* * Please put all spoilers under a cut * *

Read, comment, and enjoy!

Nov. 3rd, 2009

  • 1:17 PM
Pseudonymous (the community maintainer) has left Dreamwidth - are there many people wanting to continue with this?

How many of the books on the list have you read and what did you think?

Villette by Charlotte Bronte

  • Jul. 2nd, 2009 at 5:43 PM
Villette (pronounced /viːˈjɛt/) is a novel by Charlotte Brontë, published in 1853. After an unspecified family disaster, protagonist Lucy Snowe travels to the fictional city of Villette to teach at an all-girls school where she is unwillingly pulled into both adventure and romance. The novel is celebrated not so much for its plot as its acute tracing of Lucy’s psychology, particularly Brontë’s use of Gothic doubling to represent externally what her protagonist is suffering internally. (from Wikipedia)

Available @ Project Gutenberg and LibriVox

Reading Schedule

July 11 - 11
July 812 - 21
July 1522 - 30
July 2231 - 39
July 2940 - End

All Men Kill the Thing They Love

  • Jun. 9th, 2009 at 8:44 PM
The Ballad of Reading Gaol is a poem by Oscar Wilde written after his release from Reading prison on 19 May 1897. Its main theme is the death penalty. Wilde was incarcerated in HMP Reading, in Reading, Berkshire, after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and sentenced to two years' hard labour in prison. During his imprisonment a hanging took place.

Trooper Charles Thomas Wooldridge was someone whom Wilde had seen many times during his imprisonment. He had been found guilty of slitting his wife’s throat with a razor. It inspired in Wilde’s mind an illustration of the way we are all malefactors, all in need of forgiveness. According to Wilde the greater the crime, the more necessary charity. His final vision of the world is not frivolity, but one of suffering.

Although Wilde never hid his authorship of the poem, it was published under the name C.3.3., which stood for "Building C, floor 3, cell 3, at Reading." This ensured that Wilde's name—by then notorious—did not appear on the poem's front cover.

Wilde knew the town of Reading from less troubled times in his life when boating on the Thames, and also from visits to the Palmer family, including a tour of the famous Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory quite close to the prison. (From Wikipedia)

The Ballad of Reading Gaol )Read more... )
Fanart and Excerpts from:
My Memories of Oscar Wilde
by George Bernard Shaw
These recollections are taken from a letter to Frank Harris after Shaw's reading of Mr. Harris' biography,Oscar Wilde.
Read more... )

Dorian Gray Discussion - Wit and Realism

  • Jun. 3rd, 2009 at 6:16 AM
I've gotten a couple of chapters in to Dorian Gray and I am wondering what everyone thinks about Wilde's renowned wit. 

As an aside, I have been on a realism kick in books lately.  I have actively been searching out novels where the characters (especially women) are portrayed as normal people instead of brilliant, beautiful, special snowflakes whom every male character wants to have sex with.  The alternative seems to be where women are unattractive as a  plot point.  Still not reality and rather annoying.

Back to Dorian Gray.  Oscar Wilde is famous for being clever and witty, whereas us normal people are not that damn insightful or amusing. In reading the first few chapters, every character had a smart comeback or observation for everything.  The part of me that has been searching for realism rolled my eyes and thought how clever, Oscar. Aren't you something?  

Can a writer be too witty for his or her own good? 

How important is realism to you enjoying a novel?

What other thoughts do you have on The Picture of Dorian Gray?


The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

  • May. 31st, 2009 at 8:22 PM
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde
190 pages (Borders Classics Edition)
Gothic Horror Fiction
Project Gutenberg

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest. As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of "gross indecency" with other men. After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry. He never returned to Ireland or Britain. (from Wikipedia)

Reading Schedule
Week 1  - - June 1Chapters 1 - 4
Week 2 - - June 8Chapters 5 - 9
Week 3 - - June 15Chapters 10 - 14
Week 4 - - June 22Chapters 15 - 19

2009 Reading List - Revised

  • May. 31st, 2009 at 6:04 PM
Thank you to everyone for your input in finalizing the 2009 Reading List.

