

And should classics be the primary (and in some instances ONLY) books in the curriculum for our students?  Does it make sense that our students are reading the same books in class, that our parents read?  And is that a bad thing?


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • What Colour is Your Hoodie?

    What Colour Your Hoodie?

    As many of you know, I started bridging classes at the U of T this week. I'm enjoying the energy my prof has to offer although we're still focusing on how to... Read more

    By  Thecleverpup
  • Are Your Kids Begging You?

    Your Kids Begging You?

    Are your kids begging you to buy things? If so, the marketers are being effective in teaching your children one of the best ways to get you to break down and bu... Read more

    By  Slattenk
  • What Will Your Children Remember?

    What Will Your Children Remember?

    The holidays are a busy time of year especially for parents. You plan special meals, wonderful gatherings of family and friends, and search for just the right... Read more

    By  Slattenk
  • Don’t Tell Me What You’re Passionate About

    Don’t Tell What You’re Passionate About

    Great column today by Daniel Pink in the Sundays Telegraph on the difference between trying to identify your passion vs. pausing to think about what you actuall... Read more

    By  Stevemiranda
  • Is Seduction What Men Are Really After?

    In the February 13, 2011 Washington post magazine there is a (cover) piece about an accountant (day job) who is a “pick-up” or “seduction” coach by night. Read more

    By  Datecoachtoni
  • What Is Your Reality?

    Understanding your reality will always come down to understanding what you want, and how you want to get it. It is these views and biases that determine how we... Read more

    By  Cameronchell
  • What Is Your Reality?

    Principle Three - Step One: Understanding your reality will always come down to understanding what you want, and how you want to get it. Read more

    By  Cameronchell