There are oodles of classic books that everyone is supposed to have read, but which ones are actually worth reading and which ones deserve to vanish off the face of the Earth?
In my not-so-humble-actually-rather-elitist opinion, I think that Wilde, Poe, Shakespeare, Twain and Vonnegut should be absolutely top on your list of required reading. However, I absolutely hate Joyce, Steinbeck, Hawthorne, and Alcott.
I'm interested to know what Nerdfighteria thinks about this. Am I spot-on...or woefully misguided?
What classics do you think every one should read and which ones should Nerdfighters skip altogether.
Comment and let me know!
I get what you're saying, but I think the idea is that the real classics will always be "relevant" to our lives because they hit on the real meat of the human heart in a way that transcends time and place. Take Othello for example. We might not all have crazy rivals trying to bring us down, or love affairs that are complicated because of race relations, but I think everyone can relate to that stomach-churning disconnect that happens when our trust starts to fail. And that's what Othello is really about: trust. You don't have to be Moorish (or Italian) to understand that.
All that said, I do understand what you're getting at. A lot of the older Greek classics don't hit home very strong unless you do a little background research about, say, Athenian politics. Which can definitely take away the enjoyment for a lot of people.
Then might I recommend Richard III, King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream? Shakespeare LOVES the crazies. Actually, pretty much all of his plays are about some level of madness or social deviance. That's where really great tragedy AND comedy comes from.