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Old 01-08-2021, 03:22 PM   #14
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
You do realize that Grapes of Wrath was written in 1939, is considered an American classic and is taught in school don't you?
Oh, my, do tell. That Steinbeck! The one who won what Paul Krugman rather gracelessly called “the Swedish thingie.”

Quote:
Hardly a non sequitur since I was pointing out that there are other American classics that do appeal to me.
Your contrast of Gatsby and Grapes seems akin to someone saying, “I don’t like watermelon but I like hamburgers.” The relationship is tenuous.

Quote:
Understanding of a book doesn't change over time, unless new information comes out about it. Projections onto a book change all the time. That hardly is the hallmark of a classic. The fact that it's still being read after almost 100 years makes it a classic, even if I don't particularly care for it. The Sherlock Holmes stories are classics because people still enjoy them after all this time, not because literary critics continue to put out new projections onto Sherlock Holmes and Watson.
I specifically said the understanding of Bertha Rochester; you don’t think the advances in knowledge of psychology and mental illness can alter our interpretation of what happens with her character? What Brontë wrote in the 1840s was true and what we know now is another truth. It’s a mark of the greatness of the book. I don’t even know what new information coming out about a book would mean. The book is the text.

I also think we have a difference in our understanding of cause and effect. Books last because they’re good, so far we’re in agreement. But I think part of what makes a book great over time is that it doesn’t date; it keeps pace with our changing understanding of times and people. What you’re calling a “projection”, I call advances in knowledge. I can’t help thinking it’s on par with your not-so-concealed sneer at “literary types.” Why does it matter to you who likes a book and why and how they appreciate it?
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