Meme, The Classics Club

The Classics Club – August 2013 Meme

Classics ClubFor August the hosts of The Classics Club have another member question: “Do you read forwards/notes that precede many Classics? Does it help you or hurt you in your enjoyment/understanding of the work?”

As I’m sure you’re aware, if you’ve already answered this question, I do read the forwards and notes for Classics. In the past I did not read them, mostly because they only provided an unwanted delay before I could get to the story, but as part of The Classics Club I decided to make an effort to read the texts in a bit more educational way rather than just for the great stories that they are.

And as I read them I’m glad to further find that they only add to my enjoyments of the novel. The introductions, both by the author and by other academics, provide vital clues of things to look for when I would just blaze through the story and more than likely miss great aspects. I do, however, have a caveat. If it is a story that I am really interested int he story-line and am not familiar with it I am very hesitant about reading the notes and if there is a point at which I feel a major plot point revelation is coming I will stop reading the notes and return to them later, but in general I’ve enjoyed reading the notes and finding out more about the authors, the critical reception of the books, the characters and the many other things covered in introductory notes.

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5 thoughts on “The Classics Club – August 2013 Meme”

  1. Wow you take your classics seriously. I used to have a history professor who would quiz us on footnotes. I hated that man and I think he ruined footnotes for me for the rest of my life. When I read one, I picture my angry professor shouting, didn’t you read the footnote on page 1098!

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    1. Oh that would definitely make me hate footnotes too. I wouldn’t say I take them seriously. I think because of the Classics Club I decided I should put some extra effort in and not just read re story. Plus a lot of then provide fascinating notes on the authors.

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  2. I agree with you completely about them highlighting things you might miss otherwise! I wish you could avoid spoilers and still read them, but to me it’s worth it. Especially for classics, where I often know a lot about the plot in advance anyway.

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    1. Oh that would be good if they had spoiler free sections, but you’re spot on with the number of classics that the story has been told and retold so many rimes that most of them we have at least some inkling of the story line and major plot points.

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