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The Classics

I’ve always wanted to be a sophisticated chap. Reading the classics – Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Shakespeare, Tolstoy. Listening to all the classic music – Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky. I’d love to be able to intersperse my witty and sophisticated conversion with quotes from Sartre and, well, all those other dudes people quote.

The thing is, I can’t be bothered. I’ve tried. I’ve really tried.

I like the occasional classical music, but by and large it makes me feel like I’m in a lift, desperate to get out at any floor and take the stairs instead. Or in one of those posh restaurants where such music is constantly piped in.

Nearly no food

A beautifully-presented plate of almost no food.

(Not that I regularly/ever visit such restaurants – they’re largely incompatible with my bank balance. My credit card prefers the likes of pub grub, McDonald’s and Pizza Express. Plus I don’t fancy paying a week’s wages for beautifully-presented almost nothing food.)

I had a go at some classical literature – Emily Bronte’s only published novel Wuthering Heights. I made it about half way through before I got bored. It’s a good story, but it was hard going, I tell you. And very little in the way of zombies, decapitations, magic or mystical creatures. I’ll stick to Kate Bush’s version from now on.

As for quotes, I have a vast array at my disposal. Unfortunately 99% come from Red Dwarf and Black Adder. It’s amazing how often I get to use them in real life situations!

My lack of knowledge (and interest in) the classics bothered me for ages. However, I’ve recently decided that I don’t care! Life’s too short. I’ll spend the rest of mine reading, watching and listening to the stuff I enjoy, rather than the stuff I think I ought to enjoy. And let’s face it, in a couple of hundred years, the stuff I like now will probably be “classics”!

So bring on Marina and the Diamonds, the Kim Harrison “Hollows” books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That’s what I like and I’m not going to feel bad about it any more.

  1. Gilraen
    September 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

    The thing is, you tried to investigate the classics, you found you did not like them. I think that is all that can be asked. It one thing my art buying class taught me. It is fine not liking stuff after you have had a good look at it.
    As for Wuthering Heigths; Kate Bush captivated the essence of the novel so well in her music and the lyrics. It is the best summary of a book ever produced, No need to read it after that 🙂


    • September 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      Thanks, I feel a bit better about it now! As you say, at least I tried.


  2. September 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    All you need to know about Sartre is that he said, “Hell is other people.”

    Wuthering Heights is mostly rubbish. There is one great line in it though: “I prithee, sir, frame off.”

    I’m sensing a pattern here in the lines I choose to remember…


    • September 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Maybe Wuthering Heights wasn’t the best book to try my hand at, then.

      I’ll have to remember the Sartre quote so I can drop it in casually when in “polite company” and sound really refined and knowledgeable. Currently my vast array of quotes come from two sources – Red Dwarf and Blackadder. I can see myself now:

      “You’re quite right, Sir James – and wasn’t it Satre who said ‘Hell is other people’?”

      “What ho, old bean, so he did, jolly good show, another brandy?”

      Never gonna happen, is it.


      • September 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

        Give me an R… Give me an E… Give me a D…. Give me a Red Dwarf…Garbage Pod!

        You’re in good company, sir. A lot of my most accessible quotes come from The Simpsons.


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