About Classics

Often associated with the Western canon of literature, Classics is a novel or work of fiction that is widely considered exemplary or noteworthy, either through multiple awards, being listed as such throughout time, or even just personal opinion. Though many of the books considered to be quote-unquote Classics are from Western authors, every culture has their own “canon” of Classic Books.

Thoughts surrounding what makes a book a Classic differ from individualistic interpretation, like Italo Calvino argues, or societal importance, as Fannie Clark suggests. Regardless, these books stand true through the test of time as relevant, whether to individual readers or particular social or cultural consideration. Though any genre can classify as a Classic, it is typically Literary Fiction or General Fiction that is held as the Canon Classic. While we often think of Classics as Old, they do not need to have any particular publishing date away from modernity — rather it is how the work holds up and exemplifies the genre and style that is the deciding factor.

A few such examples include: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, The Odyssey by Homer, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.