I’ve taken many English courses in my life, and I have had to read some of the most classic pieces of literature known in society. This question crossed my mind today as I was sitting in the bookstore and just happened to glance at the section entitled “Literary Classics.” What exactly constitutes a work of literature as a classic? Stories like To Kill A Mockingbird, The Scarlett Letter, Walden, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, The Great Gatsby, and the list could go on and on. What makes these novels so beloved by so many people and places them in the category of literary classics. Is it because they’re so well-known. I did some digging because I was looking for these very answers and I came across this website:
(This website goes into depth about what constitutes a classic. First, a classic has to be timely but it also has to be timeless. A classic novel has to reflect the times that it was written in. There’s more characteristic gems like this in the article.) I love classic literature. Some people may read classics to make themselves seem smarter or well-rounded. I don’t know. I just think classics give a sense of prestige and makes one feel well-educated and knowledgeable. Below I have posted a link of over 100 classic works of literature. It would be a fun challenge to see how many of these you can read! I might even challenge myself.
“The death of an artist is to get a degree and start teaching.”~Cedric Baker
*When I did my interview with Cedric Baker one of the questions I asked him was what has his journey been like as an artist. I was building off of his art exhibit theme, which is entitled “A Painter’s Journey.” I wanted to know more about what his journey was like getting to the point he is at now. Like all artist, he said he struggled to make money. As many people know the arts is something that one can be passionate about and that’s all we as artists want to do. All we want to do is create what we love, but then we get stuck in the dilemma of whether to pursue our dreams or go with a practical job to make enough money to provide for ourselves. That’s the age old struggle Cedric Baker dealt with as well when he was trying to make it as an artist. He talked about having to work a full time job because he had bills and he said as an artist that’s hard because you can’t be 100% focused on your art when you’re working a 9 to 5 job. Then he also made that above statement about a degree and teaching being the death of an artist. Although, I think he was putting more emphasis on the teaching part because he is also an academic artist. He went to school for art and his discipline was in painting. I agree with him on the teaching part to a degree. I think it would be difficult to teach and also completely be committed to what you really want to do. There have been many folks who have tried to push me into teaching just because I have an English degree and that’s not something that I’m passionate about. I tried to get passionate about it, but my heart has always been with writing. That’s all I want to do. Like I said in one of my previous posts, when I conducted my interview with Baker I walked out of that interview feeling so accomplished. I felt like it was another sign telling me that THIS is what I need and want to be doing. The interview went that well! On the other hand, don’t get me wrong. Teaching is an admirable profession. It’s a way to pass on your love of a particular subject to another generation and see what they do with it. I just don’t think teaching is for me. There have been many people who have said I would be a great teacher, but if I’m not completely 100% passionate about it I don’t think it’s a field that I should go into. I’ve realized that I should stop listening to other people and do what I know is right for me no matter how long it takes me to land that job I really want. Cedric definitely gave me some encouragement that day. It doesn’t matter if you’re not getting paid for it as long as you’re doing what you love.