Why do I read the classics? Why do I set myself down to read almost a thousand pages worth of novel? Why do I slog through unfamiliar wording, French phrases, and rabbit trails that have no meaning whatever to the story?
For many reasons. Some of which you may laugh at. But, you know, everyone is laughing at everyone these days, so why avoid it?
The first reason is because I enjoy reading good books. There is a reason why these books are considered to be classics. They have stood the test of time, still read and loved centuries after they were written. These are not pulp fiction, run of the mill books printed every day. These books are not ‘quick’ reads or to be forgotten as soon as they were read. Classics tend to be books we sit with, think about, and remember. The characters are well developed, they grow throughout the story, (strange idea I know!) and the plots are well thought out and carried from point to point with such ease you hardly even notice the author has any structure at all.
The second reason is I am getting a tad bit (read a lot bit) sick of the content in current fiction. I prefer love scenes to be closed door, please and thank you. I also prefer not read about all the gory bits of war. And really, we can skip the language. I would appreciate it. This is not to say classics only deal with the pretty parts of life. It doesn’t. Part of what makes these books classics is that they deal with the darkness of human life, the stuff we like to hide under the carpet. Yet these books and authors show the darkness without succumbing to it. They describe evil without perpetuating evil themselves. Also, so many of them were written in a more, I guess, prudish era? So such things as swearing is frowned upon!
The third reason I enjoy reading the classics is because of something I have already mentioned. The classics do not shy away from the tricky subjects. They tackle such topics as alchoholism, trauma, and the complexity of love. Which is not to say modern books do not tackle those subjects, many do. But classics discuss them with a depth I rarely find in modern literature. They take all the time needed to really explore those subjects at all angles and perspectives. When good books take a heavy subject, they do not edit themselves to be liked by pop culture. They do not let it take backseat to anything within the novel. The whole novel exists to discuss one point, and one point alone.
There are other reasons, I could probably go on for days, but this will suffice for a blog post I think.
Have a lovely day.