Thursday, September 10, 2009

Classics, Past and Future

I have been devouring junk food for a while, and that's fine. I can gorge on chocolate as easily as Brussels sprouts, so consuming Stephenie Meyer's novels was very easy.

I do not mean to disparage Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, all of which I devoured this past weekend. I loved every moment of these books. These novels are second to none in heart-beating romance. I shan't wax on about them now, but suffice it to say that I enjoyed them.

Then I stumbled across a quote from Madame Bovary and skipped over to Wikipedia for a reliable link to the novel. My, oh my, I do believe it could give Twilight a run for its money.

Gustave Flaubert's novel was known as scandalous in its time. When the story originally was published in 1856 (serialized in a magazine), it was put on trial for obscenity. Of course, that guaranteed its bestseller status the following year when it was published as a novel.

In 2007, contemporary authors cited Madame Bovary as one of the two greatest novels ever written.

The greatest novel, according to contemporary authors? Anna Karenina.

I don't know if I can agree because I'm ashamed to admit I have not read Tolstoy's masterpiece, and I am sure Madame Bovary was one of the novels I gave myself permission to skip as an undergraduate.

So, to cleanse my palate before reaching for Breaking Dawn, I will read one of these novels.

Or Janet Evanovich. I haven't decided which.

Hey, if 1800s popular culture can be considered among the best novels of all time, who's to say Stephanie Plum isn't destined to be a romantic heroine in the future?

By the way, Bella Swan's reading of Wuthering Heights in Eclipse apparently has stimulated teen interest in the classic. I am glad to see that good stories never lose their luster.

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