How do you read today’s books without a passing familiarity with the classics?

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All the best contemporary writers allude to these timeless tomes constantly. And I’m continually finding more depth in the classics to draw from. They’re classics not because they’re old, but because they’re timeless human stories.

Not all are going to engage you personally, of course. But to just dismiss a vast and diverse range of writers from different times and cultures simply because they’re labeled “classics” does disservice to oneself as a reader. There’s too much under the label of “classics” to simply dismiss them all. Say, “I don’t care for the modernists” or “Victorian humor is too dry for me” or “the Greek Epics are more tragic than I can bear.” But do not say, “I don’t like the classics” because then you are throwing away most of literary history, centuries and millennia of words.

Fiction and founder of the Hello, Author newsletter. Words at 📗

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