Thursday 1 June 2017

My Classics!

 I'm not sure how many people read Classic books these days, but when I started university back in 2004, it was thing! I'm a classic lover and my small collection of classics exploded as an undergrad English literature student. We were handed a folio paper with 20 books on, every year. I remember spending holidays reading, weekends away with friends reading, braaing (that's cooking meat on on an open fire) and reading. It was a bizarre world that somehow left me changed. Those days and hours of reading became formational, I learnt a language of poetry that stirred my passion to find my own truths. Those stories of hope and hopelessless, of love and second chances, of death and life, pain, sorrow and characters resembling people I knew, well they all mattered. I remember the first time I met Mr Darcy, the first time Anne Elliott started blooming again, the dislike of Causabon and the haunting image of Dover Beach, (a place I've actually visited in real life!). Well, this week I am taking part in the love of classic fiction and going against the grain of modern reading and diving in to the classics, as part of the #ReadUpStream challenge. Here's my five favourite classic memories:

1 - Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence. Depicting the inner conflict of the Old pre - war New York society versus upper class New York after the war. 
2 - My favourite Persuasion by Jane Austen. Everything about Persuasion moved me, my mom and I took a trip to Bath where we visited all the Jane Austen sites and places that featured in her books. It made the story come alive, I've actually just written an article on this, watch out for it soon!
3 - Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. This image of a man desiring change from oppression and staring across the channel from Dover over to France where the French Revolution has already begun. Poetry is so much a part of the social issues of our day, poets are the teachers through whose eyes we see societies feelings. This poem stayed with me.
4 - Gerard Manley Hopkins, a poet my high school teacher made us read. True he was always melancholy and questioning, but quite interesting.
5 - Wole Soyinka, Ake the years of Childhood. Every year in university we were handed a list of African writers we had to read, a lot of them wrote some seriously shocking things I did not read. But Wole Soyinka was a whole different story, Ake is a biography with a compelling narrative written n 1981. 

So this is my off the beaten track list of classics, what's on your list!

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhhhh....Gerard Manley Hopkins--my favorite. And your other books are indeed impressive. Thanks for participating, Aliyah.