Saturday, May 4, 2013

What is Classic Literature?

      When I think of Classic Literature, I think of old books written by people like Jane Austen, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, etc. However, some people may consider books that everybody has heard of as Classics, like The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter. So what is a Classic, really?
      A Classic book is a book that had withstood the test of time. A book that people continue to enjoy years after it was published and it's author died. Their copyright has expired, and so they are printed by many different publishers.
      These books generally contain a sort of appeal to where it is read by a diverse group of people. It will also contain some artistic quality, be it a writing style different from most other books, or an especially engaging plot.
      Traditionally, Classic Novels were only fictional narratives. Recently, though, some graphic novels were shockingly referred to as 'Classics.'
       This term is truly ambiguous. This set of 'rules' is only the generally accepted definition of a novel. There are no official requirements, but since books like Harry Potter and Twilight have not had a chance to withstand the test of time, I do not think they can truly be considered classics.

1 comment:

  1. I think you make some great points about what is classic literature and what could be considered classic literature. There are a lot of different beliefs out there of what is considered a classic. For instance, there are books that are considered classics, which the author is still alive. For instance, To Kill a Mockingbird, is considered a classic. Harper Lee is still alive in her late 80s. To me, a classic might be something that might be taught in a college English class or something I feel that my children might learn from- but even vague answers like that many books could be considered "classics" that I personaly wouldn't think would count. I was listening to NPR the other day, they were talking about how World War Z was taught in some begining college classes. I have not read it, but it was a personally leap to think of a Zoombie book as a classic. Then, I thought of Twilight, Harry Potter or older books like: Frankenstein, Dracula, A Midsummer Night's Dream. From Vampires to Fairies, is Zoombies at that point a stretch? I don't know how a book becomes a classic and that definition might be as complicated as defining: what is art. Or it could be something as simple as: a classic is in the eye of the beholder.