100 Words. 100 Days: Day 94. On Classic Novels.

There was a time when I wouldn’t touch a classic novel with a lighted pitchfork. They were too dense, I thought, written in a language no longer relevant for today’s modern needs. Too many thees, thous and words I need to look up in a dictionary.

But then I picked up Les Miserables, by  Victor Hugo. Yes, it’s dense, with passages that seem to go on forever, and for no particular reason. It has more tangents than a geometry manual; but it’s a joy to read. I feel that I’ve given classics a bad rep. Now I’ve changed my tune.



5 responses to “100 Words. 100 Days: Day 94. On Classic Novels.

  1. Who ARE you? And what have you done with James?

  2. I’m not sure just what constitutes a “classic”. Longevity? Popularity? Some critic’s opinion of “great”? Many critics’ opinions over many years? I’ve read many of them. Some I agree are “classic”. Some I wonder how they even got published. If I can’t become immersed in the first fifty pages, it doesn’t matter.

    • That’s the thing, Wayne. after fifty pages of Les Mis, I was immersed.

      Now, on the other hand, there are many classics I just can’t get my teeth into, such as Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe, and all the Russian novels.

  3. I give them 50 pages. If a writer can’t get my attention in 50 pages, I go look for one who can.

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