As I’ve been diving more into the world of classic books I’ve had a few thoughts rumbling around in my head.
What makes a classic book a classic anyway?
If I asked you to name 5 classic books, they’d probably come off of a list like this one.
You know the Pride and Prejudice, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick’s of the world. Those are by all measures, by any list, considered classics.
Is it because it’s awesome or groundbreaking? Or because it’s stood the test of time?
Maybe that’s the same thing.
But maybe it’s more that the ‘powers that be’ deemed this book is better than that book and people just went along with it. And from there, it snowballed.
As always, when literary questions come to my mind, I turn to Brain Pickings for an answer. Of course, there is a post on this very topic called Italo Calvino’s 14 Definitions of What Makes a Classic.
I think my favorite definition is this:
The classics are those books which come to us bearing the aura of previous interpretations, and trailing behind them the traces they have left in the culture or cultures (or just in the languages and customs) through which they have passed.