What is a Classic?
In my bookcase, with its own separate shelf, are the books I had to read in college.
I have Shelley, Bronte, Wilde, Melville, Steinbeck, O’Neil, Chekov, Dickens, Rousseau, Kafka, Chaucer, Plato, Homer and lots of Shakespeare.
A collection of classics I kept for my children. I figured I would keep them so that I wouldn’t have to buy them again because a classic never goes out of style. Like a little black dress, you will always need it.
20+ years later, I look back at my dusty collection and I can honestly say that I hated 50% of the books I had to read in order to get a degree. Out of my classics collection there is only one author I would willingly chose to read in my leisure, Shakespeare. The stories and plots he wrote about centuries ago are still relevant today, and he is still as funny as hell.
Lower on my bookcase are my personal collection of classics. Authors, whom I would buy anything they wrote or books that have touched me so deeply that I re-read them when I need a good cry, a good laugh, inspiration, a diversion, or an escape from reality. These are the books that made me want to write as good as I possibly could, not to be better than but to rise to the level of intensity emotional bonding I had with their works.
I want my reader to feel the way I did when I read my first Stephen King novel ‘Cujo’ (it scared the shit out of me) or Beatrice Small’snovel ‘Skye O’Malley’ in the ’80 or my very first harlequin in the ‘70’s. I can’t remember the name but I still remember the story. It was about a desert prince and his captive. No foreplay or sex, only one kiss at the end but it will always linger in my memory.
Do each of us have it in us to write a classic? Probably not. Not according to industry standard, whatever those obscure standards are.
I just want to reach one person, who will kept my book on their shelf for the next 20+ years, re-reading passage and chapters because they were that good, that moving, to her or him. For that person to put my book in their personal collection of CLASSICS. That would make me very happy.
And I would like that to happen while I’m still alive .