Classic Remarks is a 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 2017
Jan. 6 What is a classic you think should be required school reading?
Jan. 13 Should Tolkien have included more female characters in The Hobbit?
Jan. 20 Do you think “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer is feminist?
Jan. 27 Do you think Severus Snape is a good person?
Feb. 3 Tell us about your favorite poem or poet.
Feb. 10 What do you think the funniest moment in Pride and Prejudice is?
Feb. 17 If you were to teach a Shakespeare text in a high school classroom and could not choose Romeo and Juliet, which play would you choose and why?
Feb. 24 Who is your favorite L. M. Montgomery hero?
March 3 What do you think of adapting classics for younger readers?
March 10 Tell us about your favorite classic graphic novel (not an adaptation of a classic but a classic of the form such as Maus).
March 17 Do you think Satan from Paradise Lost is at all a sympathetic character?
March 24 Discuss one of the changes Peter Jackson made from the book while adapting The Lord of the Rings. What did this change add to or take away from the story?
March 31 What’s a somewhat obscure classic you wish more people would read?
SCHEDULE FOR 2016
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.)
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 you think such criticism is warranted?
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. 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. 30: You’ve been dropped into L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. What do you do first?