11.12.2007

The Classics Revisited

I actually have one more Little, Brown editor to cover, but I threw my back out a couple days ago and sitting up to type at the computer has been particularly uncomfortable. So stay tuned for a further update there.

Have any of you gone back and read those classics you loved years ago…but have never revisited? I was feeling uninspired by the unread books on my personal bookshelves…so I reached for Little Women. I haven’t read it since I was 12 years old or so. Luckily, I had a lengthy subway ride into Manhattan today and was able to get into it….


…And I’m not so sure I like it as much anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong – reading about the March sisters is just as delightful as can be. They’re some of the best written characters ever. But all of the sisters’ we’ll-try-to-be-less-wicked moralizing is a bit annoying.

This concerns me because I vividly remember falling in love with this book as a kid. So why would it annoy me so much as a grown-up? Perhaps it was just my mood?

But now I’m looking at my shelves – seriously, they’re just to my right – and considering the rest of those classics I loved and have been hanging on to: Catcher in the Rye, The Fountainhead, Fahrenheit 451, Wuthering Heights. These are books that had tremendous influence on me as a teenager – and I haven’t read them since (I don’t usually read books more than once). I definitely think I’ll resist cracking them open again anytime in the near future. Little Women has lost its luster a bit for me now – I’d hate for that to happen with the others.

3 comments:

Barrie said...

Catcher in the Rye stood the test of time for me. I re-read it this summer. Nancy Drew (yellow covers) not so much. I'm definitely not dipping into the Bobbsey Twins or Cherry Ames!!! Some childhood memories must not be tampered with. :)

alvina said...

This happened with me and A WRINKLE IN TIME--I was so disappointed. But LITTLE WOMEN stood the test of time for me, as did L.M. Montgomery's books. I haven't revisited any of my other favorites in a while...

Laura (Pinot and Prose) said...

Yeah, by the time I finished "Little Women" I got sucked back in. I cried all over again when Beth died. And I agree with you, Alvina, L.M. Montgomery is completely timeless. Good choice, Barrie, because I think you'd be really upset about the Bobsey Twins. I definitely foresee myself revisiting "Catcher" in the near future...