Friday, August 30, 2019

It's So Classic Blog Party Tag

Olivia tagged me with this a few weeks ago and busy as we've been lately I forgot it was one of those with a deadline. Eeek! But now here we are. (Aren't ya proud of me? ;)) And I really wish I had time to hunt down some fantastically funny memes to sprinkle throughout and have you all in stitches, but (in the interest of being properly grown-up, etc.) I really can't. My kitchen and laundry room are calling. So you'll have to use your own vivid imaginations on that front. :D

*Ok, rolls up sleeves and enough with the self aggrandizing fanfare.*

The It's So Classic Tag:


1. Link your post to Rebellious Writing (
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag at least 5 bloggers.

~ What is one classic that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, but really needs to?

The Blue Castle by Montgomery does spring to mind, but I'm trying to keep my selections here to Weightier Great Book-ish tomes (otherwise we run the risk of wandering into the territory of Chesterton, Wodehouse, C.S. Lewis, Montgomery, Alcott, and the like, which'd easily fill up every answer here *coughs*).

The other option I can think of is Mansfield Park. I'd really like to see a newer version that actually gets it. But again, that might not count since it has been done a couple times.

Hmmm... This one kind of rides the fence as far as being an absolute classic, but maybe The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott?

~What draws you to classics?

The deep thoughts and rich metaphors. The enduring-ness.

~What is an underrated classic?

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser. (At least the first book, which I've read at least three times in this edition.) LOVE IT. <3 

~What is one classic that you didn’t expect to love, but ended up loving anyway?

Maybe The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.

~What is your most favorite and least favorite classics?

Favorites: far and away, Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, Heart of Darkness by Josef Conrad, and North and South by Gaskell. (Jane Austen aside, that is.)

As for least favorite: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. It's rich and powerful and horribly, heart wrenchingly awful and sad. I'm glad I read it, but don't really ever want to read it again. (At least, unless I was teaching it or something.)

~What is your favorite character from a classic? Or if that is too hard, one is your favorite classic character trope (e.g. strong and silent, quiet sidekick, etc.)

Haha. Yes, definitely too hard. According to the dictionary, 'trope' is officially a "figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression." So I'll say the self-sacrificing hero. And not in a flowery way, but the very real brink-of-death sense. And that's true for both book and film. Gets. me. every. time.

~What’s a popular classic that you felt wasn’t actually that great?

This is more that I've never been able to really get into some of them (except for The Old Man and the Sea), so it's not that they're bad, it's just that I find Hemingway... difficult. Most of it's the wordiness, but I also ran across an article a while ago pointing out that he doesn't really have a sense of humor, which was a really interesting point. Not that everything has to be hilariously funny (witness my actual top favorites above), but it has to do with a deep running... balance, I guess you could say. A laughter at the edge of tears. That sort of thing. And of course, I could be completely misjudging him on that. It is true that I can vividly remember every bit that I have read of his. Persevering in the reading has just been a challenge.

Oh, and while I find her life story fascinating and absolutely love her thoughts on the discipline of writing and storytelling itself (and have had various friends who raved about her writing) I've had the hardest time getting into Flannery O'Connor.  

~Who is your favorite classic author?

Ummm, ok this one's kinda impossible to choose, honestly. But, trying to think purely of the writing styles, probably Jane Austen, Josef Conrad, or ElizabetGaskell. (Again, that's if we're not counting Chesterton, Wodehouse, Tolkien, Lewis, Montgomery, Alcott, Milne, Snedeker, de Angeli, etc etc etc............)

~In your opinion, what makes a classic a classic?

At the risk of sounding high falutin, it's larger than the sum of it's parts, transcending the time it was written, hitting on enduring themes... Often with a fresh tone or unexpected viewpoint. You get the idea.

~Relating to newer books, what attributes does a book need to have in order to be worthy of the title “classic”?

Well, in short, it has to stick. But I'd apply the same criteria listed for the last question. 

Quick note: focusing on the two ends of the spectrum, I realized I left off quite a few that I've enjoyed and definitely still count as favorites to varying degrees and/or impacted me -- like Jane Eyre, Far from the Madding Crowd, David Copperfield (& Co), The Divine Comedy, a number of George Eliot's books, and I, Claudius (which was really interesting, also somewhat crazy and odd, and should come with somewhat hefty adult level reading proviso stickers, IMHO).

But such is the nature of list making and different titles are highlighted at different times. :)

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And... since I'm kinda just getting back into the blogosphere I'm not sure I know five bloggers to tag who are still active (or haven't already done it) + I'm doing this at the end of the challenge and all that, so I'll skip that part, but if you'd like to just go for it feel free! :) Here's a link to a clean copy of the questions. I'd love to see your answers!


  1. Elizabeth Gaskell is so great! I've only read North & South, but I'm going to read Wives & Daughters as soon as I get a copy of it!

  2. Great answers! You reminded me of so many good classics, some of which I've read and some of which I've yet to experience. :) Thanks for doing the tag! <3

  3. I have the Tenant of Wildfell Hall on my TBR for next year. And the Good Earth. I don't mind sad...I don't think.

  4. I'm so bad that I've never read any Hemingway. I really should, I know. Great answers and it seems you've a very large range of classical books here. My post is here.

  5. I'm reading a biography of Hemingway by Carlos Baker, & am learning that Hemingway was a force of life. I've read he had a big sense of humor. There's a picture of him in the hospital room during the First World War, after having been blown apart pretty much, and he has the biggest, most infectious grin on his face.

    I don't know what happens after this, but he did seem very infectiously happy at that point in his life. His first words were (as I recall) "ain't 'fraid o' nothin'." :) It sometimes took him five hours to write one paragraph. He found creative writing difficult.

  6. Now that you mention it... Hemingway really doesn't have a sense of humor in his writing, does he. A sense of irony, yes, but not humor. Fitzgerald's writing is a lot more humorous. Huh. I wonder if it's because Hemingway was SO VERY SERIOUS about writing, and kept his humor for real life, whereas Fitzgerald tended to often toss off sizzling little stories almost for a lark (not saying he didn't work hard on his craft, cuz he did, but... not always...), and so many of those are funny? Hmmmmmmm.

    Anyway, I tagged you this morning, just in case you're in the mood to do another tag :-)

  7. Thanks for participating in the tag! Loved going through your answers ... and made me think of so many authors I forgot to list that I loved ... such as Sir Walter Scott and Chesterton.
    I still have as of yet to read Austin or Gaskell, though I've seen and loved many of the movies and really want to read the books.



I'd love to hear your thoughts and look forward to further confabulation. Please just be courteous to one and all. Oh, and I love thoughts on old posts, so comment away.

(Also of late -- what with time being finite, and Life Happening + managing multiple blogs and computer issues and all that -- I sometimes have to alternate between creating new content and replying to comments, but rest assured I'm thrilled to hear from each and every one of you and always hope to reply thoughtfully in full ASAP! <3)

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