A New Project: the Classics

After not blogging for over two years (and having that aforementioned blog officially shut down for about a year), I’ve decided that I miss it, and I want to write about books and literature and reading once again. And I’m determined not to suffer as a consequence! I did have this thing where every time I recommitted myself to blogging, I felt burdened to write/post for a certain sort of readership, to go in the direction of things that people seemed to like to see; to perhaps even read for the sake of updating the blog. Which is ridiculous, really, seeing as I began this blog with the intent of enriching my reading experience.

Well, none of that now. I’ve got a huge new project underway, and that’s what I’m really excited about at the moment. I couldn’t care less about polishing my thoughts and making this about ‘perfection’ – I suppose I do, but it’s no longer a pressing concern. Literature is my main concern, as it should be.

I wasn’t planning on taking on any new projects or readalongs at this stage, but then I stumbled upon Jillian’s proposal over at The Classics Club – to read (a minimum of) 50 classics over a set period of time, e.g. five years. But then that could be stretched to exciting new boundaries and possibilities – two hundred, no wait, three hundred classics over ten years! And so it begins.

At the moment, I’m reading Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger, published by Modern Classics. I’m not sure what sort of direction I’ll go in next. Whether I’ll aim to read thirty titles exactly every year, or simply see how I go over the next five years, then re-adjust from there. I’ve never done this sort of long-term project before (I’ve only lived a total of twenty-one years anyhow, so it’s not really been possible to do ten or fifteen year projects – not sure how many primary school children would commit to that sort of thing)… Perhaps I’ll create smaller themed projects to do these in. I’m pretty sure I have an 18th-19th century women writer’s list somewhere there already, and it wouldn’t be bad to do a Russian literature list either.

I’m also trying to rely less on translations as my foreign language skills improve. I hope that my Russian will be good enough in a few years’ time for me to be able to attempt Anna Karenina in the original Russian. And as shocking as my Chinese is, I’ve still improved a lot during the year that I was in Beijing, and my literacy skills are certainly better than my speaking, so I should be okay. Korean, my  supposed ‘mother tongue’, is a bit of a worry. My spoken Korean is fluent, but I was never formally taught how to read and write it, so I’m a little rusty. Japanese, I’ve only picked up a few months ago, so I’m not thinking of reading any classics in that language just yet. I may attempt to read some Murakami in later years, but that’ll be about it for now.

Of course, it would be great to learn enough French and Spanish to be able to read Victor Hugo or Gabriel Garcia Marquez in their respective original languages, but I just haven’t got the time! Probably next after Russian and Japanese will be Spanish, since I did learn some in school….

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One thought on “A New Project: the Classics

  1. Congrats to you! On your new focus on books rather than perfection. I’m feeling a similar stir. :)

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