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Old 03-07-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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In (approx.) 100 years, will...

... books written now stand the test of time, as has the 'classics' we all love? If so, which books, today, do you feel could last with future readers?

Also, will people still be reading The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, Homer etc in 100 years?
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #2
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They've been reading (or listening to recitations of) Homer for 2800 (or so), so I think it is reasonable to assume that they will read him in 100!
I'm sure that some books written today will stand the test of time, but it is really hard to say which.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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They've been reading (or listening to recitations of) Homer for 2800 (or so), so I think it is reasonable to assume that they will read him in 100!
I'm sure that some books written today will stand the test of time, but it is really hard to say which.
Haha, Homer was a bad example.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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Will people still be able to read in a 100 years time?
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #5
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They've been reading (or listening to recitations of) Homer for 2800 (or so), so I think it is reasonable to assume that they will read him in 100!
I'm not so sure. You and I can read Ionic Greek, but we are the exception even in this highly literate community. How many will be able to read it in a century, I wonder?
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #6
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I'm not so sure. You and I can read Ionic Greek, but we are the exception even in this highly literate community. How many will be able to read it in a century, I wonder?
Does it really matter? I'm satisfied with translations; and believe that most people feel the same way.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
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It matters to me. This is oral poetry - the sound of it matters as much as the story. It's the reason I learnt Greek. A translation is not Homer; it's the Cliff Notes version.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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It matters to me. This is oral poetry - the sound of it matters as much as the story. It's the reason I learnt Greek. A translation is not Homer; it's the Cliff Notes version.
Query whether you should read it at all, in that case.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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I'd love to have a properly read audio version of it, but I've not come across one. I'm hopeless at reading Greek poetry aloud - it's a skill all of its own. In order to be able to read it aloud, you need to be able to "scan" the hexameter verse and work out where the long and short syllables lie. I can scan Greek poetry on paper, but it takes me 5 minutes to do each line. My Greek isn't even close to good enough to be able to do it in "real time", which is what you need to be able to do to read it aloud.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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I can't imagine some books not being considered classics. . .

or at least good examples of serious writing in English:

"The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi

"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein.

"The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson

These books are accessible intellectually and deal with issues that humans will face till the end of time. Perfect for making 16 year old children read them.

But the ONE novel that I think will be held up as the perfect summary of our early 21st century civilization will be "50 shades of Grey" by E L James. It describes us perfectly.

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 03-07-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:55 PM   #11
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It's not Homer, but I read Thucydides (translated) in college and still remember the way he said he wrote for all time. I think he's lasted long enough to serve as an example.

I'm sure that there are some current, and not-so current, books that will still be read a century from now. Take the Hobbit for instance, I'd argue that it has already reached the point after some seventy-odd years where it's likely to be a classic for generations to come.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #12
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Harry Potter may still be read by kids 100 years from now.

Current classics will remain relevant; they are part of a culture's heritage.

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Old 03-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #13
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I'd love to have a properly read audio version of it, but I've not come across one. I'm hopeless at reading Greek poetry aloud - it's a skill all of its own. In order to be able to read it aloud, you need to be able to "scan" the hexameter verse and work out where the long and short syllables lie. I can scan Greek poetry on paper, but it takes me 5 minutes to do each line. My Greek isn't even close to good enough to be able to do it in "real time", which is what you need to be able to do to read it aloud.
I get what you are saying about oral poetry, not to mention translations of prose works generally.
The fact of the matter is that most of us just have to do the best with what we can get; and many, many translations (true to the original or not) are still great books in any language.
We can even get something valuable out of written English works originally meant as oral poetry - Under Milk Wood is one that comes to mind - despite the fact that the spoken version is even more magical.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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For mystery novels, the stratification is already happening. My prediction is that Raymond Chandler will come out on top. Already, Dashiel Hammett is declining. Agatha Christie is lacking that intangible quality known as greatness. The good, very good and excellent writers, including John D. MacDonald, Ross MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, James Ellroy, Lawrence Block, Michael Connelly, etc., may not transcend their current level of success. What if the 20th century milieu is considered passe by those living in the 22nd century? It's a difficult call.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:20 AM   #15
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I'd love to have a properly read audio version of it, but I've not come across one. I'm hopeless at reading Greek poetry aloud - it's a skill all of its own. In order to be able to read it aloud, you need to be able to "scan" the hexameter verse and work out where the long and short syllables lie. I can scan Greek poetry on paper, but it takes me 5 minutes to do each line. My Greek isn't even close to good enough to be able to do it in "real time", which is what you need to be able to do to read it aloud.
When I was taught how to scan hexameter (well, to scan in general), I was made to learn portions of text off by heart. It really helps in learning how to get the rhythm of the text. Classical metrics really is a skill of its own. I had to take a course in classical metrics during my undergraduate studies, but it is my understanding that such courses are not very common in universities, which is a shame, I think.

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