Dickens ‘Tale of Two Cities’ among classics offering timeless allegories
“Classics are books that everyone has, but no one reads.”
Mark Twain, with his world-class wit, gives voice to many thoughts across our culture about those old, dusty books.
Many of these books, in their umpteenth editions, only see the light of day in classrooms and perhaps the occasional reading group. They are years, decades, centuries past their prime. Although big time hits when they were published, and despite the insistence of bookworms everywhere, these stories have been pushed to the edge of obscurity by popular culture.
We currently obsess over “Best Seller Lists” that change weekly, and rarely give any thought to visiting works penned by the likes of Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, Voltaire, Plato, Aristotle, Bronte, Joyce, Stevenson, Rousseau, Thoreau, Fitzgerald, Poe, Tolstoy, and even the quotable Twain himself. The selection of “classics” by these literary giants, as well as by many other men and women, are often confined to one or two shelving units in a bookstore.
It’s too bad.
These books have gained the title “classics” for a reason. A classic is something to be revisited, in addition to being revered. They are more than organizations of words on a page in a matter we call profound. Classics offer lessons that apply to our lives time and time again.
Too often we become set in our ways, losing sight of actual problems we face and settling on a perceived “solution.” Our options evaporate because we do not need options. Have you ever been reminded of another way to approach a problem by quietly observing someone else approaching the same problem? This is the essence of classic literature. Continue reading