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July 19th, 2010

12:26 pm
 There doesn't seem to be a lot of posts here lately, which is a little disappointing since I just joined. But I guess I will introduce myself anyway. I'm Louise. Some favorite classics include To Kill A Mockingbird, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Pride & Prejudice, Oliver Twist, The Little Princess and On The Road. I maintain a collaborative book blog (which: *shameless plug alert* we are always in need of other bloggers/writers to send us reviews or heartfelt ramblings about books they've loved and are especially in need of people to write about classic novels) and am working on a YA novel. I also work in a library. Feel free to add me here. :)

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June 23rd, 2009

12:58 am - Moderator post
Hey everybody!

I know this community hasn't exactly been hopping with posts lately, and that's been partially my fault cause I haven't been an active member for about a month. I recently moved from Stony Point, NY to Naples, FL with my fiance, and adjustment has taken me a lot longer than I thought it would. I had little time to read, much less go online and do the things I did before I moved. So I hope to be a much more active member of this community very soon, and to bring us some more members and more discussion topics!

The last classic I read was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, a book that most people read in high school, but I never encountered. I didn't expect to like it, but I thought it quite powerful. While I enjoyed it a lot more than her sister Emily's Wuthering Heights, I found Emily's work to be more artistic, lasting, and memorable. Which makes me wonder, do you all enjoy classics that are more entertaining at the moment, or classics that might be hard to trudge through, but which you find very interesting and relevant, afterwards? Or have a few classics achieved both ends?

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June 4th, 2009

12:11 pm - Sergei Solovyov's 'Anna Karenina'
The well-known Russian film director Sergei Solovyov has completed his screen version of Leo Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina'. This film was Solovyov's long-standing dream. The movie is starring Tatyana Drubich as Anna, Oleg Yankovsky as Karenin, and Yaroslav Boiko as Vronsky. The world premiere of the movie took place on May 31st in St. Petersburg, Russia.


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May 20th, 2009

12:02 am - French vs. Russian Classics

I was talking to a friend recently, and the question came up: Which do you prefer, the French classics or the Russian classics?

I've read very little from either, as so far I've focused on British and American classics or classic religious texts.  Of the few Russian texts I have attempted at one point or another, none longer than a short story have been able to hold my interest.

Les Miserables is one of the books I hope to read this summer, and I've heard Nabokav is one of the easier Russians to get into, so I may tackle him as well.

What do all of you think about French and Russian classics?  Any recommendations?  (If you could recommend a specific translation as well, that would be most helpful.)

And for those of you looking for book lists, I've found Great Books Lists (Lists of Classics, Eastern and Western) helpful.  It includes lists for fiction and non-fiction, various time periods and colleges, and so on.  Well worth looking around. 

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April 23rd, 2009

02:37 am
What classics do you deem "must reads" for those who are wanting to expand their knowledge of them? I've read a little bit of a lot, but I would like to become more solidly grounded in what I know of the literary classics ( still deciding on whether or not I'd like to go into a degree based around literature or in early American history ). It helps, sometimes, that I work in a bookstore, but other times, I'm daunted by the amount of material presented to me that are defined as "classics" and can't seem to decide where to start or what to pick up first.

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06:17 am - Translations from Greek and Latin
Not long ago, I was building my library by adding English translations (one per work) of Greek and Roman classics. I noticed that finding useful information about various translations was pretty difficult. I mostly ended up comparing every translation I could find of a work, as well as the original. In each case, I wanted to get as close as possible to the original without actually reading it, but not so close that the translation would be too clearly something even a mad poet would never write. Nevertheless, my greatest fear is stumbling on a good metaphor while reading someone like Ovid in the belief that the metaphors are his, only to discover decades later that the original author had used a different metaphor, and the translator had cooked up a new one for some trivial purpose. (I'm also not a friend of rhymes. I think they were useful when you couldn't write down your stories and had to memorize tens of thousands of words. In my opinion, already in the time of Virgil they were a dead habit that served no purpose.)

I ended up buying Z. Philip Ambrose's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, among other things. I want to mention that in particular, since the book is a relatively new translation (2004), and I've never heard it mentioned before anywhere, ever. I find that tragic, since in my opinion it's the greatest thing since sliced bread and second only to the typewriter as the best thing that has ever happened to readers. The book also has a nice layout and pictures. My other picks were Paul Roche for Sophocles, and Richard Lattimore for Homer. I didn't find a translation of Aeneid that I'd consider worth mentioning in this context. I did find a website that has interesting essays on Greek and Latin classics, and their translation, by Prof. William Harris:


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April 20th, 2009

04:30 pm - just joined
I'm excited about this community, but my first question is, "What counts as a classic?" Traditionally, a classic book is one written in ancient Greek or Latin, but it seems to be more broadly defined nowadays. So I'm curious what you all think. What makes a classic? Is it just time, or is there more to it? How much time has to pass before something can be deemed a "classic"?

Anyway, my name is Eden. I'm 21 and an undergrad majoring in English and graduating in about five weeks. A few of my favorite books (that I consider "classics") are -

The Iliad, Homer
The Dialogues of Plato (particularly Republic, Symposium, and Phaedo)
The Aeneid, Virgil
Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
The Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas
A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens
Inferno and Purgatorio from The Divine Comedy, Dante
Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
The Temple, Herbert

and a ton more. Right now I'm reading Moby-Dick, The Idea of a University, and The Silmarillion for school, and I'm eagerly anticipating being able to read whatever I want again. I'm looking forward to future discussions here!

