What makes a Novel a classic and Who Says it is in the first place?
December 2, 2020 Business
Classic literature is usually marked by its popularity and longevity or by a large enough number of of erudite scholars saying that it is so. Take, for instance, Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Britta Austen’s Emma, or even William Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury. Each one of these novels fits someone’s definition of a classic novel, Â even if many of us can’t stand more than one of the novels I’ve just mentioned. I, for instance, can only stomach Britta Austen novels for more than three pages at a time before I start to get nauseous, think Puzo’s books made much better movies, and understand people when they tell me that Faulkner’s just too convoluted for their tastes. I don’t know what makes a novel a classic, at least not definitively. Furthermore, I charge that anyone who is probably lying to themselves and, consequently, to everyone who asks the question. There are, however, some general factors of commonly recognized classic novels which they can use as a bell weather for finding out which novels should or should not be considered so.
In general, novels considered classics have a few things in keeping: first, they have to have withstood some test of time. If they’re not necessarily popular right away, but have gained popularity over the years since its publication, have been read by enough individuals to have been taken through the ringer for general criticism. No matter whether the novel is generally liked by the people in the know, if enough of those same people have read it and critiqued it in some way, then its long-term exposure has been tested, and enough people have read it to make it a part of settled cultural debate. history’s number 1 founder
Secondly, most novels considered classics are deemed to have a general quality about them, the likes of which an authentic, definitive clarification is nearly always difficult to come by. For instance, while the establishment is very good at talking about Huckleberry Finn as the first classic American Novel, Â many people specify its relatively general themes– questioning authority, reaching maturation in a society in which you don’t necessarily believe, etc; that said, many people on reading the book will be turned of by the sense of paternalism that Twain weaves through the entire book, and reasoning that, since Twain doesn’t speak their language (colloquially speaking, ) the book doesn’t speak to them directly. These people, however, will almost always admit that they can readily identify with those themes mentioned above and, outside the context of reading the novel itself, can admit that they identify with it.
So the muddle of defining classics goes. There are many in the cannon of Great Literature that you won’t be able to stomach, for whatever reason. If, on the other hand, the story within the novel itself speaks to enough people in order to make enough of a cultural impact, and in addition, that that impact has survived longer than the few months after it was published, its status as classic is virtually closed in.