Discussion Forums - Classic Literature

Topic: Which classic are you reading now?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Which classic are you reading now?
Date Posted: 3/3/2014 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
Back To Top


 

Recently, I finished Dr. Zhivago. Being as I first tried reading this decades ago, I feel very gratified that the plot enthralled me.

Now I'm starting Edith Wharton's Ghost Stories. I've seen some b&w movies featuring these tales, and they have made me feel pleasurably fearful.

                                                                                                                         Rose


 

Date Posted: 3/4/2014 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

I have Dr Zhivago in a tbr pile somewhere. I am struggling with The Paris Wife right now and I'm not liking it much. I'm reading off and on Montcalm and Wolfe by Francis Parkman. It is part of Parkman's history of the rise and fall of the French in North America. Parkman is a fun read because his language is so rich and enjoyable. The real classic of Parkman would probably be The Oregon Trail which is a great read. The book I am reading is a history of the French and Indian war which was 1754-1763.

Date Posted: 3/5/2014 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 314
Back To Top

Last night I finished Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, a classic history of popular folly by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. He chronicles the first modern financial bubbles that occurred in France, the UK, and Holland. The tone is jaunty, with a minimum of finger-wagging at fraud and cupidity and credulousness. It would be even funnier if cads and scoundrels crashing, say, the housing market, were creatures of the past.
 



Last Edited on: 3/5/14 9:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/5/2014 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

I just finished The Ladies' Paradise, by Emile Zola, the other day, just in time to start watching Mr. Selfridge on PBS.  I must say, after that one sample of the BBC adaption of the French novel, I MUCH prefer the novel. 

Date Posted: 3/6/2014 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I am still plodding along in Dickens's David Copperfield -- 75% done. Oh where is Uriah Heep when you need him?

Also, I just finished reading Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. Love it.

I am in search of another great gothic novel at the moment.

Date Posted: 3/6/2014 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
Back To Top

David Copperfield is one of my all-time favorite novels.

As for a gothic suggestion, I'd recommend Charlotte Bronte's Villette.

                                                                              Rose

Date Posted: 3/6/2014 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

Rose, for the most part I am enjoying Trotwood Copperfield though his choice of a wife is annoying. There are some dry spots in those 1,000 -/+ pages.

I've read Villette.

 



Last Edited on: 3/7/14 10:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/11/2014 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,858
Back To Top

Reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and quite enjoying it.  Hester's lonely existence is marked by only the companionship of  her impish daughter, Pearl.  Sometimes she wonders whose child she really is.  

Date Posted: 3/12/2014 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

did you read the custom house part? I think a lot of people skip that.

Date Posted: 3/18/2014 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 314
Back To Top

I finished Siddhartha last night and thought a certain kind of mystical dreamy teenager or college student would really like it. Kind of a young person's version Maugham's The Razor's Edge. Both could be used in a course of literary reactions to world wars, along with WWI poetry, The Sun Also Rises, Catch-22, Slaughterhouse 5, etc.etc.

Date Posted: 3/18/2014 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

I have seen The Razor's Edge. Got to see it on youtube. Have not read the book.

Sidd was a popular read when I was in college back in the late 60's. Somehow I missed it. I think I read something by Hesse but I don't remember what it might have been. Maybe Demian.

Date Posted: 3/18/2014 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

Matt B.:  I hope that one of those "etc.etc."s was John Dos Passos'  1919, Volume 2 of his trilogy, U.S.A.

Is there such a thing as a course in literary reaction to world wars,  in colleges and universities these days?  Would Robert Graves's Goodbye to All That be an appropriate addition to the reading list?  It's not ficitional, like All Quiet on the Western Front is.

Date Posted: 3/19/2014 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 314
Back To Top

There're elective classes for everything nowadays, for juniors and seniors. For instance, at Macon State Carol Melton teaches World War I in Film and Literature. She has them read

Ernst Juenger, Storm of Steel
Robert Graves, Good-bye to All That
Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory
Henri Barbusse, Under Fire

You guessed pretty well on the Graves and the All Quiet was a near miss!