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April 21st, 2009

03:48 pm
Interestingly enough, as much as I love classic books, I absolutely hate fictional books based on real people (Philippa Gregory's The Other Bolelyn Girl being a possible exception; though I doubt I'll ever read it a second time). I was so excited to read Joyce Carol Oates's Wild Nights because it was about the last days of famous authors, only to realize it was fictionalized rather than biographical. Does anyone else feel this way. I don't know, whenever I see a modern-day "sequel" to a classic book, or a fictional book about a real person, it annoys me. Are there any good ones out there?

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April 16th, 2009

11:16 pm
Short intro:
My name is Tamara and I am 24 year old English Lit. major with a concentration in American Lit.  I read a LOT of books and try to read  classic every 4th or 5th book I read.  it keeps modern lit in perspective.  Classics are HIGH on my list of books to read at the moment.  I feel they will make me a better conversationalist and more cultured, which is my goal in life. :)

Without further ado, my life with Classics...

I remember reading my first Dickens, an abridged version for children of A Tale of Two Cities.  I read it while visitng my father in Georgia over the summer while fishing for red fish in the lagoon.  I then went on the read the unabridged version of Great Expectations, wel, half of it, and then when I saw the movie in the theaters, it ended 10 minutes before the end!  So I never knew what happened until years later when I finally rented it.

Other favorites include Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, which even when I was a little girl I was opposed to seeing the movies before reading the books, so I quickly picked them up at the library and read them right before seeing the movies.  And I will admit, that these movie representations of these novels are great.

I also read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum while doing a road trip in Kansas, in the back of the minivan inbetween card games of "war" with my brother.  My mom is from Kansas, thus the road trip, and I must say that it was a lot of sunflower fields, wheat fields, and oil fields, and a whole lot of flat earth!  As a baby, my mom nicknamed me Toto because she always carried me around.  The movie representation of this book is well enough, but obviously made for Hollywood, as the shoes in the novel were not ruby slippers, but in fact silver shoes, which I can't quite get over.  Similar to classic tales of Cinderella wearing fur slippers and not glass ones.  I think that shoes are quite important, and movie makers shouldn't go changing them around quite so much.

I am also a big Steinbeck fan, citing The Grapes of Wrath as a book I chose to read on my own in 6th grade when I was homeschooled for English.  I also read The Pearl but did not enjoy it so much as my 8th grade English teacher accused me of plagiarizing from the book for my report, which I clearly did not, and made me write the entire paper over again!  I was so angry I even completely changed my thesis.  My favorite Steinbeck is East of Eden, which makes me sick of prostitutes and feel sorry for men who are lovesick.  Of Mice and Men, obviously, but I really just skimmed it as I had heard so much about it already and already knew the story.  The Winter of Our Discontent is the next on my to read by Steinbeck list.

Oh and Vonnegut, how I love him.  My first ever by him was Slaughterhouse Five, though my favorite is Cat's Cradle.  Next on my Vonnegut list is A Man Without a Country.

I also thoroughly enjoyed The Great Gatsby and am planning on reading Tender is the Night and This Side of Paradise to further my Fitzgerald repartee.

Hemingway, I've read The Sun Also Rises while on a porch in Costa Rica.  Perfect setting I say.  I also read A Farewell to Arms in a Brit. Lit. war course.  It was my more favorite choice by the professor.  On my to read by Hemingway is The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories.

Other favorite already read classics include, Heart of Darkness by Conrad, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, and The Chronicles of Narnia (on my top 5 favorite of all time) by C.S. Lewis,

Currently I'm reading Brideshead Revisted by Evelyn Waugh and am hoping to finish it in 3 days, as I have a lot of books to read before May 1 when I go back to school for the summer.  I'm on chapter 2 only, but I didn't like the prologue (so confusing!) but enjoyed chapter one a great deal, once I figured out what was actually going on!  I adore the language Waugh uses, but I guess that gentrified language comes with all great classics.

Authors I'd like to get into in the classics genre are the Brontes (Though I've already read some, Wuthering Heights being amont my favorite) and Jane Austen.

On my to read list of classics are Anna Karenina by Tolstoy and 1984 by Orwell.  Or at least those are the ones that are currently on my bookshelf.

Obviously my favorite classic writer is Shakespeare.  Billy Shakes and I have had a love affair going since I was about 11.  I visited the new Globe Theater when I was 13.  My favorite movie version of his works is Baz Lurhman's Wiliam Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  Leo is amazing and I fell in love with him about the same time as I fell in love with Billy.  Kenneth Branagh is pretty good too.

Well, that just about covers it!  Happy classics reading.

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05:43 pm - Welcome!!
Hello, and welcome to classicsrus! To introduce myself, I am a Scottish-American girl with an undergraduate degree in history and drama studies and a postgraduate degree in Reading European Cultures with an emphasis on Comparative Literature. I attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where I majored in creative writing, and I hope to get a second master's degree next fall. As such, I realized I haven't read a lot of classic books! So I decided to start this community so we can discuss classics, the ones we've loved and the ones we wish to read. I'm currently writing my own novel and trying to read a lot of good books and see some good films. I love the Gulf of Mexico, my fiance, my parents, dolphins and traveling.

I would like to start off by asking if anyone wants to add some authors to our interests that aren't there already. Also, what is your favorite film rendition of a classic?

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