Books Timeles Thursday

the 6 best classics I’ve ever read or: why you shouldn’t read Kafka during a lockdown

April 7, 2020

when you ask uncle google (or better auntie ecosia) about classics you should read they probaly give you lists with tons of jane austen + charles dickens novels …
well, Jane + Charles are all right but I’d prefer Emily brontë and Bram stolker. And of course my all time favorite John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (and his homie c. s. lewis). Oscar Wilde and Mary Shelley cannot be missing on the following lis as well so …

F. S. Fitzgerald’s The great Gatsby

you know what happens in the end. You know it. and still, when the phone rings and Gatsby falls into that frickin pool you can’t stop crying. Or at least I couldn’t. maybe I don’t count because I’m weird.
anyway WHAT HAS HE EVEN DONE? WHYYYYYYY?
*clears throat, wipes away her tears*
…..It’s definitely in the top 20 of the cruelest moments of literature. right to next Hedwigs death.


blurb:

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

Bram Stolker’s Dracula

  • vampires? tick.
  • no forced romantic plot? tick.
  • great scenery? tick.
  • homoerotic subtext (which is also the only valid reason to read it lol)? tick tick tick

if this little list couldn’t convince you I am quite helpless because from my point of view I pretty much broke it down to it bare essentials and if you don’t like these, Dracula is probably not your kind of book :((((

blurb:

Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced Count Dracula, and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy.[1] The novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and a woman led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

Oscar Wilde’s the picture of dorian gray

I LOVE IT I LOVE IT LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I… okay I think I made my point clear.
from all the gorgeous books in this list this is the one I definitely reread the most. which is problem because it’s simply the best. just kidding, obviously nothing’s better than Dracula.

blurb:

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.

Leo Tolstoi’s anna karenin(a)

If the picture of Dorian gray was my favorite, Anna Karenina would definitely share the second place with Dracula, the great Gatsby, metamorphosis and Frankenstein (too many good books lol)
it’s gorgeously written (even sort of funny when you read a little between the lines) and of course the plot is just amazing. here’s my full review :))

blurb:

Acclaimed by many as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Kareninaprovides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in all of literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature – with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author’s own views and convictions.

Kafka’s Metamorphosis

this book nearly killed me. not physically but my mind is a zombie right now. the entire book feels like one of these wtf moments you usually only experience when you see people hurting toilet paper. maybe that was a bad example but I’m sure we a lot know that feeling way too well *creepy pipe organ music starts playing in the background*. so I was sitting in my room reading about someone who just transformed into an gigantic insect and I felt like I’ve been a little transformed as well. *music continues, grows louder*

blurb:

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was laying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.” 
With it’s startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first opening, Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. It is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetle-like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing—though absurdly comic—meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosishas taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction. As W.H. Auden wrote, “Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man.”

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

anyone else here who’s constantly confused who’s Frankenstein? like in one moment it’s the monster itself and in another it’s suddenly the doctor? maybe I’m just dumb but I definitely was confused.
But the author herself really interests me: such a strong woman with such a strange surrounding …
here a bit of trivia.

  • Shelley refused to eat sugar to protest the treatment of plantation slaves in the West Indies (cool lady, huh?)
  • When Percy Shelley (her asshole of a husband) was cremated, his heart wouldn’t burn, which was caused by his health condition. a friend removed it from the fire and gave it to Mary. Legend has it she kept the crumbled remains in her desk.(yes, she was that sort of creepy.)

blurb:

so I hope you enjoyed this looooooong article and got a bit of inspiration 🙂

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2 Comments

  • Reply Joséphine April 9, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Great article ! I’m currently readin the picture of dorian gray for the first time, this book is amazing !

  • Reply Emily June 5, 2020 at 10:32 am

    thank you my dar! tpodg is my forever favorite ♥

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