‘Why are you reading the classics?’
I have always loved reading, from as far back as I can remember I have never been without a book within grasping distance, but at school I HATED the various set texts we had to read, and due to the curriculum many of these were classics, of both the British and American variety. Luckily for me that is not the reason I am pursuing the classics now! For me the idea of forcing myself to confront something I disliked at school, such as science, and voluntarily blog about it makes me feel a tad uncomfortable, and I don’t see the point. Ok maybe I would learn something new, and I probably wouldn’t have as strong a dislike towards said subject, but I don’t think I could happily blog about it with passion and enthusiasm, or on a regular basis.
Fortunately for me, I had amamazing Sixth Form English teacher who ignited my passion for the classics, mainly Victorian literature, and I have never looked back since. I know that if I hadn’t met this teacher, or been in her lessons, then I definitely wouldn’t have ventured off to university and I certainly wouldn’t be an English teacher myself. She helped me to understand the importance of context when studying the classics, and how this in turn can lead to a greater understanding of the novel, language and the time period as a whole. I love the idea of curling up with a great classic, with a good cup of tea and being transported to a different time and place.
Perhaps I’ll take this question on a slight tangent, as I want to address the reasons why I have joined ‘The Classics Club’. There are many novels on my list that I have read before, or ones by authors I have read before, so you could almost argue I have read half my list before I even started. Yet there is method in the madness (!); reading/studying texts at university, when you are reading X amount of other books, coping with living away from home and, if I’m honest, going out at every available oppotunity, which in my case was most nights, is entirely different to taking your time when reading the classics and having no deadline in order to finish and discuss the novel. I want to reread these books on my own terms and savour each chapter, as opposed to rushing through and attempting to finish the final chapters when feeling slightly worse for wear. I don’t regret my time at university, and I certainly don’t regret my choice of course/lifestyle, but I look forward to giving these classics the time and attention they deserve.