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 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.)
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 you 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?