Discussion Forums - Classic Literature

Topic: "The timing is crucial" . . . .?

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Date Posted: 9/6/2010 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Labor Day weekend ending, the weather chilly, gray, and rainy, everyone else in the family doing something interesting (starting a new year of college, beginning a new job in a big Eastern city, and doing a surgical rotation), I finally put down my weed digger, broom, etc., and went to the bookcase in this summer place.  From the modest collection there, the only thing I hadn't yet read was a book of stories by Flannery O'Connor.   I guess I really should have known better, but . . . . . .

One of the blurbs reads, in part:  "Each of them (the stories) is hard and sharp and dramatic.  And each of them leaves, as it is meant to do, a nasty taste in the reader's mouth.  This nastiness, however, is not gratuitous on the author's part.  On the contrary, it is clear that Miss O'Connor regards human life as mean and brutish and that she makes this judgment from an orthodox Christian point of view."

Ugh.

Unless some one here can recommend some classic "fluff", I will have to take a hiatus from reading, or retreat to the kitchen and bake platters and platters of brownies!



Last Edited on: 12/30/11 4:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 9/6/2010 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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How about some fan fiction connected to a classic? I know that sounds like it too would leave a nasty taste in the mouth, but honesty, March by Geraldine Brooks is fantastic. March and a platter of brownies sounds divine.

Or Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. 

 

Date Posted: 9/7/2010 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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P.G. Wodehouse is the closest I can think of to classic fluff.  His stories are too funny.

Date Posted: 9/8/2010 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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A woman friend of mine tipped me to a writer named Ivan Doig.  She described his writing as reminding her of Wallace Stegner's.  I had read Angle of Repose by Stegner and been favorably impressed.  So I visited the local library here, found one of Doig's novels, opened it at random and read a sizeable slug of the text.  It seemed to me that my friend was accurate in her appraisal, so I am going to read English Creek, the first of (I think) a trilogy.  

Then,  on--line, I learned that the Community  Read for Dayton, OH this year is going to be The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.    I'll buy a copy of that here in Minnesota before we pack up and return to Ohio.  I like to do a bit, now and then, to help the local independent bookseller stay in business. I mean, do something besides have the infrequent latte ("made with whole milk, please") in the really nice little coffee bar at the back of the bookshop

Tome Trader:  Thanks for the other title to check out (March).    I have read The Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys, and I agree it makes for an interesting reading experience to get the story of a famous classic  as seen through the eyes and psyche of one of 'other' characters.  I've procured a copy of March and just begun to read it.   It seems to me, from my experience of reading Year of Wonders, that Brooks is one of the historical fiction writers to whom we will have to pay attention.  To judge from her book about the  plague, she knows what she is doing, when she blends History with a narrative about some interesting fictional characters.



Last Edited on: 9/8/10 7:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2010 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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But March is so much better than Year of Wonders, which I just finished reading. I wasn't impressed with the far-fetched ending of YoW.

Date Posted: 9/13/2010 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Try Tristan and Isolde, a beautiful short love story.  I also look for audio books - got through East of Eden that way thanks to my friend in Puerto Rico.  Try The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig or Out Stealing Horses, a Scandinavian classic.



Last Edited on: 9/13/10 11:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/13/2010 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Hey, I happen to have a copy of Out Stealing Horses. I just haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Date Posted: 9/24/2010 5:44 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
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Classic fluff - a Perry Mason novel by Erle Stanley Gardner; those graceful essays by James Thurber; or one of those travel books set in Provence or Spain or Tuscany or any by Eric Newby, a genially dotty English travel writer.

Date Posted: 9/24/2010 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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I think I am reading classic fluff right now - The Phantom of the Opera!  It's fun but it reminds me of Twilight... At least it is a quick read and a good translation.

Date Posted: 9/24/2010 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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We read Out Stealing Horses for my book group. Some of us (including yours truly) loved it; some hated it -- so it was a good book to choose for discussion. However, this cannot be considered a classic -- at least not for quite some time. It was written in 2003.



Last Edited on: 9/24/10 4:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/29/2010 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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"Classic fluff" is a total contradiction in terms.

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I don't know, I think there can be classic fluff- and it may not necessarily be a bad thing.  Some classics do have fluffy qualities to them.  Much of Jane Austen, The Scarlet Pimpernel series, (as Michele said) Phantom of the Opera, The Pickwick Papers, The Importance of Being Earnest, etc.