Date Posted: 3/22/2014 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

Now I'm starting Edith Wharton's Ghost Stories. I've seen some b&w movies featuring these tales, and they have made me feel pleasurably fearful.

Really? Which ones? I've a copy of E.W.'s Ghost Stories at the moment. I'd love to watch an old b&w.

I finished Cooperfield and moved on to Daphne Du Maurier's "My Cousin Rachel." So far it's wonderful.

Subject: classics
Date Posted: 3/29/2014 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 30
Back To Top

Joan Didion - the famous journalist - had one favorite novel.  I suspect it meets the definition for "classic" - Victory  by Joseph Conrad.  I'm reading it now... a tale set in Indonesia - a good versus evil type of story. One great quote in this novel - "The Zangiacomo band was not making music; it was simply murdering silence with a vulgar, ferocious energy."

Paul

Date Posted: 3/29/2014 2:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
Back To Top

Laura, the ghost stories I enjoyed were on a DVD called "Shades of Darkness" from 1983. I got it through Netflix, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

                                                                                                                                            Rose

Date Posted: 4/15/2014 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

"The Zangiacomo band was not making music; it was simply murdering silence with a vulgar, ferocious energy."

murdering silence is a good description of Chinese opera. I think the cymbol is their primary instrument.

Date Posted: 4/24/2014 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

not sure if it's a classic but I just started Renoir: My Father by Jean Renoir.

Date Posted: 5/3/2014 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,436
Back To Top

I am on Volume 3 of The Story of The Stone. by Cao Xueqin

Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

reading now Blood on the Moon by Luke Short. The book was originally published as Gunman's Chance in 1941. I guess the movie made from the book was called Blood on the Moon so the book title was changed. Old enough to be a classic. If a 'western' can be a classic.

Date Posted: 5/27/2014 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
Back To Top

I'm reading one of Frederick Marryat's classic sea novels called 'The King's Own'.  Somewhat different in style from Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, but that is to be expected due to when they were written. Marryat's sea novels are excellent! I'll definitely read as many as I can, as it is easy to load them on my Kindle.

Date Posted: 5/28/2014 6:48 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

I would like to read one of those Marryat books. I think pbs has one available. Marryat seems to have been very prolific. I just got a nice copy of The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat. I haven't read it yet but from what I have read about the book it sounds a lot like The Captain by Jan De Hartog which I read many years ago.

A book that made a big impression on me when I was in middle school was Storm Canvas by Armstrong Sperry. It's a sea adventure story set during the American revolution. Of course an even bigger impression was made by Treasure Island.

I have to make a correction. Storm Canvas is not set during the Amer Revolution. It is the War of 1812.



Last Edited on: 6/1/14 10:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/28/2014 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
Back To Top

Thanks for the tip on Nicholas Monsarrat. I just ordered a copy of 'Cruel Sea' from PBS. Though I can't explain why, I collect books about U-Boats, so I thought 'Cruel Sea' would be interesting to read. Needless to say, one of my favorite movies is Das Boot!  Also, I'd never heard of Jan De Hartog, so I put 'The Captain' on my TBR list as I located a copy at one of my local libraries. No library near me has 'Storm Canvas' though. Darn. Thanks again for putting me onto some new sea stories Charles.

Date Posted: 5/28/2014 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,609
Back To Top

golly. you have gotten a lot done this afternoon. Speaking of submarines, what was that movie that had Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster in a submarine?

I think De Hartog's best known book is probably The Peaceable Kingdom. This is a book about the Quakers in America.



Last Edited on: 5/28/14 8:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/29/2014 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
Back To Top

I believe the movie is 'Run Silent, Run Deep' (1958). It is interesting to note DeHartog was a Quaker himself. I admire the Quaker ethos of working for the good of others that purportedly runs throughout the novel; however, being an Atheist, I try to bypass literature with strong religious theme as I find I have little patience for it. If I like his sea novel, I'll certainly try other of his works.



Last Edited on: 5/30/14 7:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Page: