Classics Club Meme: November 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This month's question for The Classics Club meme (for more information visit their website) is: 
What classic piece of literature most intimidates you, and why? (Or, are you intimidated by the classics, and why? And has your view changed at all since you joined our club?)
Some classics intimidate me, and some do not. Some of the mighty chunksters, like Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and Moby Dick, definitely intimidate me because of their length and extensive historical detail. I don't think language alone intimidates me, although I have found that classics tend to be more challenging and take me longer to read than contemporary books. However, the classic that most intimidates me is Ulysses by James Joyce. It is supposed to be this massive masterpiece, and I feel like to be "well-read" I should read it in its entirety at some point. However, I've heard it is extremely difficult. Same goes for Finnegan's Wake. What about you? Any suggestions for managing those beasts? 


  1. Talking about Anna Karenina. I have come across that book several times, but still very reluctant to actually pick it up and read it. About Moby Dick, one of my friends strongly recommends it to me, but I refuse to read it because she says the whale dies. (Call me weak, but sometimes I just can't stand cruelty.) So, yes, readily agree that those are intimidating.

  2. I'm not afraid of the Russians, per se, but I am very aware that they take some dedication. More than I've had the last few years. Which is why all I've read is 200 pages of Anna Karenina. I need to get back on that.

    Other than that... no one really scares me. I mean come on, I'm in love with Salman Rushdie and Ayn Rand. If I thoroughly enjoy them, I can read anybody.

  3. I admit that I did some speed reading through Moby Dick, though I did enjoy it more than I expected. But, yes, those chapter of whale anatomy, whaling ships, and whaling were boring for me.

    I just finished Anna Karenina (Garnett translation), and though it took me a long time to finish, I loved it. It was well worth the time.

  4. Ulysses seems to be the most intimidating choice among Classics Clubbers. I almost chose it myself, but I couldn't come up with a good reason to be intimidated by it. Because, really, I've never so much as paged through a copy of it. :)

    My November Meme is here


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