Originally from it’s a book world
I have to come clean, here, I honestly struggle with Dickens, so I would probably go for Great Expectations. Maybe I was lacking concentration at the time, but it felt so tedious…will have to give him another try, someday, because I’m sure I’m missing something.
Oh, and Stendhal ‘s “le rouge et le noir” (The Red and the Black). Read it at school but not for a class, out of spite because I had a lunatic french teacher that wasn’t interested in reading classics “because he couldn’t seriously be expected to read the same books every year” (so instead he made us read uninteresting, long forgotten authors, and spent most of the lesson trying to convince -mainly- himself that they actually had some interesting themes). So I read alone what we were supposed to read (often in that very class, because that’s Nerd Resistance for you!) But I could have skipped Stendhal, honestly.
To read about I think any period in history, but for the style I’d probably choose the beginning of the 20th century, for Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, and so many others. And Marguerite Duras, a bit later.
3. Favorite fairy-tale:
Mh. I don’t know if I really have a favorite original fairy tale, they are certainly interesting, but a bit too gruesome for me to say I have a favorite. In what, most horrible?. Maybe Rapunzel because I loved the idea of a girl named after a salad, growing up (my love for salad has early roots -no pun intended). For retellings, and new fairy tales, I love both The truth is a cave in the dark mountains, and The sleeper and the spindle, which is a mash up of snow white and the sleeping beauty with a feminist twist,both by Neil Gaiman.
Most of Dickens, most of Proust. I know…
5. Top 5 classics you would like to read (soon):
Well, I guess i should pick Moby Dick up again, now that I ve mentioned it . Then the ones really want to read soon are Middlemarch, by George Eliot, Villette, which is one of the last books by the Brontës i haven’t yet read.
5b: top 5 classics you would like to Reread:
Well first there are the classics I constantly reread when it’s raining outside and I just want a good, cosy book, so that would be Jane Eyre (but also the Tenant of Wildfell hall), all of Austen (I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve read persuasion). I also read the Lord of the rings trilogy about 20 times I think during adolescence, now I read it a bit less but I still find myself just “quickly looking for a detail” because I’ve had a bet with my brother as to whether or not Elrond says something to Bilbo or whatever, and emerge a few days after, having gone through the 3 books. It really doesn’t help that i have them all bound together as one volume, you just can’t stop. (Yes, I have no willpower, was there any doubt left?)
6. Favorite modern book/series based on a classic:
I don’t know if it counts because it is not a retelling, rather loosely based on, or as Smith calls it, an homage to Howard’s End, but I just love Zadie Smith’s On Beauty so much I’ll just decide it counts. And, of course, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, in which she imagines the story of Bertha Mason, Rochester’s wife in Jane Eyre, before she is the mad woman in the attic (I hope that’s not a spoiler for anyone, it’s hardly recent news:)
7. Favorite movie version/tv-series based on a classic:
I don’t watch that many film adaptations of the books I’ve read, mostly because I know I will get angry at their character depiction, or omissions, and I am pathologically afraid of seeing my mental image of a character replaced by the one of the film. (I’m sure there’s a specific name for that somewhere). Right now I can’t think of a film I’ve enjoyed more than the book, but there must be some.
8. Worst classic to movie adaptation:
Mh, yes, let’s rant. The Northern Lights film, I mean, I won’t even go into all of the things that went wrong there.
I don’t have that many collections, because I get most of my books from the public library (that’s the result to the equation “student budget+limited storage place for you), but I love the penguin cloth-bound edition. I have bought Moby dick (which despite its gorgeousness I didn’t finish, shame on me for generations to go), Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion (as my previous copies of those two were falling apart, surprisingly).
In English literature maybe Howard’s End, it seems very few people I talk about books with actually have read it. In modern classics, any Paul Auster but specifically The Brooklyn Follies.