Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Classics Club

I'm thrilled to announce that I will be participating in The Classics Club, recently established (and hosted) by Jillian at A Room of One's Own. After much deliberation, I have finally formed a list of 100 works of fiction I hope to have read in six years time. I have also whipped up short little lists of poetry, drama and non-fiction selections to be read alongside my fictional titles. You can view my page dedicated to the project to see my chosen texts.

Making The List required great restraint on my part, because it quickly turned into a Bookish Bucket List. I reminded myself that I didn't need to include every book I'd like to read before I die in this five-year plan. Giving books I already own the priority has helped me to narrow things down significantly.

I've also tried to give my project a sense of balance. True, the majority of my chosen texts are from favourite time period: the long nineteenth century. This was deliberate, as I really want to delve deeper into my beloved Victorian and Romantic eras. Nevertheless, the list ranges chronologically from the Renaissance to the contemporary. There are numerous children's books, and I've attempted to include some American and French authors into my reading. Some are tried-and-true classics, while other selections are non-canonical. In some cases, I'm attempting to include an author's entire oeuvre (e.g., Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the complete Sherlock Holmes), and I'm also adding one or two texts from authors with whom I've yet to be acquainted (Flannery O'Connor, Nathaniel Hawthorne). I think this list represents the breadth of reading I hoped to achieve. Bring on the literary adventure!

I have no intention of reading exclusively from this list over the next six years -- it may even alter as time goes by. Rather, the purpose of my participation in The Classics Club is to focus my reading and give me an opportunity to discuss literature with people who share a similar love of the classics. I'll be sharing my literary opinions and reading experiences along the way. While it's aimed primarily at bloggers, anybody is welcome. Please consider joining in the fun. (Click here for more information.) Happy reading, everybody!


Jillian said...

What a great list!!! I love that you included biographies, letters and poetry. I really look forward to your thoughts on all these, Diana. I had trouble narrowing mine down, too. But really, how great will it be to have read all these in just a few years. Then we can make another list! :D


(And The Mysteries of Udolpho.)


Diana said...

Thanks, Jillian. And thank you for establishing this fabulous literary club.

You should know that my desire to read Gone With the Wind (and its subsequent inclusion on The List) is entirely due to your enthusiasm for it. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

preethi said...

What a fun idea! And I love Hawthorne (in fact, he's one of a few inspirations for our son's name) - you'll have to let me know how you feel about him.

Oh, and to answer your question about the shoes - I'd say about 70% on the comfort scale. They're pretty tall, so even though they're wedges, they sometimes rub on my toes at the opening. But still - better than stilettos! :)

lace, etc.

Diana said...

I love that you named your baby (at least in part) after Nathaniel Hawthorne. I've harboured an obsession with naming pets after book characters since I was a child, so I wouldn't be surprised if this habit followed me into parenthood. I'm excited to see what you and your husband will name the new baby...though you've plenty of time to think about it. :)

And thank you for the information on the shoes. 70% comfort for heels isn't bad at all.

Laura said...

Diana, I'm thrilled to have discovered your blog through The Classics Club. I spent 4 years living in England with my family (husband, two daughters), and my older daughter plans to return for a year as part of her university studies (not until 2013 though). I would return in a hearbeat! I'm adding you to my Google Reader and look forward to reading classics with you.

preethi said...

PS - I tagged you for the 11 things meme on my blog pressure at all, but wanted to let you know! :)

Diana said...

Laura: I'm so glad you found me! We Anglophiles need to stick together. :)

Where in England did your family live? Where will your daughter be studying?

I, too, would return in a heartbeat, I miss it so. England never fails to make an impression, that's for sure.

Diana said...

Preethi: I answered your questions on my Magical 11 post. I'll leave the link on your blog. :)

Kayla said...

I hope you enjoy Gone with the Wind. Don't be intimidated by the size. It actually reads really fast, especially if you've seen the movie half a dozen times first like me :)

I'm interested in hearing what you think of The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Castle of Otranto when you get to them. I've been wanting to read them ever since I read Northanger Abbey.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. New follower! :)

Diana said...

Kayla, thanks for the info on Gone With the Wind. I confess I am quited daunted by its sheer size, so it's comforting to know that the story is so engaging as to render the length a non-issue. This makes me even more excited to read it!

I, too, have been wanting to read more Gothic fiction as a result of Northanger Abbey. I did read Radcliffe's The Romance of the Forest for a class last year and really enjoyed it. It's full of swooning, sword fights, imbecile servants, older gentlemen lecherously leering at beautiful young women, etc., etc. Very entertaining! I hope these other Gothic texts don't disappoint. :)