Each month The Classics Club releases a question to get club members thinking, discussing and sharing; either on the official site or on their own sites. This month’s question is a rewind from November 2012:
What classic piece of literature most intimidates you, and why? (Or, are you intimidated by the classics, and why? And has your view changed at all since you joined our club?)
The classic piece of literature that intimidates me the most is an easy one, it has to be the epic, Russian classic War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy! I love the idea of the Russian setting but I am totally intimated by the fact it is a translation, it is a whopping 1,200+ pages and I’ve heard that there are whole swaths of philosophical discussion rather than narrative and an overwhelming amount of names, many of which are very similar, and titles to pick your way through. Overall the cons are out-weighing the pros for me.
Since joining The Classics Club I have managed to read these translated works: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne; all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. So the fact it is a translation is not so much of an issue anymore, as I know I can read and enjoy them. However this hasn’t really changed my mind about reading this book, especially when there are so many other books I would prefer to try first – at the end of the day, for me, reading is to be a pleasure not a chore.
With that in mind, I decided to watch the BBC’s sumptuous TV adaptation earlier this year – slightly cheating, I know, but as I said I feel it is very unlikely I will ever read this book. It was a beautiful production with a stellar ensemble cast but I didn’t love it enough to run out and get the book!
What classic piece of literature most intimidates you? Also, please let me know and link in the comments below if you have taken part in this month’s Classic Club meme too.