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?)
Once upon a time I was intimidated by the classics, which is why I started Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Educated Mind. Since January, I have been reading one classic after another according to Bauer’s list and, beginning with Don Quixote, have thus far completed twelve, this last one being Anna Karenina. I am happy to report, thanks to her instruction, I am no longer intimidated by the classics as far as fiction is concerned.
However, there are a few authors I am intimidated by, but I am hopeful that using Bauer’s suggestions I am going to overcome this as well. Gratefully enough, some of these authors are on her list, and I must face them eventually:
- 1. Plutarch
- 2. Herodotus
- 3. Aristotle
- 4. Virgil
- 5. Thucydides
- 6. Plato
I suppose it also will help depending on the translation of the aforementioned, but I am expecting that their work may be difficult to keep my interest or attention.
Also there is:
- 1. Mein Kampf by Hitler, which rumor has it is boring and dry.
- 2. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – have you seen how fat this book is?
- 4. And finally, anything from the poetry section, including: The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf, which I am already familiar with and love, but again, these are children's versions; anything by Shakespeare in its original form – I really like those abridged picture book versions for kids; and Homer and Dante, which are most intimidating of all. Basically, poetry is like a foreign language. It is no wonder Bauer placed poetry at the end.