Hi, Loulou, the lover of books here again….what am I reading at the moment? besides re-reading and editing my own writing??
Last week I read as few old classics…Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ firstly, because I want to teach it to my thirteen year old daughter for her English class this year. I home school her and so we need to study some great authors and great literature each year. She has started reading it and finding it well written as classics usually are, but a little sad that the adults in the story treat the young girl Jane with such contempt and a great lack of kindness.
This novel is not as light hearted as her recent favourite, Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, which we read earlier this year. We laughed a lot over that book, especially the comic relief, such as Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins…
Having visited Jane Austen’s house in the British city of Bath, where she is greatly touted, we can imagine her characters a little more clearly.
Our next classic on the list is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The ultimate love story/ tragedy, don’t you think?
So I have been frantically re-reading these brilliant pieces of English literature and hope to do them justice as I encourage a teenager to read them, understand them and appreciate them.
[We have visited Juliet’s house and stood on her balcony in the stunning, sun drenched city of Verona, walked through the town square where many scenes are said to have taken place. We have also walked through Will Shakespeare’s house in the picturesque town of Stratford-Upon-Avon and so these experiences help bring the author and the characters to life, because we know the places they walked; we walked them ourselves.]
Classics are just that…’classic’.
The dictionary defines a ‘classic’ as something that is judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding amongst its kind.
It is a work of art that is of recognised and established value.
Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, are all established classics and fit the description perfectly.
Of course they’re not the only ones, but they will do for this term of school work. We also studied Tennessee Williams ‘The Glass Menagerie’, which was worthwhile. Descriptive and cleverly written to give an insight into the characters of a family and all their misshapen traits.
So, I mention all of this because I THINK WE CANNOT IGNORE OR FORGET THE CLASSICS. While there is so much new literature to pursue, we should not forget the old one that have lasted hundreds of years and likely will still be there in hundreds of years more when many modern ones are gone and forgotten.
I recently also read Australian author Kate Morton’s book, ‘The Forgotten Garden.’ where interestingly, a mysterious author is one of the main characters and Kate Morton takes us back through time then into the present as she tells us her story that spans generations and takes us across the oceans. Well worth reading.
This week I am reading Irene Nemirovsky’s ‘Suite Francaise’…. it was originally written in French during the second world war. Irene was taken to Aushcwitz camp where she later died, but her young daughters took the manuscript for this book and carried it with them as they fled from before the Nazis. They eventually, as adults began to decipher their mother’s hand written novel and eventually it was printed over 60 years later!
A beautiful piece of literature almost lost…I can only recommend that you read it and appreciate the melodic fluency of the writer and honest, vivid snapshot she gives us of an ugly time in man’s history…