In this overwhelming modern mass production, books are published with great speed and reader often finds himself wondering – Where do I start?
While there’s uncountable number of contemporary books for you to read, we should never forget the classics. You may wonder why not. Well, for one, classics are classics for a reason – they have outlived their authors and their time. And that is one big task for a book. Just imagine how many books were published some years ago, just to be never read again.
Secondly, if classics are immortal, they must be offering some qualities to all new readers, again and again and again. They offer the art of literature – the art of written word, the craftsmanship of fictional worlds and some major writing lessons from unforgettable writers.
A series of beautiful classics are waiting for you to find them. Some of them will shake you, some make you cry, some immensely motivate, but what is for sure – all of them can change your life.
Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading chivalry romances, that he determines to become a knight-errant himself. In the company of his faithful Sancho Panza, his exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote’s fancy often leads him astray – he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants – Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together, and together they have haunted readers’ imaginations for nearly four hundred years. Don Quixote generally has been recognized as the first modern novel. The book has had enormous influence on writers, from Fielding and Sterne to Flaubert, Dickens, Melville, and Faulkner, who reread it once a year, “just as some people read the Bible.”
The Brothers Karamazov
The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama which follows three brothers and their moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia. The book(s) itself may be quite voluminous, but it is one of those books that changes your life. For a lifetime. Not to mention, reading Dostoyevski will teach you more about human nature than you ever expected.
In what may be Charles Dickens’s best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of “great expectations.” In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and Miss Havisham, an abandoned and bitter bride. A book that all dreamers will understand.
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov’s devastating satire was written combining two distinct yet interwoven parts—one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow—the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the circus-like reality of Moscow. Its central characters exist in a world that blends fantasy and chilling realism, an artful collage of grotesque, dark comedy, and timeless ethical questions.
When Gustave Flaubert’s Emma marries Charles Bovary, she imagines she will pass into the life of luxury and passion that she reads about in sentimental novels and women’s magazines. But Charles is a dull country doctor, and provincial life is very different from the romantic excitement for which she yearns. In her quest to realize her dreams, she takes a lover and begins a devastating spiral into deceit and despair. Flaubert’s novel scandalized its readers when it was first published in 1857, and it remains unsurpassed in its unveiling of characters and society. There are too many books about women’s adultery, but find out why this one outlived all the others. Follow tragic Ema trough her efforts to find meaningful, romanticized life in plain world.
Have you already read these classics?