I read quite a lot and exactly how many books over the years I’ve read I wouldn’t even hazard to guess at.
In addition I also read a lot of other people’s blogs and write a bit myself which is the reason that I have started to wonder just what exactly is it that makes a Classic Masterpiece Author?
OK Thomas Hardy is a fantastic writer and absolutely brilliant at descriptive writing which anyone who has read his description of the countryside around Dorset in the ‘classic’ Tess of the d’Urbervilles will tell you.
It also happens to be one of my favourite books – though I admit would have let Tess off
Charles Dickens Oliver Twist is a classic story of London at the time – it’s also stereotypes people into neat cultural boxes acceptable to the times society.
Across the world nations have books that are defined as examples of classic literature from Mark Twain and Henry James to Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Elizabeth Gaskell and too many to be listed.
My point is no author sat down with the intention of writing a Classic Novel.
How could they?
No one who writes can have any idea of how their work is going to be received at the time of its publication never mind how it will be viewed in decades and centuries in the future.
And anyway why are their books considered classics?
If it is simply by the number of copies sold or read or even how well known they are then JK Rowling has certainly written not only a classic but a series of classic books with her Harry Potter stories.
Who is it that defines and decides a book is a classic?
Certainly some of the critical reviews by professional critics that I have read leave something to be desired occasionally sounding as if they are coming from pompous overbearing self-important dotards.
OK I might have overdone it with the dotard reference.
And yes there are some brilliant book reviewers out there.
My point is it isn’t the writers or critics who decide the work is a literary classic but those who read them, those who are absorbed by the story, the characters and sucked into the world of the writers imagination.
What the literary classics of the future being written today are is anybodies guess.
All I know is that they will exist and all because there can be no better feeling than to get lost in reading a good story that grabs imagination and draws you into the world of the author.
So to those who have ambitions to write – keep going – who knows you may well be writing a literary masterpiece.