The Sheer Pleasure of The Old World...
The innumerable books written in English… Biographies, Memoirs, Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Novels… And a ‘novel’ has much more – mysteries, romances, war tales, sci-fi, horror, chick-lit..the list is endless.. And the unadulterated old world ones make my bookshelf.
Bookworms who’ve read every other book keep themselves away from classics and I hope the number is few. An ideal bookworm must undergo the ordeal (or pleasure, it depends) of reading classics, obviously, Brit ones.
When it comes to music, each one has a liking for different genres. If I like pop in music, I like classics in English Literature. One might think, “What’s so cool in those big boring books full of words that can’t be spelled or pronounced, even?!” It’s like a jigsaw; one who spends time putting it together, sees the picture.
The reason I like Brit classics is that I was introduced to those uncool books at the very start (right after those tiny tot storybooks, I mean). Abridged versions of novels by Charles Dickens, George Elliot, Jane Austen made my day back then. And soon, I gradually started to read the full length versions.
The first one I read was “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte and it remains my favourite book till date (forever maybe). The tale of a simple girl, her silent yet deep emotions and the book’s stirring moments made me fall for it.
And then there was our most loved Jane Austen and her worldly books. “Pride and Prejudice” might have been her magnum opus but I found myself more attracted to her “Persuasion”- a tale of resurfaced love between two former lovers.
“Far from the madding crowd”, one of Thomas Hardy’s less criticized works of prose. Here’s the story – ‘Girl’ refuses a humble farmer’s proposal, hesitates to accept her neighbour’s and says ‘yes’ to a dashing soldier who already has a love interest and whose death makes the soldier repent and leave the ‘Girl’. So the neighbour approaches again with his request and when he thinks he’s an inch closer to his goal, the soldier-guy returns (like the Mummy Returns, you know) Tensed whether this would make his attempts futile, he shoots the soldier. In the end, the soldier’s dead, the neighbour’s thrown into an asylum and the ‘Girl’ finally accepts the poor farmer’s hand… Get it??
“Wuthering Heights”, a dark and complex tale of two. A delicate piece of fabric weaved by one young author, who met with an early and unlikely end; so soon and so tragic. Emily Bronte, Charlotte’s sister died at the age of 29 of consumption and this book is her sole piece of work (sigh!)
The most recent Oscar Wilde and his clever, strange and ironical plays, my favourite being “The Importance of Being Earnest”
These are my best liked ones of all the twenty three I’ve read (yep, I’ve read just that much) and I hope I unearth many more golden treasures of the Old World.
And do suggest me a nice classic you’ve read and treasured….