A lot of literary classics are ‘done’ at school, dissected in essays and discussions and exams. Others are referenced in popular culture or lodged in language leaving a distinct impression that you surely must have read them at some stage. For me at least, there are many I haven’t.
I found five such classics (including one I’d never heard of at all). Alan and Annie from The Turning Page bookshop gave helpful suggestions. Each was also a writer from a different country.
- Crime and Punishment (Russia) Dostoyevsky
- The Odyssey (Greece) Homer
- Don Quixote (Spain) Cervantes
- Crossing to Safety (United States) Stegner
- Madame Bovary (France) Flaubert
There was murder and mayhem, slaughter and survival, betrayal and lust. There were capricious gods, epic journeys and a woman who could have done with a few more options in life. There were friendships that spanned the decades through all that life brings and a young man unravelling into madness and despair.
There were the big questions of life and finally drawn characters as complicated and vulnerable as those we know in the flesh.