New Meme: Classic Remarks

Classic Remarks


Starting in July, we’ll be featuring a new meme that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.  The schedule for the year is posted below, so feel free to get a head start.  We look forward to seeing your responses!

Schedule for 2016

July 15: Is Jane Eyre‘s Rochester an attractive and brooding love interest, or dangerously manipulative?

July 22: Some argue Jane Austen writes “fluff” and others argue she belongs in the canon because she writes witty social commentary.  Do you think Austen belongs in the canon? Why or why not?

July 29: Is Romeo and Juliet a tragic love story or an ironic comedy?  Should we take the play seriously when its protagonists are so young?

Aug. 5: Which of  Toni Morrison’s book is your favorite/affected you the most and why?

Aug. 12: Susan Pevensie’s fate in C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle has been criticized for being sexist. Do you think it’s sexist or is Lewis trying to do or say something else?

Aug. 19: Which March sister from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is your favorite and why?  Do you agree with the way their lives played out?

Aug. 26: Is Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew misogynistic?  Should we continue to stage it?

Sept. 2: Recommend a diverse classic.  Or you can argue that a diverse book should be a classic or should be included in the canon.  (Or you can argue that the book should be a classic, but that you don’t want to see it in the canon.)

Sept. 9: Which Tolkien book would you recommend to a reader after they’ve finished The Hobbit and LotR?

Sept. 16: Is the Phantom of the Opera abusive or romantic?  (You can discuss the musical or the book version, or the differences between the two.)

Sept. 23: Which Austen adaptation is your favorite and why?

Sept. 30: What children’s classic couldn’t you read enough when you were growing up?

Oct. 7: Which of Dumas’s Musketeer’s is your favorite and why?

Oct. 14: Recommend a classic book that you think translated particularly well to screen (even if the adaptation was not entirely faithful).

Oct. 21: Should we be assigning Lolita in schools or is it taking up valuable syllabus space another book could have?

Oct. 28: What is your favorite classic picture book?  Or you can tell us about a picture book you think will/should become a classic.

Nov. 4: Middlemarch has received criticism for the fate of its heroine Dorothea Brooke as some believe she does not live up to feminist ideals as she remains limited in her influence and matched to an inferior partner.  Do yo think such criticism is warranted?

Nov. 11: Do you think the end of Charlotte Bronte’s Villette is a feminist triumph or an emotional tragedy?  (Or something else entirely?)

Nov. 18: Which classic book do you wish had a sequel and why?

Nov. 25: Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby says she wishes her daughter will be a “beautiful little fool.”  Is Daisy herself nothing but a fool or is she trapped by her society?

Dec. 2: George Orwell’s 1984 is often referenced when discussions of privacy and oversight arise.  Do you think an Orwellian state could happen or is that overstating the case?

Dec. 9: Nahum Tate is infamous for his 1681 adaptation of King Lear with a happy ending.  Why do you think some adaptations of works are praised and others dismissed?  Can we separate the merit of an adaptation from the merit of the work it is based on?

Dec. 16: Tell us about your favorite Charles Dickens novel.

Dec. 23: Recommend a classic you think should be read during the holiday season.

Dec. 30: You’ve been dropped into L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.  What do you do first?

41 thoughts on “New Meme: Classic Remarks

  1. luvtoread says:

    Excellent!!! I look forward to this! And now I’ve got some reading to do so I can participate. These are really excellent questions. You’ve really put a lot of work into this!


    • Briana says:

      Credit for the questions goes to Krysta! I have to do some reading myself if I want to answer. I have not read anything by Toni Morrison! Or by Jane Austen, for that matter. (Do the movies count?) Hopefully some of the more general questions will appeal to people, though, even if not everyone participates every time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • luvtoread says:

        I’ve never read any Toni Morrison either. Oh you must read Jane Austen! I love her works so much, but I do admit that they aren’t for everyone. I need to brush up on Shakespeare and I’ve never read The Three Musketeers.


        • Briana says:

          I think I just made the mistake of trying to read Pride and Prejudice right after watching the BBC miniseries about three times in a row, and that adaptation and the book are so similar that I was just bored. I’d probably start on a different book if I tried her again.

          Liked by 1 person

          • luvtoread says:

            Yeah, that miniseries is a fabulous adaptation. I can see why you’d be bored by the book after watching it so many times right before reading it. I just re-read Sense and Sensibility and really enjoyed it, but my favorite Austen is Persuasion. All of her books are good!

            Liked by 1 person

          • klyse3 says:

            You know, I thought I would be bored (the 2004 movie version is my favorite), but we had to read P&P for a class last year and I really enjoyed it.🙂 But starting with another Austen would probably work just as well.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Briana says:

      I have to read some of them, too! Krysta came up with the questions. I’ve only read two Charles Dickens books, for instance, so I don’t have many options in terms of picking a favorite!


      • Geronimo Reads says:

        I’m very, very behind on classics. I’ve honestly read maybe one or two and those were for school, so I never really appreciated them.


        • Briana says:

          Sometimes reading books for school makes me hate them and sometimes it makes me appreciate them more. I think it depends a lot on the class and the teacher.


          • Geronimo Reads says:

            I hated them all besides To Kill a Mockingbird, which became an instant favorite of mine. I would really like to go back and reread all of the books that I was required to read, because I’m sure I’ll enjoy them now. Especially now that I’m older and can understand the story and message a lot more than I could 10 years ago.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Penni says:

    This looks rather interesting. Not big on classics but I will plan to participate in this with a few of the questions if that is alright.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      We’d love to have you participate! I haven’t read some of the books myself (Krysta actually came up with the questions), but we were hoping the variety and a few more general questions would allow people to participate once in awhile, even if not every time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

    Ooh, this looks fun! I’m really excited about The Taming of the Shrew question. For the longest time, I’ve thought it to be incredibly misogynistic, but a few people have pointed out that it’s supposed to be comedic. This is great!


  4. Brittany Jackson (@BrittanyLeighJ) says:

    This looks like a lot of fun! I have to admit I haven’t read as much classic literature as I should have, but I definitely plan to participate in the weeks that I’ve read the books for. Little Women is my favorite classic book, so I imagine I’ll have a lot to say about that the week it comes around. I’m definitely keeping my eyes on the other topics, too. I love when memes bring around real conversation. ^-^

    BTW, thanks for the advice concerning the rafflecopter the other day. Followed you via Twitter and BL. =)

    Brittany @ Space Between the Spines


    • Krysta says:

      If you have any suggestions for future topics, we’ll take them! This list is more of what I’ve tend to have read, but I think it would be nice for it to be more open.


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