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Is classic literature dead. Please explain your vote.

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Knight1192, Oct 5, 2001.


Is classic literature dead. Please explain your vote.

Poll closed Oct 12, 2001.
  1. Yes

    3 vote(s)
  2. No

    22 vote(s)
  3. Not yet, but it's getting there

    6 vote(s)
  4. Maybe, I'm not sure

    2 vote(s)
  5. I only read it because my teacher forces it on me

    4 vote(s)
  6. That stuff's too slow, it was dead long before I was born

    7 vote(s)
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  1. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
  2. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
    In one of the other polls I see folks talking about how they don?t like Tolkien, they find him boring. In other threads I?ve seen folks talk about how they dislike it when a novel has a slow pace. And I?ve seen some folks mention how they don?t care for classic literature because it?s boring. And it just makes me wonder, is classic literature dead?

    We live in a fast paced world. We need to be where we?re going like yesterday, so we
    need to move faster and faster it seems. Waiting for a book to come out seems to be too much for some, it drives them crazy to just wait when they seem to want it tomorrow.
    With the net, there?s no need to wait for the TV, newspaper, or radio to report the news, we can get it not terribly long after it happens. Nor does it seem there?s a need to go to the library when you can just look things up on the net.

    Yet classic lit does not always move along at a fast pace. Often it seems to be leisurely, meandering along like a brook until it reaches a point that needs to be a little faster. And it seems to require a bit more attention than it would seem folks in today?s world may want to spend with it. Yet even so, it?s there and relaxing. A breath of fresh air compared to the faster, faster, faster still pace we find ourselves in.

    To me, I fear that classic lit may well be dieing. Folks don?t seem to want to wait for it to reach where it?s going. If it?s not fast paced, their attention seems to be lost. And they seem to find it boring. It?s becoming more of something that older generations enjoy and younger generations will only come into contact with in the schools. Otherwise, you?re not going to get them interested in it. But then, that?s only my opinion. What?s yours?
  3. Sturm Antilles

    Sturm Antilles Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 22, 2000
    I didn't like most stories that teachers pressed upon me. Only The Outsiders and To Kill a Mockingbird were good.

    I don't care for Where the Red Fern Grows, Moby Dick, Shakespeare or half of the other crap that old farts like...but some stories are good.

    I just prefer more modern stories, and almost always in a Fantasy or Sci-Fi setting. The real world is kind of boring to read about.

    But I don't consider Tolkien to be in the realm of "old books". I'll be reading LotR in 2003, and Dune next year. I'll also likely read the Foundation trilogy sometime.
  4. Darth Ludicrous

    Darth Ludicrous Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 25, 2000
    What is clasic literature.
    novels are always being written, literature is always evolving.
  5. RogueJaina

    RogueJaina Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 6, 2001
    My fave author is Alcott. I also love Homer (how much more classic can you get), and generally like anything that has survived in print for at least 100 years (except Steinbeck and Dickens. I hate Steinbeck and Dickens.)
  6. AdmiralZaarin

    AdmiralZaarin Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 8, 2001
    As with Sturm, I depsise most stuff teachers ram down my throat. But The Power Of One was great. I can now swear in three different langauges after reading that :D
    But there is some classic literature that is great. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was neat, so was Dracula.
  7. jastermereel

    jastermereel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 19, 1998
    For me at least...its far from dead...classic literature in a variety of forms make up some of my favorite books............the authors, on the other hand are mostly all long dead...
  8. DVader316

    DVader316 Jedi Knight star 7

    Feb 18, 2000
    I agree with DL. Incidentally, classic literature is what really got me into enjoying reading and all of it nuances. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are my two favorite novels of all time, and doubt if that will change.
  9. Ghent42

    Ghent42 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 19, 2001

    Yes, no, maybe so, ting tang walawalabingbang.
    Some is good, some is bad, some from Europe, some from Chad.
    Some by women, some by men, some in pencil, some in pen.
    You can read in a house, you can read it in a chair, you can read it with a mouse, you can read it anywhere.
    Classic lit. Some is good. Would I read it? Yes, I would.
  10. Legolas42

    Legolas42 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 6, 2001
    Ghent, you are a nut.
  11. Dev Sibwarra

    Dev Sibwarra Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 4, 1999
    No. It's natural for tastes to change. If classic literature is dead, it's because it was never really alive- how long has it been since Mark Twain said that classics are books that everybody talks about yet nobody reads?
  12. BobaFetts_Clone

    BobaFetts_Clone Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 12, 2001
    Classic books aren;t dead, people still read them. In school, yes they try to force you to read classic books, but they aren't all bad. Like someone already said, Homer's the Odessey is great (and a good example of the monomyth). Th illiad is also good. And some of Shakespeares work isn't that horrible. If you don't like all that romance stuff, don't read it! Try othello which is full of revenge, intrigue, and plots.
    Another good book, which may not actually be a classic (but its old) is "The Price" by Machievelli. Its all about ruling states, manipulatinf the enemy and becoming King of the world, kinda like palpatine (gotta have a SW reference). In fact alot of the stuff machievelli says is necessary for a prince to rule a kingdom is exactly what old palpy did.

    Anyway, classic lit. is not dead, you justr have to pick and choose what classic stuff you like and what you don't. I read SW, but i also like the three musketeers, the count od monte cristo and other such books.

