Last week, I saw The Classics Book tag on The Mud and Stars blog and thought this was the perfect tag for me. If you know me and/or have been reading this blog for a while, you will be very aware of the fact that I’m slightly obsessed with Classics. In fact, I did a Classics Week on this blog last year, where I posted every day on the topic.
I haven’t done many tags before (to be honest, I can’t remember if I have even done a single one on this blog) but I couldn’t pass this one. Although I wasn’t directly tagged, I’m taking the liberty to do it anyway. Living on the edge!
Fair warning though: some of my answers are definitely on the controversial side. You have been warned. To each his own I guess.
- An overhyped classic you didn’t really like
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
I’m starting strong with this one. I took a course on the Bronte sisters during my undergrad and this novel was my least favourite from the six I had to read. I found the characters completely unrelatable and I wasn’t invested in their story at all. My feelings towards this novel might have been influenced by the fact that I’d read many Bronte novels by that point and was a bit over it. Because this novel is many people’s favourite, I feel like I need to reread it as some point but I’m not sure I ever will.
2. Favourite time period to read about
As the Charles Dickens fan I am, it would be weird for me to say anything else. It’s also during that time that the French literary movement of realism occurred, with writers like Flaubert and Balzac. Realism is definitely my favourite period in French literature.
3. Favourite fairytale
I don’t remember reading a lot of fairytales when I was little but I do recall that I was obsessed with the musical tale Pierre et le Loup, written and composed by Serguei Prokofiev. This isn’t a typical book but could be considered an audiobook. Anyway, that’s all that comes to mind for this question.
4. What is the most embarrassing classic you haven’t read?
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
I haven’t yet read Great Expectations which is definitely a bit shameful for me. However, as I’m trying to read Dickens’ works chronologically, I won’t be reading this for quite some time.
5. Top 5 classics that you’d like to read soon
For this question, all of them are classics that I already own and want to get through.
- The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens
- Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
- Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Caroll
- Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Wolf
- Dracula – Bram Stoker
6. Favourite modern series based on a classic
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
I am going out of the traditional TV series for this one. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice through more than a hundred short episodes. I was hooked from the first and have found it to be both faithful to the original story and a very refreshing view on the classic. I absolutely recommend it.
7. Favourite movie version / TV series based on a classic
I am a bit stuck on this one if I am honest with you. I haven’t seen that many movie adaptation of classics and when I have, I wasn’t blown away. My choice for this one would be the Baz Luhrmann adaptation of The Great Gatsby. I really didn’t enjoy Robert Redford’s interpretation of Gatsby in the Jack Clayton version and stopped watching halfway through (which I usually never do). However, I found Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting spot-on and loved that version.
Baz Lhurmann is also the director of Romeo + Juliet, a great retelling of Shakespeare’s play. And once again, Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting is phenomenal.
8. Worst classic to movie adaptation
Ok this is where it gets real. I really didn’t enjoy the Joe Wight’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I have always had an issue with Keira Knightley’s acting, not sure why but I have a hard time with her. I found that she missed the essence of Lizzie’s character and made her look silly, which she definitely isn’t in the novel. The one thing I loved about this movie was the soundtrack, definitely worth a listen.
9. Favourite edition(s) you would like to collect more classics in
This one is very easy for me. Both the Penguin English Library collection and the Clothbound Classics are my absolute favourites. I own a few of the Penguin English Library books and my version of Alice in Wonderland is in the clothbound edition.
10. An under-hyped classic you’d recommend to everyone
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
I’ve already mentioned this novel many, many, many times before but this is the first of Dickens’ work and, although it is a mammoth book, it is extremely entertaining.
And here we are! Hopefully, my choices didn’t offend any of you. As we would say in French, “il faut de tout pour faire un monde” (which translates literally to “we need of everything to make a world”).
Please feel free to do your own version of the tag and leave me a comment so I can read your answers.