2013 - Classics, VOLUME 6

Jen Pollock Michel – Writers on the Classics #11

Page 2: Jen Pollock Michel on the Classics



[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0156332256″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413FHkLq2CL.jpg” width=”212″] [easyazon-link asin=”0156332256″ locale=”us”]Four Quartets: Poems[/easyazon-link] by T.S. Eliot

“Words strain,

Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,

Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,

Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,

Will not stay still.”

This is a glimpse at why you read Eliot’s poetry. You’ll be hunting down these phrases a decade after you’ve read them.

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0143035002″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Mezm1touL.jpg” width=”223″] [easyazon-link asin=”0143035002″ locale=”us”]Anna Karenina[/easyazon-link] By Leo Tolstoy
[easyazon-link asin=”B008476UXW” locale=”us”]FREE Kindle ebook[/easyazon-link]

I read this book when I worked as a receptionist in college. Hours stretched on endlessly, and I had more patience then for the tedium of keeping Russian characters straight. I devoured this book, and I have never forgotten it. It reminds me of the power of story: we can learn abstractly that sin is bad and that it will ultimately destroy, but to follow a narrative unraveling caused by sin is to absorb a warning far more profound and lasting.

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0486440281″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515IH1Sx4mL.jpg” width=”210″] [easyazon-link asin=”0486440281″ locale=”us”]Uncle Tom’s Cabin[/easyazon-link]

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

[easyazon-link asin=”B0084B1OUM” locale=”us”]FREE Kindle ebook[/easyazon-link]

And who’s to say that novels don’t change history? There are many characters to love and hate in this book, but Tom, as the Christ figure, is the one you’ll not forget. Even when he faces death, “the blows fell only on the outer man. Tom stood perfectly submissive . . . Legree could not hide from himself that his power over his bond thrall was somehow gone.”

“Mas’r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I’d give ye my heart’s blood.”

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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