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Classics (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I don't really think the "classics" are as good as they are hyped up to be. I mean, I've just read Great Expectations for my English A-Level, and to be perfectly honest, I think it's crap. Sure, the charcterisation is good, but a book can't be based around characterisation and a moral message... It would have been more suited to a short story than a book.

I'll admit, some of the classics actually are good, but most of them, I think, were just the first to do something reasonably well. Slightly off, but The Lord Of The Rings wasn't really that brilliant a book (it's far outstripped by numerous modern fantasy epics), but it's forever known as the fantasy epic, just because it was the first to do it properly.

I guess it's just the elitism that bothers me... Apparently, if it's old and was original (as well as being reasonably well written), and had some form of moral message, it can be a classic, and be elevated above criticism because of that fact.

Actually, most of my annoyance about the elitism arises from my English tutor, who won't hear a word of criticism on the "classics", simply because they are apparently inviolable, sacrosanct by the mere fact of being a classic.

It just bothers me that the so-called greatest works of the english language are often actually not that great at all, and far better things have been written since (some of them, not all...). The ever-present societal criticism is there, but is now irrlelevant, as we are far past that stage. Sure, these books may have taught us something once, but now we've learned that do we really need to keep them around? It's like going back to Key Stage 3 English, just because that's where you started it properly...
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