Italo Calvino Classic

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Jane Eyre, Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby… What do they all have in common? They’re classics. Well, I guess Harry Potter isn’t really a classic yet, is it? But, the series has sold nearly half a billion copies, more than the other two. If popularity doesn’t dictate what a classic is then what does? Is it lofty confusing metaphors about big white whales or do they need to be read for at least a century before their reputation is strong enough to earn the title of classic.? ITALO CALVINO Nearly every article discussing this topic references Italo Calvino’s famous essay, “Why Read the Classics?” His opinion, and most known quote, says, "A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say." I’ve asked a lot of people and they always seem to gravitate toward the same answer, a book that was very popular but also written a long time ago. The problems with defining what a classic is that most answers are either too broad, like Calvino’s, or include books that aren’t classics, or too “specific,” and “disclude” classics that deserve the honor. There’s bound to be a better answer out there, but the best I’ve …show more content…

We can’t really be expected to lump books like “The Quran”(632 CE), “Don Quixote”(1605 CE), and “The Hobbit”(1937) together, right? There should be a couple more words so we know what’s what. After a classic has stood the test of time and been praised for centuries it enters a new, much smaller, “group”; it’s now part of the canon. The greatest literary works humanity has ever written are included as part of the canon, like “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, “Hamlet”, and “Beowulf”. You could even go a step further, brining all religious texts into the most highly regarded and smallest “group” of all, The Testament. I know this might be a bit confusing; have a look at the chart below to visualize the different

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