Discussions Other Rants

Blogmas #11 | Let’s Talk Bookish: The Writing Style of Classics & Contemporaries

Hello beautiful readers!! ❄️ I hope you have all had a great week and that you can relax now that Friday has finally arrived 😴 Today, I’m doing the weekly tag Let’s Talk Bookish for the first time! Now, I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone here cause I don’t think I’m very well versed on this week’s topic πŸ˜… Still, I’m looking forward to it, and I can’t wait to know all of your opinions as well!! This tag is hosted by Eternity Books and Literary Lion, so if you’re interested in participating head on there.

The Writing Style of Classics & Contemporaries

Do you prefer reading classics or contemporaries?

Unsurprisingly, I prefer reading contemporaries by A LOT. I don’t have anything against classics, but they are often hit or miss with me. However, I do think that this has a lot to do with our culture and how we consume media nowadays. Because of how advanced technology is, we’re used to having all of the information in the world at the tip of our fingers. Anything we want to know we can know in a matter of seconds. I believe that these behavioral and cultural characteristics have deeply impacted the literature that we enjoy as well.

I think that one of the main reasons so many people don’t enjoy classics as much anymore, is because they tend to deviate from the main narrative. At least in my experience, the classics I’ve read are very descriptive and focus on many different topics regarding lifestyle and analysis’ of the societies each are set in. Today, books are much more straightforward and usually don’t stray far from the main problem or topic. With this I don’t mean that modern books are superficial, but most of them don’t consider it necessary to stop and discuss whether or not a specific chair is a suitable place to sit in.

Besides, they also approach topics that we are more interested in reading about because they affect our everyday lives as well, which coincides with what I said before. Classics were so popular at their time because they told stories people could relate to, just like we do now. That is also why these works have transcended through time–many showcase the reality of world civilizations, dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Even though lots of people consider them outdated, a lot of what happens in those books apply to the things that we are currently living through. Having the opportunity to learn from past civilizations gives us the opportunity to be and do better in the future.

What differences do you notice between the two?

First off, the writing. One of my favorite parts about reading are dialogues–which I think are lacking in classics– considering that I’m not the biggest fan of long and detailed descriptions (not even on contemporary books), for that is something that I always struggle with. Another obvious differences would be the vocabulary. Even if the language utilized in a classic is considered colloquial at its time, it most likely won’t be for us.

Why do you think the β€œclassics” have been designated classics and are studied in school?

As I mentioned previously, there are works of literature that have transcended and demonstrated both their worth and influence in literature, history, and culture. Despite our personal opinions on these, we should all make the effort to take into account everyone’s perspectives because it only helps us grow and broaden our minds further. However, this doesn’t mean that classic books should always be prioritized over modern works.

First of all, most of today’s ideologies differ from those of the 1700s or 1800s (for obvious reasons). So, if we are all educated based on those perspectives, even though we learn a great deal from them, we won’t be able to properly direct ourselves in modern interactions and therefore view things as they are now. Consequently, society as whole probably wouldn’t move on from those archaic conceptions, hindering any chance of cultural development that might empower minorities and promote diversity.

There are many books that have been written in the past few decades–and will continue to be written–that discuss important topics and display our generation’s characteristics and way of thinking. But that doesn’t mean that they will coincide with what will come next. Despite this, I don’t think this should diminish the value those books have. Instead, they helps us understand how people thought at the time and how that led us to where we are now.

I would love to know what you all think! Do you prefer classic or contemporary literature? Do you think it’s important to read classics? Are there any contemporary books that remind you or resemble any classics?