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Topic: 2015 Classics Challenge--rough draft #1

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Subject: 2015 Classics Challenge--rough draft #1
Date Posted: 11/9/2014 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Inspired by the advice of Bonnie A., I've assembled the following possible categories. Let me know if you have substitutions to suggest.

1. made into film--

2. new-to-you author--

3. lost in translation--

4. book you consider short--

5. book you consider long--

6. less-famous book by a famous author--

7. short story collection--

8. set during a war--

9. literary award recipient--

10. Russian literature--

11. pre-19th century novel--

12. a classic you've always intended to read someday--

Substitutions may be made by choosing one of Modern Library's Top 100 Novels.

                                                                                                       Rose

Date Posted: 11/9/2014 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
Posts: 143
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Rose, this looks like a great list! Hope you are open to a couple of suggestions/ comments:

I would suggest a wild card choice instead of substituting by choosing one of "Modern Library's 100 Top Novels" since many classics are not novels -- they can include plays, poems, essays, memoirs, non-fiction works, belles-lettres, short stories and more.

I really like "set during a war" since I am working my way through some WWI literature.

Can we change "pre-19th Century novel" to "pre-19th Century classic"? -- per my first comment, above? Thanks for putting this together!

Janet E.


 

Janet E.

Date Posted: 11/9/2014 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Janet, consider your changes done!

Substitution can be a wild card--your choice, and "pre-19th Century novel" is now "pre-19th century classic."

(Rough draft #2 is now in the works.)

                                                                                                     Rose

Date Posted: 11/9/2014 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 249
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Looks great!

Date Posted: 11/9/2014 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I sense a rut forming. 

They're good categories, don't get me wrong. They're just a little stale beings this will be it's third year in a row that we've used it.

At the very least, I'd love to drop #10 Russian Lit and focus literature from a different part of the world.  

I'd also like to drop #6 less famous book and replace it with a focus on an author again.

 

edited to add: I'd also like to replace a category with a focus on a certain time in history i.e. A book set in Colonial history (any colonial history not just American).

 

Just my .02 cents

 



Last Edited on: 11/9/14 7:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/9/2014 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Laura, are you saying I've written out the same 12 categories three years in a row? Last year I asked people to choose from all the categories used in recent years and I definitely listed more than 12.

However, I'm totally willing to change Russian lit to another country (France? Norway?) and to focus on an author--and not just a less famous book (although I think that's interesting).

Colonial history--that's another good idea.

                                                                                                                                   Rose

Date Posted: 11/10/2014 12:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 249
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I really like #12, & I'm pretty sure it's a brand new category (or at least not used in the past few years). I also always like the "new-to-you" author, and the film one is good because so many classics have been made into films. 

If we're considering changing the Russian lit. category...it could be interesting to allow people to choose a country and read, say, 3 books from that country. 

 

Date Posted: 11/10/2014 3:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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". . .3 books from that country. . ."

What a civilized idea!! Thanks.

                               Rose

Date Posted: 11/11/2014 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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or perhaps, a work by any Nobel Prize for Literature winner.  That would include novelists, short story writers, playwrights, essayists, and other prose writers, and poets, from all over the globe, 116 of 'em, I think.

My only uneasiness about reading poetry is the way that poetry, with its attention to meter, rhyme, word stress, and all the linguistic niceties that go into it,  is so entrenched in a particular language.   And those of us who are only adept at reading English, are obliged to read translators' renderings into English of poems composed in Polish, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Russian, etc.  

Now, rather than not become acquainted at all with the works of someone such as Pablo Neruda, an English-only reader would read translated-from-the-Spanish works of  "The Poet", as he is called, throughout Latin America. Neruda, a Chilean, was the Nobelist in  1971, and was preceded in that honor by his countrywoman, Gabriela Mistral, in 1945.

(A personal favorite of mine is Edward FitzGerald's translation of the quatrains by the Persian poet who died in 1123, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam.)

Date Posted: 11/11/2014 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Maybe instead of thinking in terms of nations (such as the category 'Russia"), we could move over to continent, and have an "Asia" category, for example?

I've been participating in a World Lit Challenge, and over there, it has been organized geographically.  For instance, we had a "Sub-Saharan Africa" category.   Our "Islands of the World"  category ruled out England and Ireland, and Australia (because it's a continent) but included any island, big or little, anywhere on the globe.

Some of the participants called one of the categories "Nordic", although I called it "Scandinavian" (composed of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland).   But no fair reading one book about Iceland and claiming credit for both the "Islands" and the "Scandinavian" categories!

I don't see why the two Forums, Classics and World Lit, couldn't do a little 'cross-fertilization' . . . what do you think, Rose?

Date Posted: 11/16/2014 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Laura, are you saying I've written out the same 12 categories three years in a row? Last year I asked people to choose from all the categories used in recent years and I definitely listed more than 12.

 

Yes and no. And I mean no disrespect.

We've been doing the challenges since 2010 (I think, maybe longer for some other members) and since that time we've come up with some pretty diverse categories. I fondly remember "bildungsroman" and "belle epoque."heart

In 2013 you came up with the great idea of picking the "best of" all those categories used in previous years for the upcoming 2014 challenge.  So this year (2014)  is the second time we had selected books for some of these categories. And that's fine. 

But the 2015 challenge will be the third time we'll be selecting books for some of these categories. Hence my suggestion to remove Russian lit and replace it with something else. 

Granted, we are all free to switch out categories as we see fit so it's really just an observation more than any sort of complaint.

I greatly appreciate the embracing of the colonial time category. I hadn't realized until someone asked for suggestions just how many colonial era (internationally speaking) there are. Wow!



Last Edited on: 11/16/14 8:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 2