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What makes a “classic”?. Quotation #1 “There are four kinds of readers. The first is like the hourglass; and their reading being as the sand, it runs.

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Presentation on theme: "What makes a “classic”?. Quotation #1 “There are four kinds of readers. The first is like the hourglass; and their reading being as the sand, it runs."— Presentation transcript:

1 What makes a “classic”?

2

3 Quotation #1 “There are four kinds of readers. The first is like the hourglass; and their reading being as the sand, it runs in and runs out, and leaves not a vestige behind. A second is like the sponge, which imbibes everything, and returns it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtier. A third is like a jelly bag, allowing all that is pure to pass away, and retaining only the refuse and dregs. And the fourth is like the slaves in the diamond mines of Golconda, who, casting aside all that is worthless, retain only pure gems” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, Lecture 2). What type of reader are you?

4 What makes a “classic”? Quotation #2 “In the best stories, it is actually characterization that moves the story along, because a compelling character in a difficult situation creates his or her own plot” (Karen Bernardo, “Characterization in Literature”).

5 What makes a “classic”? Quotation #3 “Most great works of the imagination were meant to make you feel like a stranger in your own home. The best fiction always forced us to question what we took for granted. It questioned traditions and expectations when they seemed too immutable [or unchangeable]” (Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran, 94).

6 What makes a “classic”? Quotation #4 “Literature makes us better noticers of life; we get to practice on life itself, which in turn makes us better readers of detail in literature. And so on and on. You have only to teach literature to realize that most young readers are poor noticers” (James Wood, How Fiction Works, 65).

7 What makes a “classic”? Quotation #5 “A good book can teach you about the world and about yourself. You learn more than just how to read better; you also learn more about life. You become wiser. Not just more knowledgeable—books that provide nothing but information can produce that result. But wiser in the sense that you are more deeply aware of the great and enduring truths of human life” (Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book, ).

8 What makes a “classic”? Quotation #6 “Good books are over your head; they would not be good for you if they were not. And books that are over your head weary you unless you can reach up to them and pull yourself up to their level” (Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book, 48).

9 What makes a “classic”? Quotation #7 “Isn't that the joy of fiction? To probe for fresh experience rather than perpetuate received wisdom? Why turn out endless variations on what we have already done well; what our reviewers, and friends and family, too, assure us we do best; what everyone feels most comfortable with and what might sell? Why not explore new territory and also new means of getting there when that seems necessary?” (Norman, Howard. “Peter Matthiessen: The Art of Fiction” in Paris Review. P. 211 in LRC)

10 What makes a “classic”? Quotation #8 “I think serious writers stretch themselves, however subtly, and stretch their good readers, too--otherwise, why do it? There are many too many formulaic novels published already.” (Norman, Howard. “Peter Matthiessen: The Art of Fiction” in Paris Review. P. 211 in LRC)


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