Happy One-Year Anniversary, That’s Classic!

This time, last year, I was riding a Metra train into Chicago for class and an idea for a multi-media project hit me. I’d kept hearing about blogs, but I wasn’t all that familiar with them. So I decided to create my own and figure out the world of blogging along the way. Problem was, I didn’t have a theme. And all blogs, or at least most blogs, have a theme. Then that hit me, too, in the form of two words: “That’s Classic!” Suddenly I was scribbling ideas for what would later become my Story of the Month and Character Map features. And I guess the rest is “classic” history (pun definitely intended).

As you may know, every month I choose a novel or short story to highlight as the Story of the Month. Then I’ll review and analyze it in the hopes that someone who’s never read it before, or even someone who has, will pick it up and give it a fair read. But this month, I’m going to do something a little bit different. This month, on the one-year anniversary of That’s Classic!, it’s about you and your favorite stories. It’s about hearing from you, the new and loyal fans of That’s Classic! It’s about creating a community of readers (and writers, of course) around the idea of acknowledging and maintaining the legacy of classic literature and contemporary literary fiction and nonfiction. This month, it’s all on you!

In honor of That’s Classic!’s one-year anniversary, as well as of literature at large, please take the time to consider your favorite–your absolute favorite–work of literature. It can be classic or contemporary, fiction or nonfiction, or short story, novel, or essay. Whatever it is, think about how you first came across it. How you first felt about it. How many times you’ve read it. How you feel about it now. How many people you’ve recommended it to. Why you think anyone should care enough to read it. (That sounds harsh, but it’s important ot address.) Think about all that. Take notes if you’d like.

And then comes the fun part, the part where you contact me and get your name and voice on That’s Classic! In just a couple paragraphs, state your name and the name of your favorite work of literature, and address as many of the above prompts as you see fit. Then please send it to me, either by e-mailing me at ashley.thatsclassic@gmail.com or by simply commenting at the bottom of this post.

Also, keep an eye out for That’s Classic! on Facebook. Become a fan, join the group, etc. Sign up for updates on That’s Classic! by entering your e-mail address and clicking “Sign me up!” on the upper right-hand side of this post.

I look forward to hearing from all of you! Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, either by commenting directly on the blog or by sending me an e-mail. And then please send me your favorite-story paragraphs. I’m excited to hear them and to have them up on That’s Classic so that everyone can read them. (Plus, it gives you bragging rights.) Thanks!

Published on December 3, 2009 at 12:57 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. The Count of Monte Cristo

    When I was younger, I watched the movie Sleepers which references the book. Since then, it had been on my list. It had been years since I actually picked the book up. The main selling point was it was five dollars and over 500 pages. As a frugal man who refuses to borrow books, it was a key selling point.

    Picture yourself as a sprite young man on your way to the top. You’ve just been promoted to partner, your wife is some supermodel who actually gives a damn about you and your future, your wedding is but a few days away, and you just made bank on a lawsuit settlement. Then, some snide, jealous lawyer who feels it’s his turn to rise the ranks stabs you in the back with false, forged documents which pins you as a terrorist.

    Oh, also imagine you have a badass name like Edmund Dantes.

    I suppose what I really loved about this book was how the ending didn’t tie everything up in a pretty little bow. It had a bow, don’t get me wrong, but it was like a cross-eyed fourth grader tied it. It was a nice touch with the rest of the plot, since things swayed up and down for Edmund, which certainly keeps you on your toes. Dumas really pits these opposing forces against each other well, especially when some don’t know the war that is being waged in front of their eyes.

    And well, come on, it’s the classic tale of revenge.

  2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    My favorite fiction novel of all time is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. As I read the book several years ago, I was struck by how evil the character, Cathy Ames Trask was. After giving birth to twin boys, she leaves her husband and babies. When her husband, Adam, refuses to let her go, she shoots him in the shoulder. Then she leaves all three of them. She turns to a life of prostitution to support herself. She manipulates and kills with no regard at all. All she cares about is herself and her wants and needs. I read this 700 page book in less than a week. As I read it, I kept thinking that she would get her just desserts. I won’t spoil the ending except to say that John Steinbeck saw this story as his greatest novel ever. It did not disappoint! Amazing! Great writing! The story still sticks with me!

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