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Reading a Classic

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pctacitus

Reading a Classic

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Chris and I, as well as several other people have for some time tossed around the idea that we could get a little group to read a classic work together. If I get enough positive responses I'll put out a poll with some classics on it, and hopefully discuss it with the people who are reading along.Is there is any interest in reading a classic? If so, what would you like to read? How do you define "classic"? I for one would like to read some Xenophon, Thucydides, Gibbon, Gasset, Livy, Demosthenes, Polybius, Dante, T. A. Dodge, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Ammianus Marcellinus or some de Tocqueville to name just a few authors.As for what a classic is, I think it should be at least fifty years old, the author should be dead and the play, epic, history, etc. should seem as contemporary now as it was then. What do you think???
AirPrang

Re: Reading a Classic

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I'd be interested as the reading group I used to belong to that did read the occasional classic has long since disbanded. I miss being able to discuss such texts without such discussion becoming overly academic.Would you consider older books rather than those published up until 1954? I've nothing against contemporary classics (is that an oxymoron?) or 20th century literature but my preference would be to look at much older works - such as most of those you've itemised. I would suggest that the works should be over 100 years old, rather than at least 50. Tomorrow, in my experience, is usually the same day.
pctacitus

Re: Reading a Classic

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I had originally thought of 100 years from date of first publication, but I thought that there might be some who wanted things that were pre-World War Two but not 100 years old, like the author I mentioned, Jose Ortega y Gasset, whose most well known work The Revolt of the Masses was first published in 1928. 50 with the caveat that the author must be deceased was really a way to drive home that no living author can have a classic.If however, there is a consensus that says at least 100 or even 200 years old, I am more than willing, in fact elated to agree to that. As a lover of ancient history, if you said nothing post-Procopius I would really be happy, but over 14 centuries old minimum seemed somewhat extreme and limiting to me.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Reading a Classic

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I'm game for whatever you decide. The older the better too. Throw the poll up and lets see how many get involved. It would be nice if the suggested texts were available for free online, and from my experience, the classics usually are all over the Internet.Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
AirPrang

Re: Reading a Classic

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Chris, what an excellent suggestion. If the selected work were available through Project Gutenberg or the like, it would make participation so much more straightforward even if the selected work were not readily available in Penguin Classics or another cheap edition. Tomorrow, in my experience, is usually the same day.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Reading a Classic

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There are several sites which offer the classics for free online, but some of them seem to be down. Check these out and lets all try to find one that actually works the way it is meant to work.www.pagebypagebooks.com/Project Gutenbergwww.bartleby.com/www.bibliomania.com/onlinebooks.library ... .com/Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
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Yep.

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Count me in.
pctacitus

Re: Yep.

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It's nice to have so many positive responses. Before I put up a poll, I would like to know of any specific classics any of you would like to read together.I will shortly name several works, but I have virtually no free time 'til Monday afternoon (I'm posting this Saturday night, oddly enough after a day of book shopping).
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Yep.

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Sometimes its fun to allow someone else to make the choice. My only concern is the size of the reading. Please nothing 1000 pages long...unless its damn good.Chris "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them"
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Classics

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The Prince by Machiavelli might be good if you're concerned with the length - as I recall it's only about 150 pages. Dunno how good the discussion would be. I'd be interested in the classics from ancient Greece, there's something about a 2000 year old book that still resonates. I was in a book club a long time ago that reat Plutarch: Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans. Now that's in 2 volumes that ARE over 1000 pages, but we could read just certain sections. The section on Sparta was incredible, gave me goosebumps how those people lived...
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