What is your favourite classics book? Why?
This is the very first meme question for The Classics Club members…and really, for all its seeming simplicity, such a tough one at that! Does anyone have just one favourite classic? I know I don’t. Allow me to name just a very few favourites (along with links to reviews I’ve made on them).
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Behind a Mask, or, A Woman’s Power by Louisa May Alcott
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
…and this is barely the tip of the iceberg!
But, having written my thoughts on the above mentioned I’ve decided to pick a classic I’ve never spoken about on this blog at all. I’m going to go with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (and The Fountainhead).
Do I hear groaning?
I will have to admit at the very outset, that Ayn Rand’s philosophy really sticks in my throat. I cannot agree with her. However, I do understand where she is coming from. I jump ahead of myself, though. For the unaware, Atlas Shrugged (and in a smaller scale, The Fountainhead) is a story about true genius going unappreciated. The genius works for his art or skill, while the mediocre people cash in on the benefits that come from being a genius. Therefore credit goes where it most certainly is not due. Rand objects and creates a world by an invisible (made visible towards the end) John Galt who is responsible for the sudden disappearances of the great minds of the world, no matter which field they belong to — art, business, science and so on. The world is grinding to a halt without these minds and desperate mediocrity seeks to make a deal with the greats.
Allow me to say at this point, that I really can’t go into details because it’s been so many many years since I’ve read Rand. But the thoughts and ideas have stuck to me. Rand believes that selfishness is a virtue and money is a worthy motive. Her heroes and heroines are larger than life. And really, there is something so powerful in her manner of style and the projection of her philosophies. The bulk of her philosophies come out in the famous speech of John Galt that I’ve heard many say they’ve skipped because it is 60 pages long! However, reading the speech makes you aware of the artist behind this creation.
It’s been awhile though. I should see if I can’t read it again some time.
So, what are your favourite classics?