Monday, June 25, 2012

Discovering Classics... I'm SHERLOCKED!!

I'm been reading and watching a lot of Sherlock Holmes lately.  I discovered BBC's Sherlock, while at a Spur-of-the-moment stay at my SIL's house, where we literally watched the complete first season until 2:30 AM, or something like that.  (I highly suggest this.)  I can tell you, I have been Sherlocked, or Cumberbatched - whatever fits - and it is effecting my sleep, my eating habits, and my thought process, so much I am writing this post in a British acent.  What kills me is the cliffhangers and conspiracies, and the sheer fact that I won't be able to watch it for another 6 to 12 months.  ERK!!

So, I decided to download on my Kindle the Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, and surprise, I am loving it!  It's nice to discover a classic that I haven't ever thought of reading.  In high school and college I felt forced into reading certain classics, not of my taste, and they left me with an anomosity toward certain genres, which is unjust and unfair, but honest, and I never liked the classification of CLASSIC reads.

So what's makes something CLASSIC?  Just the fact that it's old?  It somehow lasted beyond Hitler's book burnings, or grandma's attic and now it's worth something?  I'm taking my magnifying glass and examining Classics up close and I think there is something more to it than age.  Classics are classics for a reason. I know people that didn't want to read Harry Potter because it was popular, but there is a reason why it's popular - It's good.  Maybe classics are the same way?  There is a prejudice toward them because it's well-known, or has a reputation.  But it's completely possible that it might be good too.

There are certain expectations coming from something labeled as a Classic, but just being labeled Classic needs to account for something.  It's possible that it may turnout to be my favorite book in the world, but because of the Classic stigma, I stay away from it.  That's like saying I don't like bologna sandwiches, but I've never bothered to taste one.

And I think being an author now a days, is honestly, so much easier to do.  With digital media, eBooks, and independent writing, you can reach people all over the world, faster than ever imagined, with considerably little effort.

I could hypothesize that a CLASSIC did the same thing in it's time - reaching it's fingers across the nations until it becomes part of culture.  And it wasn't a Classic then, it was just a book.  Dickens, Austen, Kipling... They all did it - the HARD WAY, no Word spellcheck, or grammar correction, nor computer typing, audio to text, eBook upload, or even erasers, if we want to get primitive.  So, doesn't that deserve, at the very least - a LOOK?

Classics are, in most cases, public domain, which anyone could download and it's there in 3.5 seconds.  I'm not sure how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would feel about that, but I do know that his modern day Sherlock, would take advantage of every digital communication imaginable.

I have been very ignorant about my prejudice against Classics, (excluding Hemingway) and I have grown a higher respect for the genius of Sherlock Holmes, and for its author, who had to be more genius to come up with it all.

Take the challenge and put a Classic on your TO READ list.  Find out what makes it - a Classic!
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