Originally Posted by Ea
I question whether Flatland is a "classic" - i.e. that it is eligeble for nomination.
I am all fired up to read it (I hadn't heard of it before), but it doesn't seem to me to have the recognition of a classic. It doesn't appear to have that quality that classics have of being widely known and widely read.
Harry said earler in the thread that one would know when one encountered a classic; this is not a classic. I don't think it shoudld be nominated for next month's books club. However interesting it is, I don't think it belongs in this category. At least not more than Discworld (which certainly does not belong).
A google search for [flatland classic literature] turns it up on several websites; it's in the public domain, and popular enough to remain in print; Penguin books calls it a classic. It's often included in lists of classic science fiction books.
If "classic" means "widely assigned as reading in literature classes," that needs to be specifically stated. (Along with the def of "widely assigned." One of the google hits was an essay-mill site for students to download papers from.)
I agree that Colour of Magic is not a classic; the Discworld series may turn out to be, but I doubt any one book stands out as "a classic." (The Nancy Drew mysteries may be classics, but no one book is.) But if Flatland
is not a classic, we definitely need a more specific definition of the term.