MonthTitleAuthorSuggested by
MayThe Sorrows of Young WertherGoethe[personal profile] pseudonymous
JuneThe Picture of Dorian GrayOscar Wilde[personal profile] anehan
JulyVilletteCharlotte Bronte[personal profile] leighton
AugustThe Moon and SixpenceW. Somerset Maugham[personal profile] pseudonymous
SeptemberThings Fall ApartChinua Achebe[personal profile] fifi
OctoberRebeccaDaphne du Maurier[personal profile] fifi
NovemberDon QuixoteMiguel de Cervantes[personal profile] pseudonymous
DecemberDon QuixoteMiguel de Cervantes[personal profile] pseudonymous

Upcoming Reading List!!

  • May. 26th, 2009 at 8:18 PM
Hello fellow Classic Readers. I hope everyone is doing well. Below is the list of books for the rest of the year so you can plan ahead for your reading. I am still looking for suggestions for September. I am hoping for books not written by old white men. Not that old white men aren't wonderful (my dad is a peach) but we want to read a variety of writers. Leave any and all suggestions in the comments.  Don Quixote will be spread out over November and December because it is so long (thanks for pointing that out to me [personal profile] seanlily)

And just in case people are unaware. Anyone is allowed to post anything even tangentially related to the classic novel we are reading.

MonthTitleAuthorSuggested by
JuneThe Picture of Dorian GrayOscar Wilde[personal profile] anehan 
JulyVilletteCharlotte Bronte[personal profile] leighton 
AugustThe Moon and SixpenceW. Somerset Maugham[personal profile] pseudonymous 
OctoberStory of the EyeGeorges Bataille[personal profile] fifi 
NovemberDon Quixote Miguel de Cervantes [personal profile] pseudonymous 
DecemberDon Quixote Miguel de Cervantes [personal profile] pseudonymous 

October 20 - December 6

  • May. 18th, 2009 at 9:02 PM

Post your own discussion questions in the comments because I didn't come up with any

:  )

Getting to Know One Another

  • May. 17th, 2009 at 12:31 PM
Since things have been quiet around here, lets get to know one another :  )
  1. Where do you live?
  2. How old are you?
  3. What is your occupation?
  4. What is your favorite color and why?
  5. Do you have pets?
  6. What is your favorite classic book?
  7. What is your favorite modern book?
  8. Who is your favorite writer?
  9. Where are you right now?
  10. What are your hobbies?
  11. What are your favorites? Food, tv, movies, people, anything
  12. Would you like to be friended, added to the circle, granted access, whatever Dreamwidth is calling it?


Book Suggestion Post

  • May. 12th, 2009 at 5:28 PM
What would you like to read next?

Bonus points if it is available for free online.

Decisions and the Discussion Schedule

  • May. 4th, 2009 at 10:00 PM
Thank you everyone for your really great suggestions about getting the conversation going.  I thought about everything and now have a pretty solid plan for getting things running smoothly and productively.
  1. First of the month I will post the introductory entry on the book of the month and the discussion schedule (which chapters will be discussed which week)
  2. Every Sunday I will post the chapter discussions
  3. All the other members of the community can post thematic discussion questions whenever and on whatever they want. I will probably be posting these too.
Discussion Schedule - The Sorrows of Young Werther
May 4May 4 - June 19
May 10June 21 -  September 10
May 17October 20 - December 6
May 24The Editor to the Reader


Seeking Member Input

  • May. 3rd, 2009 at 4:02 PM
Reading the Classics currently has 22 members and 30 subscribers. Hello everyone! I am really happy you joined. 

Confession time. I have never moderated an online community and I am not certain the best way to encourage thoughtful discussion of the books.

Should I create a discussion post every few days on specific chapters?

Should I create topical posts on themes of the book, opinions on characters, comments on the author, meaningful quotes, how the book relates to you, if you liked this book then you would also like this book?

All of that?

Would it be too much?

I would love to read any and all suggestions and to see examples of other online book clubs you think run well. 



Getting Going on Goethe

  • May. 2nd, 2009 at 4:38 PM
Has anybody else gotten started yet?  What are your initial impressions of the book?  Feel free to judge the book by its cover. I began yesterday and I have read about 15 pages.  This novel is in epistolary form, an absolute favorite of mine.  It makes the novel so personal, as if Werther is writing to you.  I already found a great little quote in the introduction:

"...let this little book be your friend, if through fate or your own fault you can find no closer one."

Classic of the Month

* July *

Charlotte Bronte

* August *

The Moon and Sixpence
W. Somerset Maugham

* September *

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

* October *

Daphne du Maurier

* November *

Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes

* December *

Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes

Latest Month

November 2009


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