We’ve all read classic literature haven’t we? Whether for a school assignment, a book club or simply for the pleasure of it, at one point or another we’ve picked up a book which is widely – or sometimes debatably – considered to be a classic. This month at Fully Booked, we’re taking a look back at our favourite – and sometimes least favourite – classics, and just maybe discovering some new ones along the way. If you step back from the studious, clinical dissection that these texts tend to receive, you can simply sit back and enjoy a beautiful and profound piece of literature.

Whether you prefer the sorrowful prose of Sophocles or the romantic wonderings of Jane Austen, there’s a classic out there for everyone. Join us and discover something you may not have known about your favourite stories.

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F. Scott FItzgerald – The Great Gatsby Cover

What is Considered to be Classic Literature?

The term ‘Classic’ casts quite a wide net in the world of literature. From ancient Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, flowing down through dissolved civilizations and more modern cultures, all the way through the 20th century. Some would argue that classic literature is only based on works which are centuries old; others feel that classic literature can easily have been published within the past 50 years.

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They can also come from various genres and types, from William Shakespeare to Stephen King. There’s no complete way to define a classic piece of literature, since people are subjective. However, there are some basic guidelines that one can follow in order to gain a bit more of an understanding. 

Italian writer Italo Calvino famously published his novel Why Read The Classics, and provided some insight into what turns a story into a ‘classic’, giving folks some insight into the thought process behind this. Calvino spoke about some important aspects of classic literature: they are pieces which exercise an influence over the reader, remaining a part of their conscious or subconscious even after having read them.

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They are enduring and remembered, and always have a message to convey to readers, no matter their time of publication. He also indicates that a person can have their own ‘classics’, coming back to the idea that all of this is at least a little bit subjective. What’s a classic for me may not be one for you, they’re open to all tastes and genres.

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Mary Shelley – Frankenstein Cover

Join Us for Classic Literature Month

This late fall weather just screams classics literature doesn’t it? Changing of seasons, a hush settling over everything, and the calm before the holiday storm. A classic piece just begs to be picked up and poured over, usually coupled with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea. A gothic tome, a romantic composition, or a poem about times long past, there’s so much to discover and never enough time to get through that tbr list of yours , am I right? And the best thing?

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These pieces inspire countless authors throughout the world, who in turn are creating some of the great fiction of our current time. More great reads and reasons to stay up late with a good book? Sign me up. Classic literature allows us to cover every genre and style of writing we desire. Science fiction, romance, horror, poetry, plays or prose, classics encompass it all.

Time to jump into the world of the classics! Reviews, retrospectives and lists of our favourites to inspire you and hopefully introduce you to some new (old?) classics for yourselves! Check us out this November for all of it in one place. Happy reading!

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