17. Unread Classics

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.

They were

  • 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.

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