How do you define a classic?

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Reuben 92
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Re: How do you define a classic?

Post by Reuben 92 » 26 Aug 2017, 18:32

This is a tricky one because so much of what goes into a book remaining in print or in the public eye is to do with the opinion of a few high-rankers - those who decide on curriculums etc. So many good books from the past have been largely forgotten. And the attributes that are seen as valuable in a book change over time too. What makes a classic can be a very personal and subjective thing, but the more opinions overlap on certain books, the more cemented its status as a classic becomes.
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Post by Bluecobia » 28 Aug 2017, 17:43

I think age is part of the requirement. I would think 30 to 50 years would be enough time to see if people are still interested in reading it.
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Post by Julez » 22 Oct 2017, 08:47

I agree with Carrie me. It doesn't have to do with age. A classic leaves a message or story that transcends time.

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Post by Cinderella53 » 31 Oct 2017, 04:14

I define a classic pretty simply, by its organic capability to survive the test of time without being injected with non-organic material.

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Post by radioactivelyradiant » 02 Nov 2017, 16:23

I would say it has the be at least 20 years old. It also needs to convey a profound message, spark a lot of discussion related to this theme, and overall, make people contemplate something.
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Post by Arushi Singh » 04 Nov 2017, 08:38

more often than not, overrated texts by celebrated white men.
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Post by kevin lumbasi » 16 Nov 2017, 03:57

If I will define a classic book then i press my definition on the expectation we have over something weightier we need to angage in the book,suc that a book being classic it has all the features which you expect such a book to have.# very important

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Post by CaitlinGonya » 19 Nov 2017, 19:51

I feel that a classic is a book that is constantly talked about, movies and television shows are based off of it, and people making references to it. I also think there is a "yearly" limit meaning that if it older than 10 years and is still hitting all of the 3 points I mentioned, then its a classic

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Post by dhwanis » 29 Nov 2017, 01:03

I do not really define it as per a set time, I define classics as books that can be relatable, accessible, and enjoyable across generations.
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Post by Beryl shinah » 05 Dec 2017, 00:57

Great book since it covers present and past,it can also be used in future.Jorge Sette has discribed the meaning of classic so very well.l love the book

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Post by verbals » 09 Dec 2017, 08:47

I have a "classics project" up and running, to read, at least, a classic a month, so the definition of "Classic" is something I am constantly pondering, exploring online lists. The list is as follows;

1. Therese Raquin- Emile Zola (1867)
2. The Trial- Franz Kafka (1925)
3. The Turn of the Screw- Henry James (1898)
4. Tender Is The Night- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934)
5. Animal Farm- George Orwell (1945)
6. Nostromo- Joseph Conrad (1904)
7. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Brontë (1847)
8. The Sound and the Fury- William Faulkner (1929)
9. Candide- Voltaire (1759)
10. The Metamorphosis- Franz Kafka (1915)
11. The Naked and the Dead- Norman Mailer (1948)
12. The End of the Affair- Graham Greene (1951)
13. To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf (1927)
14. Myra Breckenridge- Gore Vidal (1968)
15. Madame Bovary- Gustave Flaubert (1856)
16. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath (1963)
17. The Beast Within- Emile Zola (1890)
18. Mrs. Dalloway- Virginia Woolf (1925)
19. Decline and Fall- Evelyn Waugh (1928)
20. Orlando- Virginia Woolf (1928)
21. Jude The Obscure- Thomas Hardy (1895)
22. Villette- Charlotte Brontë (1853)
23. The Human Factor- Graham Greene (1978)
24. Silas Marner- George Eliot (1861)
25. Adam Bede- George Eliot (1859)
26. Far From The Madding Crowd- Thomas Hardy (1874)
27. Kim- Rudyard Kipling (1901)
28. Middlemarch- George Eliot (1872)
29. Lord Jim- Joseph Conrad (1900)
30. Shirley- Charlotte Brontë (1849)
31. Naked Lunch- William Burroughs (1859)
32. The Mayor of Casterbridge- Thomas Hardy (1886)
33. Down and Out In Paris and London- George Orwell (1933)
34. Mr Norris Changes Trains- Christopher Isherwood (1933)
35. Goodbye to Berlin- Christopher Isherwood (1939)
36. Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison (1952)
37. Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866)
38. The Quiet American- Graham Greene (1955)
39. Blood Meridian- Cormac McCarthy (1985)
40. The Moonstone- Wilkie Collins (1868)

The common thread, I have found, is the examination and elucidation of human character; the quality of the writing is generally impeccably high; there is a challenge in reading these books. Many of these have stood the test of time and rigorous discussion. Age is a secondary consideration; although high regard is accrued over time. There are three books that stand out even from this list of high quality;

Jane Eyre, Madame Bovary and Cime and Punishment

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Post by inaramid » 10 Dec 2017, 11:49

I remember my English teacher telling us that a "classic" is something written during the "Greek" era. I wasn't really sure what she meant. I'd agree that it has something more to do with the quality and impact rather than the age.

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Post by Insightsintobooks729 » 12 Dec 2017, 09:30

I agree that classics are books that are timeless and have an impact on society. As others have said there can be instant classics.
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Post by Yung Senpai » 06 Feb 2018, 13:02

Something unique that maintains its quality and beauty despite the age it has been written.

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Post by uyky » 08 Feb 2018, 15:00

I agree. A classical book is not defined by age. It is that it needs to be timeless.

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