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Topic: Classics Challenge 2011: third (and hopefully final) draft

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Subject: Classics Challenge 2011: third (and hopefully final) draft
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 5:46 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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1. sea saga

2. a classic author's first novel

3. novel by a non-European author

4. family conflicts

5. Belle Epoque novel

6. novel by an author you've always felt you should read

7. classic play

8. classic written by a woman

9. classic adventure

10. children's classic

11. frontier/pioneer/western

12. short story or poetry collection

I know I only made a few changes, but I think this list could work. What do you all think?

                                                                                                            Rose

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,493
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Like I said, I am game for whatever you put down.  The list looks interesting.  I must say that "a classic author's first novel seems unwise. There are rare cases where one of the greats was at least average-plus right off, or like Jane Austen, average-plus right off and never got any better. For the most part, though, the first work by most of the "big names"  was not very good at all.

Family conflicts will be easy, but the one that will stand out for any really well-read student is Christina Stead's The Man Who L:oved Children, and I know I can't read that one again. Brilliant as she was, the lady was a misanthrope. Dark, dark,dark, you ladies would call it.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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John, I haven't read enough first novels to judge, but I can't believe that, "for the most part," they're "not very good at all."

How many have you read? (I ask sincerely.)

                                                                                                   Rose

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,133
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Looks good to me, but I'm only doing the lite challenge so I'll get to choose my 6 favorite.

If you want to add a thirteenth category and have the full challenge be reading 12 of 13, everyone will get to reject their least favorite category.

Otherwise, I vote we go with this third version.

Diane

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
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I like Diane's comment about a full challenge being 12 of 13...the 13th being a wild card category.  If nobody goes for that idea, though, I'm content with the 3rd draft.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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This list works for me. I like the 12/13 idea too.
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Just to clarify: the 13th category could be called Wild Card, meaning a person could read a classic of their choice?

                                                                                                                         Rose

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,133
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It could be done either way--either name another specific category as the 13th, or use a wild card category so if someone has a strong dislike of one of the 12 they can have an alternative.

Diane

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,493
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Obsessed, It would definitely take me days to compile your requested list. First of all, I would need to make a list of all authors which have had some of their works labelled "classic." And there is no such list.

Not to be construed as evasive, though. How about British Novelists, not my area of specialization, but that didn't cut much ice where I went to school.

I refuse to acknowledge anything by Richardson as having "enduring quality." Period. But I have read Pamela at least three times.

chronologically, Fielding comes next, and I have read Joseph Andrews, but only because I was forced to and it wasn't very good.

I have read Tobias Smollet's The Adventures of Humphrey Clinker twice, and I like it. But I would not call it a classic.

Next, chronologically, is Swift. He wrote a bunch of stuff before Gulliver'sTravels, but most of it was short. Some I have read and some I haven't, but don't remember any of it well enough to render judgments.

Many feel that Evelina by Fanny Burney is a classic. It was her first book, but I have never read that one. (Ah Hah! Just the book I need for "should have read")

Skipping Jane Austen, all of whose books I have read and will retract earlier statements a bit and say I definitely regard Emma as worthy of classic status.

Dickens' first novel was The Pickwick Papers. Definitely a classic in anyone's estimation.

I am sure you are bored with this by now. I am, but when challenged to put up or shut up, I will put up when I can. On this matter, I can.

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 12:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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How about just making the category "first or best," so Rose won't have to redo the list again & we all can start compiling?

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 5:12 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I like the "first or best" category (are you suggesting that to replace #2)?

To make an extra category, all we need to do is divide #12 and make it two requirements: short story collection AND poetry collection.

Then everyone can leave out one of the 13.

Are we ready? I AM.

                                                                                                     Rose

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,133
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Is this going to be the Challenge Discussion Thread?  Because I already have some questions!

I'm assuming "non-European" author also means non- "American of European descent", correct?

Edited to move the quotation mark in the above line

And, the author we've always thought we should read, should be one that we've not read at all?

Diane



Last Edited on: 11/10/10 5:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Well, European means a person whose native continent is Europe?    If so, then a "non-European" writer would be a writer from one of the other continents.  The "glitch" (I can't exactly figure out) is that leaves Canadian and U. S. writers (North Americans): Australians (and New Zealanders?); Asians; Africans; and South Americans.    I think the thrust of having a category such as that one is to encourage all of us to read more internationally.  This will  not be hard  to do, because many writers (East Indians, for instance) wrote in English in the first place, and others who wrote in their native or dominant language had very capable translators to render their works into English.   And there are "outliers" (I think that is what they are called nowadays) such as Nadine Gordimer, a white woman whose dominant language was English, but whose novels all are set in her birthplace and home in South Africa.  

And all the while, English is continuing on its way to becoming "Global English", kind of like a classy pidgin.  Perhaps it will grow beyond a lingua franca used to transact business around the world, and become a 'literary' language?



Last Edited on: 11/10/10 5:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
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Opening a thread for lists only now? Cool.