News Ticker

Tiny Classics and Literary Snobbery

Paul at Velcro City Tourist Board posts about “Compact classics” and literary elitism where he discusses the publication of abridged classics and Literary Snobbery:

The issue I have is with the assumption that people need to have read the ‘classics’ to have any valid claim to being a reader. It’s this attitude, I think, that drives so many people away from reading as a hobby – because, like enthusiasts of any pursuit, readers can be very snobbish about reading, and that “what do you mean, you’ve never read {x}?” attitude has one effect and one effect only – it makes the accused feel inadequate.

And for those for whom abridged versions are still too long, there are the Book-a-Minute Classics and Book-a-Minute SF/F websites.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

5 Comments on Tiny Classics and Literary Snobbery

  1. That’s a good article. I was just ranting about Intellectuals in my blog post, which I won’t post a link to here, because that would be rather shameless.

    Damn intellectuals. I’m just happy when people READ! Makes me happier if it’s the classics, but read damn Nora Roberts for all I care. At least you’re READING.

  2. I have no shame. Here’s the link.

  3. Who gets to determine what “classics” are? This is my problem with movies as well. Critics seem to like choices that the rest of the world does not. Does that make things a classic? So something is good if no one likes it? I thought the purpose of art like books and movies is to entertain while also making you think. Do the classics achieve that if no one reads them?

    For me, I’ll read what I like and when I like and pay no attention to folks who insist I have to read the classics. I’m always open to new suggestions about reading material but I dislike the notion of “having” to read something just to have credibility as a reader.


  4. FYI: John C. Wright has a reply to the references VCTB post.

    And VCTB has a response to that.

  5. “Who gets to determine what “classics” are?”

    Mortimer Adler. The front office sent a memo around: he’s the one who gets to determine. I had been hoping it would be someone else, but, what can you do?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: