Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another Blue Bookcase Meme

Literary Blog Hop

At this rate I'll never get another book read. This week The Blue Bookcase asks "What makes a contemporary novel a classic?
Discuss a book which you think fits the category of ‘modern classics’ and explain why."

Well I disagree. There are some contemporary books which are destined to become classic. The problem is in identifying which ones they are. A classic, in my opinion, is a book that has stood the test of time and is still read and still has relevance after the passage of decades or even centuries. People are not very good at predicting this and experts will disagree about which books those future classics are.

I would say that Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood is a candidate because of the universality of it's apocalyptic theme and it's use of language and character. Someone else might think not and give cogent reasons for that opinion. In 100 years we'll know.


  1. sometimes I think maybe The Year of the Flood is to much about 20th century issues and a play on popular character of the times to last-but it is a very clever book

  2. See, what did I tell you? We, especially economists, are not good at predicting the future.

    My thought is that people have been writing apocalyptic stories since ancient times and that The Year of the Flood is a better written story than the Book of Revelation so it might have an appeal to future generations. A Canticle for Leibowitz is all about cold war era nuclear holocaust, but people still read it. It's too soon to call that book a classic, too, but it's getting closer.

  3. I was briefly thinking Atwood, too (Oryx or Year) but really I think we can't tell which books will still be read in a 100 years' time.

    I think the Year of the Flood might be interesting in the future just like 1984 is for us: it's about how people in a certain era think what might happen in the future.

  4. I've only just read The Handmaid's Tale, but I can see how Atwood could come to be considered classic. Well written but not unapproachable, relevant topics etc.

  5. Atwoods getting a lot of interest and I,ve still not read any, so cannot comment on her future status, but based on her present she has a chance of making some distance. Enjoyed your write up thanks

  6. Atwood seems to be a popular choice today. I've never gotten around to reading anything by her but i've only heard good things. Well, good things, mixed with 'this isn't for everyone'.

  7. I can see why Atwood would become a classic author. I haven't read that particular book though.

  8. I was just using Atwood as an example, guys. My point is that we don't know which books will make the cut. Maybe it will be The Davinci Code. :(

  9. Or maybe it will be The Handmaid's Tale...Atwood does seem a candidate for enduring...


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