*Mentally rolls shoulders* All right, let’s go!
(Original questions here.)
- Share a link to your club list.
This one’s easy:
- When did you join The Classics Club? How many titles have you read for the club?
I joined 13 months and 2 days ago, so on October 7th 2013. And I’ve read four books for the challenge, so far. Neat, huh?
- What are you currently reading?
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.
- What did you just finish reading and what did you think of it?
Vision in White by Nora Roberts, and it made me feel just a little weepy. I love that book (the whole series, for that matter) and it was time for my annual re-reading of the Bride Quartet. It encourages me to keep trying to make sense of the chaos that is my life, and to never settle for anyone less than someone who makes me feel, question my thoughts, and laugh – and vice versa.
- What are you reading next? Why?
Well, I’ll be at The Pickwick Papers for weeks to come, but in between I’ll squeeze in either Waistcoats & Weaponry (because November is my month of Victorian theme) or Bed of Roses (sequel to Vision in White) or both. It’s highly probable I’ll read BoR first because W&W has yet to arrive.
- Best book you’ve read so far with the club, and why?
Hmm. It’s a toss-up between Emma and Mr. Harrison’s Confessions. The latter because it was so much fun, and the former because it took me back to my analysis-loving English class from my high school days.
- Book you most anticipate (or, anticipated) on your club list?
The Collected Poems of W. B. Yates, because I am expecting it to be wonderful, just like everyone says.
- Book on your club list you’ve been avoiding, if any? Why?
Shirley and David Copperfield, because I’ve started them but just can’t bring myself to finish – yet.
- First classic you ever read?
My memories blur. I think it was Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett or Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Possibly even Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. Or Little Women by Louisa May Alcott?? It’s been too long. I do know that I’ve read all of them in Korean translations when I was around second or third grade.
- Toughest classic you ever read?
I was inclined to say Wuthering Heights because it was quite confusing in the beginning, but once I got into it, it was a smooth read. So I’ll go with Der Sandmann by E. T. A. Hoffmann because of its narrative – it was erratic and unreliable and plain weird.
- Classic that inspired you? or scared you? made you cry? made you angry?
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women books have always been a source of inspiration for me, maybe because I automatically think of my childhood and my present whenever the books pop into my head. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye frustrated me to no end thanks to his phoniness. I guess that was sort of the point, but the more I analyzed his character, the more stupid he appeared to be, which my self-righteous 17-year-old self decidedly condemned. Oddly enough, now I am able to understand that Holden was scared shitless with his life and world in general – even though I am supposed to have left my teenage-angst-phase behind.
- Longest classic you’ve read? Longest classic left on your club list?
Mansfield Park for the first question. Les Misérables for the second.
- Oldest classic you’ve read? Oldest classic left on your club list?
A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And another one of the Shakespeare plays.
- Favorite biography about a classic author you’ve read — or, the biography on a classic author you most want to read, if any?
I am in the middle of two biographies, actually – one about Jane Austen and another about Louisa May Alcott. I wasn’t terribly interested in biographies before, but now I am kind of fascinated by them. I have this really huge tome on the Brontë siblings, and I want to read one about Charles Dickens, Mary Wollstonecraft and Tolstoy.
- Which classic do you think EVERYONE should read? Why?
I’m really uncomfortable with dictating anyone anything, so my non-answer is: whatever they want to read, because then it stays with you.
- Favorite edition of a classic you own, if any?
I don’t have anything fancy or anything (or rather: anything fancy that grabs my fancy) but I do favor the Wordsworth Classics editions.
- Favorite movie adaptation of a classic?
Oh la, this one’s easy: Pride and Prejudice (1995), adapted by Andrew Davies, because it’s nearly word-to-speech and because it shows beautiful English landscapes! Plus it’s a very long adaptation. A close second – of a very different nature but adapted by the same Andrew Davies – is Sense and Sensibility (2008). I like Elinor’s portrayal (rational but not robotic) and Marianne’s sweeping passionate nature. Also, gorgeous backdrop.
- Classic which hasn’t been adapted yet (that you know of) which you very much wish would be adapted to film.
Mmm nothing comes to mind yet.
- Least favorite classic? Why?
Andorra by Max Frisch because it portrays heart-breakingly narrow way of thinking (which was the point). And Der Sandmann because it’s scary.
- Name five authors you haven’t read yet whom you cannot wait to read.
I assume you mean classic authors. Stephen Crane, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Victor Hugo, Mary Shelley.
- Which title by one of the five you’ve listed above most excites you and why?
Anything by Stephen Crane, really, because I’ve recently read some examples of his writing and was swept away by its simple, quiet yet deadly character.
- Have you read a classic you disliked on first read that you tried again and respected, appreciated, or even ended up loving? (This could be with the club or before it.)
I am hoping that will be the case with James Joyce’s Dubliners when I re-read it next month.
- Which classic character can’t you get out of your head?
Elinor Dashwood. And for some reason, Beth March.
- Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
A mixture of Elinor and Marianne, actually. And a little bit of Jane Eyre.
- Which classic character do you most wish you could be like?
Agnes Grey from (you guessed it) Agnes Grey. She quietly bears what life has dealt her, she’s compassionate and she loves her family. She’s content with what she has and finds happiness in small things. I wish I could do that more.
- Which classic character do you wish were your best friend? (*modified question)
Oh, Lizzy Bennet, to be sure. My days would never be boring!
- If a sudden announcement was made that 500 more pages had been discovered after the original “THE END” on a classic title you read and loved, which title would you most want to keep reading?
I’ll go with Pride and Prejudice for this one, mainly because I’m insanely curious about Lizzy how and Darcy’s life together would look like. But 500 pages more would probably be a bit boring.
- Favorite children’s classic?
- Who recommended your first classic?
My parents, in their own way. They never said I should read this or read that, they just bought new books for me and put them on my bookshelf. Whenever I got bored with all the books I’d already read, I would pull out new ones.
- Whose advice do you always take when it comes to literature. (Recommends the right editions, suggests great titles, etc.)
Well, Barry Pierce gives solid recommendations, I almost always listen to him.
- Favorite memory with a classic?
Me in my childhood bedroom in Korea, reading this awesome translation of Little Women over and over in all seasons.
- Classic author you’ve read the most works by?
- Classic author who has the most works on your club list?
- Classic author you own the most books by?
- Classic title(s) that didn’t make it to your club list that you wish you’d included? (Or, since many people edit their lists as they go, which titles have you added since initially posting your club list?)
Oh la, I’ll try my best to remember: The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole, Vathek – William Beckford, Nightmare Abbey – Thomas Love Peacock, The Best Short Stories – Guy de Maupassant, The Black Riders and Other Lines – Stephen Crane, The Warden – Anthony Trollope, The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens, Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev, Howards’ End – E. M. Forster
- If you could explore one author’s literary career from first publication to last — meaning you have never read this author and want to explore him or her by reading what s/he wrote in order of publication — who would you explore? Obviously this should be an author you haven’t yet read, since you can’t do this experiment on an author you’re already familiar with. :) Or, which author’s work you are familiar with might it have been fun to approach this way?
I am actually doing this with Charles Dickens, reading The Pickwick Papers, following Barry’s (s.o.) habit. I also plan on doing the same with Thomas Hardy, starting with his Desperate Remedies.
- How many rereads are on your club list? If none, why? If some, which are you most looking forward to, or did you most enjoy?
I have five re-reads listed, and I’m most looking forward to Dubliners because my recollection of it is so hazy, it will be like reading for the first time!
- Has there been a classic title you simply could not finish?
Mmm… not yet…?
- Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving?
Actually, yes. Wuthering Heights because everyone said it was complicated/weird/crazy. And The Adventures of Tom Sawyer because I didn’t expect it to be so fun!
- Five things you’re looking forward to next year in classic literature?
Keeping up with my monthly reading themes, reading titles like North and South, Wives and Daughters, Persuasion and Middlemarch so I can watch their respective adaptations, re-reading Sense and Sensibility now that I have watched its BBC adaptation (2008) twice, buying more classics and stroking their covers, reading a Russian classic to find out whether they really drink their tea with jam.
- Classic you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, I swear!
- Classic you are NOT GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
Probably Brothers Karamazov, among loads of other titles.
- Favorite thing about being a member of the Classics Club?
Being exposed to the small nudges and foods for thought brought by the brilliant TCC admins!
- List five fellow clubbers whose blogs you frequent. What makes you love their blogs?
Oh, dear. Are you going to be mad when I say I check some new blogs out every now and then but don’t really follow any of them?
- Favorite post you’ve read by a fellow clubber?
These posts about Paradise Lost because they have made the book more relatable and not just scary landmark to be crossed off the list.
- If you’ve ever participated in a readalong on a classic, …
I haven’t. I’m usually too disorganized to join.
- If you could appeal for a readalong with others for any classic title, which title would you name? Why?
Probably one of Shakespeare’s plays like As You Like It or Twelfth Night because plays are harder to understand than novels, and I’d welcome all the new perspectives and information that comes along with readalong.
- How long have you been reading classic literature?
If you count children’s classics as well, since I was eight or nine. If you only count “adult” classics, since 2009. But it’s been (and still is, to be honest) only a side genre to explore, never a main one.
- Share up to five posts you’ve written that tell a bit about your reading story. Reviews, journal entries, posts on novels you loved or didn’t love, lists, etc.
A Little Chronology about the classics I’m reading for this challenge; Why I Think It’s Important (For Me) to Start Reviewing Regularly; Looking Back; Reading: A Solitary Activity Again
- Which country’s classics have you read most? Which other countries would you like to read more of? (personal question)
I have mostly read British classics and a handful of German ones but I would like to read Russian literature and also Asian classics.