(Editor’s Note: We’ve had a lull in this series over the summer, but am glad to revive it now!)
In 2013, we are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.
Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books in 2013.
We’ve asked a number of noted writers to pick the classics that they often return to, and we will be running these lists as a weekly feature on our website through 2013.
This week’s post in the series is by Brad Fruhauff.
Writers on the Classics:
[#1 – Shane Claiborne ] [#12 (Previous Post) – Tania Runyan ]
Brad Fruhauff is editor-in-chief of Relief: A Christian Literary Expression and teaches English at Trinity International University. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in Rock & Sling, Relief, ERB, catapult, Burnside Writers Collective, and The Ankeny Briefcase.
I tell my students that all writing has parameters and that they can use those parameters to learn discipline in their writing, so I tried hard, here, to abide by Chris Smith’s preference for titles in the public domain. There was also no attempt to define a “classic” other than as an older book to which I return often, so I felt free to interpret that broadly, though in the end the list may look pretty conventional. This, I think, is in the spirit of the question, which is about the persistence of books over time. But these really are books that I think of fondly or that marked significant moments in my personal, spiritual, and intellectual development. They are “classic” to me because I seem to be always talking about what is between their covers.