    So don't just read SW!! Read other stuff, it can be just as good!

    my (long) two creds.......
  13. _admiral_kettch_

    _admiral_kettch_ Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 3, 2001
    The books all sell great, it's nowhere near being dead.
  14. Galleon

    Galleon Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 26, 2001
    I was thinking about this awhile back.
    Is classical Literature is dead in the terms in which we think of a classical work. Time and taste change and in time the books we read today will be considered Classics. I strongly doubt that there will ever be another Shakespear or Dickens, but in that same right Mark Twain would have considered Homer Classical, and J.D. Salinger considered may consider both classical, and we consider All three as classical writers. It is only a matter of time until Clancy becomes a classic.
    Also I strongly believe that the educational system in America is destroying Literature for the young.
  15. CloneofPhanan

    CloneofPhanan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 20, 2000
    To say that classic literature is dead one must assume that there will never be new books considered classics. This is the worst assumption anyone has ever made, besides which, classics are sometimes considered to be trashy when they first come out, The Great Gatsby, for example.

    There will always be people who read and enjoy "the classics" and people for whom "the classics" are not intended. This is merely a matter of opinion and personal taste, both of which are entirely subjective and cannot be wrong.

    I enjoy some of the classics but only on a case by case basis. I hate The Scarlet Letter, Julius Caesar, and Walden, but I love The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. However, I must admit a preference for Modern and Postmodern literature (twentieth century basically).

    New classics are popping up all the time, the works of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. for example. And I do hope that some of the works of Philip K. Dick will become classics with more mainstream acceptance.
  16. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
    I'm glad to have gotten so many responses on this issue, and even happier to see so many defending the subject. But what frightens me is the number of folks that have voted in the last two selections of this poll. The defenders may out number them, but not by much. And then we have the unsure and the frightened, myself being the latter. The unsure are not certain one way or another while the frightened see the subject as being lost on the modern world.

    What constitutes classic literature? Hard to say really. Could be that it's viewed as something folks should read at least once in their life, if not more. Could be the number of copies sold. Could be something thats been read by x number of generations, or has been fairly popular for x number of years. Or it could be that the classics are books that keep being read while others that came out at the same time are no longer read or so rarely read as to become obscure. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings certainly qualify as classic literature, as do so many other books and stories. And at some point certain Star Wars novels may well become classics.

    But take a look at one of the responses. Only reading classics because their forced on them by their teacher and only like two were viewed to be good. That is of course one persons opinion. But it highlights the very reason I posted this thread. That being that it would seem the only way classics are reaching a lot of kids now is because their teachers make them read them. And it has always seemed to me since 9th grade that the forceing of the classics in this day and age causes kids to resent them and not wish to read them after they complete them in school.

    Naturally some are going to come to enjoy the classics while some are not. But the fact that so many voted in a negative sense to the livelyhood of the classics, even those of us who fear they are dying, is perhaps a sign of the times. A sign that some books are no longer viewed as any good because their pace may be too slow. Honestly, I'm just not sure if classic literature will survive.

    And just because we're always being told that so many books coming out today are classics does not mean their exactly a part of classic literature just yet. Indeed, some may well be. But most seem more to be popular books that are decided to be classics because someone thinks that they may sell better that way.

    Let me say one last thing. I believe that Mark Twain once said that a classic is something that everyone knows/or loves but that nobody reads.
  17. Jayd

    Jayd Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 30, 2001
    Yes it's dead because it has too much subtlety, and so it doesn't appeal to teh masses anymore. You're not considered cool (for lack of a better word) for reading classical books anymore, like you were a century ago.

    And yes, it's boring. I had to read so much of it in English Lit. It was so annoying.
  18. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
    1901, a century ago, most folks were still fairly uneducated. Most who had read the classics were educated people. That did not nessicarily mean that they were though of as cool. They were more likely thought of as being smart or snobs.
  19. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
  20. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    Call me a geek or an English Major, whichever works for you, but reading classic literature is exhilarating. Things like Steinbeck's "Winter of Our Discontent," Kate Chopin's "Awakening", F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," not to mention Chaucer, Donne, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Hugo... They all give me chills and make me seriously ponder major issues. I hope not to live to see a day like in "1984" where independent thought is restricted and condemned or in "Fahrenheit 451" where books are burned so the people can't think for themselves. I mean, even know, we see evidence of this in the media, in the youth, and especially in the adults. Why shunt away that which keeps us alive. Thoreau said "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately." It's a theme that Mark Twain exemplified when the only true freedom they experience in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is when they are completely cut off from the pressures and dogmas of society and are able to shape their thinking and their lives. For me, that's what classic literature is all about. Sorry for the rant.
  21. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
    No, no, there's no need to be sorry for ranting in this thread. Especially since the author, myself, has already ranted. I actually encourage it here, and in all my polls. My polls are not merely a place to vote. I want to know why people vote the way they do, what their opinion on the subject matter is. Number of voters and the percentages for the various choices are secondary.

    Please, feel free to rant. Defend your choice, or make us understand it. Mere voteing in a poll that asks why you voted the way you did is everyone's right. But it seems that by asking why folks voted the way they did is meant to start a discussion. Personally, why bother posting a poll in a forum if you're not looking to start a discussion.
  22. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    yay! a place to rant...
  23. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
  24. Freyja

    Freyja Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 2, 2000
    Dead for some, not for others.

    Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite book of all time. It might not stand out in greatness when compared with other classic texts, but I love it.
  25. Knight1192

    Knight1192 Jedi Knight star 6

    Feb 5, 2000
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