Craving discussions about classic literature? If so, then you are invited into the Classic Lit Oasis Tent.

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Chris P

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Wilde's fairytales are hauntingly beautiful, of course (The Star Boy, why, just whyyy... that ending was one of my biggest literary heartbreaks!).

We read The Happy Prince in junior high or high school, and the only part that stayed with me was the swallow in winter element. At the time I was "well, that was pointless." I read it again a few years ago, after 30 years life experience, and wow, that was a good story.
 

Autumn Leaves

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We read The Happy Prince in junior high or high school, and the only part that stayed with me was the swallow in winter element. At the time I was "well, that was pointless." I read it again a few years ago, after 30 years life experience, and wow, that was a good story.
I had similar experiences with The Little Mermaid and (straying a bit away from the 19th-century classics...) with Lewis's The Last Battle.
 
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llyralen

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By the way, this girl’s analysis of Jane Austen and other classic English writers is really cool. Sometimes she explains things about the time period that help me understand Jane Austen that I didn’t think to ask questions about. I would think she would be an essential person to follow if you write Regency Rom-fic.

She also teaches about writing devices— like these of Shakespeare.


 
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Love Shakespeare! What is one of your favorite Shakespeare passages?
I don't think I have a favourite. I just like to look at his work at random and melt into the awesomeness.
 
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oneblindmouse

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I'll plonk myself down in this comfy old leather sofa, with a glass of wine in my hand, and join in, if I may. Though I may not be as well-read as others on this thread, I hope to learn.

Regarding Hemingway, I quite like his novels, though his terrible incorrect Spanish in For Whom the Bell Tolls really annoys me; if you quote another language for God's sake make sure you get it right!!

Someone whose novels I dislike, but whose short stories I find very readalbe is Scott Fitzgerald. Do any of you feel the same, or the opposite, about other writers?
 
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Chris P

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Regarding Hemingway, I quite like his novels, though his terrible incorrect Spanish in For Whom the Bell Tolls really annoys me; if you quote another language for God's sake make sure you get it right!!

His Swahili in Green Hills of Africa was atrocious, and I don't even know more than a handle of handy phrases. I guess he gets points for consistency?
Someone whose novels I dislike, but whose short stories I find very readalbe is Scott Fitzgerald. Do any of you feel the same, or the opposite, about other writers?

There are a couple modern folks I feel this way about, including some I've read nearly all of. Short stories are really a different beast, and some people have the skills for that but can't carry a novel.

One non-fic I discovered in the last year was Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. As a young man in the 1830s, he signs on to a Boston ship going to collect cattle hides from California. It's amazing to read about Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego as sleepy Mexican villages. The scene of tossing the hides over the cliff to the beach is classic (there is even a modern statue of the event at Dana Point, California). But oof! As a landlubber who never even saw the ocean until I was thirty years old, live aboard a ship just sounds worse than dreadful. Around the horn? No way!!!
 
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Catriona Grace

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I like The Great Gatsby, probably more now than when I first read it as a teenager. That no one changes but the narrator who is essentially reporting the action has always intrigued me. Once upon a time, I won an annotated version of the book that was interspersed with drawings of the costumes mentioned in the text. Pretty cool (I sew) and I regret I lost the e-book in a computer crash some years ago.

Hmm. I think I still have a book of FSF's short fiction in one of the downstairs bookcases. Maybe it's time to bring it up.

I enjoy attending Shakespearean productions but I confess I can't just sit and read the plays. I do sometimes read his poetry, though I am not a huge fan of poetry in general. "I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer..." (Happy sigh.)
 
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Autumn Leaves

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I like The Great Gatsby, probably more now than when I first read it as a teenager.
Oh, then maybe I should try rereading this one at some point. I first tried reading it as a teenager as well but couldn't get into it; perhaps it'll grow on me later.
I enjoy attending Shakespearean productions but I confess I can't just sit and read the plays.
I haven't had much luck finding good Shakespearean productions so far (if you don't count the Mariinsky Theatre's gorgeous productions of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Verdi's Macbeth), so I have to stick with the film adaptations. My favourite ones among these are Hamlet (1964), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), and The Hollow Crown series.

I love reading the plays, though.
 
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Chris P

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I either need to see Shakespeare performed, or have a knowledgeable person go through it line by line with me. In high school, in two separate classes we went through Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, and as a result they are my two favorites. I read Hamlet on my own, thought I understood it, then saw it performed and . . . Wow, I didn't understand it AT ALL from reading. The comedies just perplex me. Even performed.
 
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Catriona Grace

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There was (maybe is) a regional Shakespearean troupe that traveled around the northern Rockies each summer putting on Shakespeare in the park. When my daughter was about seven or eight, we came across a performance of Romeo and Juliet. She was absolutely spellbound. Over the next few years, we saw As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and others. We watched Midsummer's Night Dream in a pouring rain storm. The players were soaked, we were soaked, and I've rarely had so much fun in my life. My then-ten year old daughter and her friend were in hysterics, rolling around on the ground with laughter. The actors actually started incorporating the girls into the set, directly playing to them. Hard to resist such an appreciative audience.
 

mrsmig

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Just sticking my head into the Tent to inhale the literary atmosphere and say that once I'm home from my current travels, I'll be pulling up a cushion for an extended stay.
 

llyralen

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Oh, then maybe I should try rereading this one at some point. I first tried reading it as a teenager as well but couldn't get into it; perhaps it'll grow on me later.

I haven't had much luck finding good Shakespearean productions so far (if you don't count the Mariinsky Theatre's gorgeous productions of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Verdi's Macbeth), so I have to stick with the film adaptations. My favourite ones among these are Hamlet (1964), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), and The Hollow Crown series.

