21 September 2016

Enough classics?

I’m reading theclassics. I just finished “Far From the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy. And it was beautiful, but I think I reached a point of saturation now. If you read classics you keep getting entangled in the plot lines of women ending up married to the wrong man and being stuck in that position. It happens in Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Jane Eyre, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Return of the Native, and now as well in Far From the Madding Crowd. And, of course, in countless many other classics. I am getting a bit tired of it. It is time I read a few books in which people can just get a divorce when they notice they are not happy in their marriage. And I am trying not to trivialise divorce; it can be a powerfully destructive force and should not be toyed with, but it still is a while lot better than killing yourself (Anna Karenina, Return of the Native), dying in a botched abortion when trying to get rid of an extramaritally conceived child (War and Peace), locking your wife up in the attic (Jane Eyre), or waiting until your, well, suitor kills your husband (Far From the Madding Crowd). Lady Chatterley comes away rather unscathed if you look at it this way! And I know not all classics are like that; think of the Trial, to Kill a Mockingbird, Ulysses, etc. But still! 

When I perused my book cupboard I saw little modern fiction, but I did find a non-fiction book published in 2010. This will give me a welcome break! I think I should next try some “reading modern classics”. I already read Cloud Atlas and Mystiek Lichaam. What’s next; Coetzee? Pamuk? Jelinek?

No comments: