Today’s discussion is about Greek literature. When I think of Greek literature, I think of Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Aesop (yes, Aesop was Greek), Aristophanes and others. Have I read all of their works, not yet, but I have read quite a bit. I’ve mostly read Sophocles, Aristophanes, Plato and I learned about Aesop’s Fables at some point during my schooling. I’m slowly getting through the Iliad and the Odyssey. Recently, I loaded my Nook with classic Greek literature, what is left of it anyways. A lot of classic Greek literature is sadly lost and fragmented (incomplete), but what survives can easily be found with some patience and research. A lot of you may be wondering why I love Greek literature, it’s more poetic and lyrical, it really tells a story, and is just more beautiful. Project Guttenburg is an excellent source for classic real Greek literature. What do you think of Greek literature?
Today’s discussion is about classic literature. Why I think reading it is important, and why it is important in general.
I’m going so start with why classic literature is important in general. Think of your favorite high fantasy novels, then think about the first high fantasy books you ever read. For me, the first high fantasy novels I ever read were The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Both authors, in my opinion, are the original creators of high fantasy, and the three works that I listed are works of classic literature. Think about other genres too, like contemporary, dystopian Think about other works of classic literature by the likes of Jane Austen, Homer, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Laura Ingles Wilder, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Without all of these authors and their literature, I don’t think that literature would be what it is today. In other words, and people may not agree with me on this, classic literature is the foundation of all literature.
Why I think reading classic literature is important:
As I previously stated, classic literature is the foundation of all literature. Everything about classic literature is different. Reading classic literature you can expand your vocabulary, even reading translations of Greek and Latin literature. The majority of words in the English language have Greek and Latin roots. Classic literature is meant to be challenging, as opposed to more modern literature which is a lot easier to read and understand. The language in classic literature is much more difficult, take Beowulf for example, it’s not easy to read, it really makes you think about the words that you are reading, it is the same thing with Shakespeare, and Homer! Classic literature also makes you think in a way that I feel modern And lastly you can learn about history and culture in a different context other than a boring textbook!
Is one of your 2017 goals to read more classics? Do you read them, why or why not?
The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer- This has been on my TBR for a while. I’m intimidated by this because I read the Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes. I had a difficult time getting through that, because of the way it was written, and it was only 155 pages. The Illiad and The Odyssey is 752 pages, and if it’s written in a way similar to The Argonautica, I know I’ll have a difficult time getting through it.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy- For some reason, the larger classics intimidate the hell out of me. This one is 1,156 pages, it’s huge! It’s also historical fiction, a genre that I have been reading more of lately. The synopsis sounds really intriguing.
Night by Elie Weisel- While this book is on the shorter side, it is the content that makes this book intimidating. I learned about the holocaust in school, but I’ve never really read a first person account of what it was really like.
The Lord of the Rings (single volume) by J.R.R. Tolkein- I read the Lord of the Rings as three separate volumes a while ago, however the single volume is huge! I got one of the deluxe editions with the corrected text and the newer index, and it is intimidating.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville- I have never read this book. The classics intimidate the hell out of me. This one isn’t as long as the others, but I have heard that some of the language is difficult for some to understand.
I was never really into classics, and there were some that I had to read for school. But this year I would like to read more of them, it is one of my goals for the year. Below is the list of classics that I am planning on reading this year, some of them are the Barnes and Noble Classics Editions.
Barnes and Noble Classics Editions:
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Some of these books are intimidating, either because of their size or they way the are written. The largest book I’ve ever read is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, War and Peace is 1,156 pages. After I read The Argonautica, which was difficult for me to get through due to the way it was written, I saw that the Illiad and the Odyssey was written the same way and I’m intimidated to read it. It took me about a week to read the Argonautica, which is only 155 pages and the edition of The Illiad and the Odyssey I have is 731 pages, I’m curious to see how long it will take me read it.