I love reading the plays, though.
I like The Hollow Crown series as well. Irons and Hiddleston, yes please. In the last several years a performance of Hamlet that I liked and seemed quite fresh to me was Benedict Cumberbatch's. The lines seemed modern and immersive to me. I forgot that the words are over 400 years old.
 
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llyralen

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I'll plonk myself down in this comfy old leather sofa, with a glass of wine in my hand, and join in, if I may. Though I may not be as well-read as others on this thread, I hope to learn.

Regarding Hemingway, I quite like his novels, though his terrible incorrect Spanish in For Whom the Bell Tolls really annoys me; if you quote another language for God's sake make sure you get it right!!

Someone whose novels I dislike, but whose short stories I find very readalbe is Scott Fitzgerald. Do any of you feel the same, or the opposite, about other writers?
I should read FSF's short stories, I've only read The Great Gadsby and love it.

It's interesting how some people's talents are so good for a certain genre that when they write a different genre or length, they kind of miss their calling. I have been analyzing that with authors lately, hoping to not join them.

I think both Asimov and Ray Bradbury were more engaging in their short stories, although I like their novels okay.

Why are short stories less respected than novels it seems like?
 

Catriona Grace

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Asimov appealed to me less as a writer than Bradbury, though I couldn't tell you why any more. Maybe because Asimov spent more time describing science and Bradbury was more interested in characters and events? Or because Bradbury's work had a mystical aspect that Asimov's lacked? I'm going solely on vague memories of Asimov; I recall his lecherous limericks better than anything else he wrote, which certainly says more about me than him.

Why are short stories less respected than novels it seems like?
That's strange, isn't it? Perhaps people are impressed by quantity?
 
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llyralen

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I know what you mean about Bradbury @Catriona Grace. I think Bradbury has more to say about the human condition no mater what circumstances or year we live in. But Asimov had some too. I've been trying to read a bit more Asimov lately what with the show "Foundation" (which I think is squandering their chance right now...) Bradbury I fall more easily in with, he gets me much more involved.
 

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Oh I enjoy this tent a lot! *pulls on a velvet reading robe*

My English Lit education was rather lacking in a varied range of the classics I feel. For an English school, I recall we seemed very focused on male dominated American classics for some reason - I recall of Mice and Men, Catcher in the Rye and Call of the Wild being studied (plus ALL the Shakespeare which is basically mandatory)

I'm eagerly digging through some of the names on this page to remind myself of the trove out there. I've never managed to fully struggle through Tolstoy for some reason, I can get a little lost in the wide array of characters and their various titles and formality. But I do enjoy the settings and atmosphere of Russia in fiction, would I like Pushkin any better? He seems more lyrical from excerpts I've read.

I'm planning to treat myself to a few peices from this beautiful clothbound collection of the classics from Waterstones but it's so hard to choose!
 
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Chris P

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I'm eagerly digging through some of the names on this page to remind myself of the trove out there. I've never managed to fully struggle through Tolstoy for some reason, I can get a little lost in the wide array of characters and their various titles and formality. But I do enjoy the settings and atmosphere of Russia in fiction, would I like Pushkin any better? He seems more lyrical from excerpts I've read.

My first Russian novel was more recent, but very much in the spirit of Russian novels: Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. It's modern enough to connect, but has that "authoritative" feel, if that makes any sense.

I'm planning to treat myself to a few peices from this beautiful clothbound collection of the classics from Waterstones but it's so hard to choose!
My copy of War and Peace is from that cloth-bound series. I'm considering getting a copy of Frankenstein from it too, since those are among my top two classics. The paper has a good feel, the books are the right size for my hand (even at W&P's 1400 pages!) and the type font is easy on my eyes. Also, the printing is good and even. Very well made books.

Actually, since the classics have been so hit or miss for me, I often seek out the free ebook version if I'm not sure. I'd have been well pleased if I had purchased at full price for Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, but felt cheated if I'd paid $2 for Guy Mannering by Walter Scott.
 
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mrsmig

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I read Two Years Before the Mast back in 2017, and remember being fascinated by Dana's recounting of their return trip around the Horn (in winter, no less).

As I recall, the middle of the book, while interesting, was mostly spent ashore in what was then pre-statehood California - essentially a foreign country - and Dana's prejudice against the indigenous, Spanish and black people he encountered there was a little hard to take. (He liked the Polynesians he met, though.)
 
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Chris P

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I read Two Years Before the Mast back in 2017, and remember being fascinated by Dana's recounting of their return trip around the Horn (in winter, no less).

As I recall, the middle of the book, while interesting, was mostly spent ashore in what was then pre-statehood California - essentially a foreign country - and Dana's prejudice against the indigenous, Spanish and black people he encountered there was a little hard to take. (He liked the Polynesians he met, though.)
Agree with the racial attitudes. He was very much a product of his time.
 
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llyralen

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I just went hunting for film clips on YouTube from “The Importance of Being Earnest”. I prefer the 1986 version. I forgot how funny it is at almost every moment:
 

llyralen

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I'm eagerly digging through some of the names on this page to remind myself of the trove out there. I've never managed to fully struggle through Tolstoy for some reason, I can get a little lost in the wide array of characters and their various titles and formality. But I do enjoy the settings and atmosphere of Russia in fiction, would I like Pushkin any better? He seems more lyrical from excerpts I've read.

I suggest also trying Chekhov— Chekhov is very feeling. Have you tried Dostoyevsky?
 
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Happy Thanksgiving

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