Friday, 22 July 2016

My 10 favourite classics of all time

I think it's been over a year now since I posted anything other than just a straight up review on here, and I've decided to make things a little bit more varied over the next couple of months. I'm kick-starting this with this super-quick top 10 classics post. Hopefully (maybe?) it'll inspire your choice in the next classic to read, or you'll be able to relate with me on some level about my love for that particular text. So, without any further babble, let's go. 

In no particular order, here are my 10 favourite classic texts of all time:

1.) Pablo Neruda's poetry, in particular 'Ode to the Clothes'. He manages to make the most ordinary of things the most beautiful, and really changed my opinion of what poetry could do.

2.) Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Let's face it, this was always going to be on my list, I mean, I am an ex-English student after all. This was the first text I ever remember studying in which it was clear that the author had imbued every scene with symbolism and hidden meanings.

3.) Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. This is one of his earliest and least famous texts. It's also one of his bloodiest and seeing it at the RSC was a once-in-a-lifetime treat for me that I'll never forget.

4.) Dickens' Bleak House. Part of me has no idea why I like this - it's long, I had to make a physical list of characters so I didn't get confused, and the plot has about 17 thousand strands. But, seeing all those strands come together and finally reading a book in which Dickens offered a fairly realistic insight into the mind of a woman (for once) made it all worth it. 

5.) Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Pre-warn: there are going to be a fair few Victorian texts on here, but I love them, so we're all just gonna have to deal with it. This is possibly my favourite book of all time, and it's something that I really savour coming back to time and time again. I've possibly read it five? times now and each time I come away feeling bowled over by this woman's incredible writing.

6.) Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. I actually remember borrowing this off of my mum when I was a teenager and I fell totally in love with the whole Jane-Rochester debacle. I'd tried reading Austen before, and assumed all Victorian texts fell under the same dreary brush (sorry Austen fans), but this definitely opened up my eyes to the power of Victorian literature.

7.) Stoker's Dracula. I've got a little confession here: I only actually read this for the first time about a year and a half ago. It's one of those texts that was so hyped up I was actually put off of it. When I read it however I was totally wowed by how many of our notions about Vampires come from this one text, and how forward it was in terms of discussing sex.

8.) Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles. All I can say is that I warned you about how much of this would be Victorian. Sorry not sorry. Seriously though, get your hands on an unedited copy of this and you can get a real insight into how society treated a 'fallen' aka non-virginial woman, way back when.

9.) Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. This broke my heart and mended it all over again about seven times. If you're looking for an insight into the world of America's slave trade, then this is a good place to start.

10.) Donne's 'The Broken Heart'. I actually read this Medieval poem when I was studying my a-levels, in an attempt to secure some extra reading to help with my university application. What I didn't envision was falling totally in love with it and finding what still remains my favourite poem of all time.

I honestly thought I was going to struggle to think of 10 texts, but here I am struggling to contain all my favourites within a mere list of ten. I feel like writing this post in itself has been a journey for me, reminding me of why I love reading, and why certain books touched me at certain points in my life. I'm also feeling totally inspired to get back in to reading poetry and plays, to the extent that I'm now considering having a 'poem of the week' post once a week. Would you guys like that? I'd love to hear some input!

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