'Classics' started off meaning Latin and Greek works, then literary works that smacked of similar, and now - what, exactly? Books that are full of bonnets and dust?
Author Kevin Smokler and bookseller Jonathan Main unpick what constitutes a classic, old or new.
READ ON, READER:
- Before they were famous (and, in some cases, during): authors' other jobs.
- Reading a classic, you can miss a lot if you aren't familiar with the time in which it was written, for example all these boner puns in Shakespeare's plays.
- Valley of the Dolls: fifty years old and still TERRIFIC. And feminist?
- Play The Great Gatsby game (here's the story of it becoming a pseudo-80s Nintendo game).
- One very common characteristic of classic novels: they're full of orphans. Why?
- I need to buy As If: The Oral History of Clueless. Here's a taste of how they made the film, and the Suck and Blow party scene.
- There's a transcript of this episode at theallusionist.org/transcripts/biglit.
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MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY: frowst
- Kevin Smokler is the author of Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School. Tweet him @weegee.
- Jonathan Main runs one of my favourite shops, Bookseller Crow. Support your independent bookshops! Tweet him @booksellercrow.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with music by Martin Austwick. A lot of the tracks today are instrumental versions of songs from his arts fundraiser album Kill It With Fire, available on Bandcamp along with the rest of his music.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.