Literary Blog Hop — Status
Today’s question asks:
Do you find yourself predisposed to like (or dislike) books that are generally accepted as great books and have been incorporated into the literary canon? Discuss the affect you believe a book’s “status” has on your opinion of it.
This question is funny for me because at most times I like to be the rebel and go into things that popular consensus say are great with a cynical attitude, but it’s not that way with books. Perhaps I feel humbled by the great authors in the literary canon, but I can’t go into a book considered a “classic” with that rebellious/cynical attitude. I find myself quite willing to accept the great literary works as just that — great. A book isn’t just part of the literary canon by random chance there is usually a large number of reasons behind it being considered a great work. Knowing this is another reason that I am very optimistic when I begin reading a “classic” literary work.
The thing is I haven’t come across too many classics that I’ve disliked. This may be because I’ve gone in and begun reading those books as a voluntary project and haven’t been required to read any of them so what I do read I pick. Most books I pick out I go into with an expectation of liking them.
All of the above being said, there is another feeling that I have when approaching a work from the literary canon and that is a feeling of trepidation. There are many pieces of great literature that I delve into with an initial feeling of intimidation. This is because I know these works are considered great and I am fearful that I may not understand them or will not fully comprehend their greatness. Usually that fear dissipates the moment I crack open the book and begin reading, but it is a sensation that comes with knowing that the author and work are considered above par.
Basically I tend to approach books in the literary cannon with two predispositions: first that I will like it and second that I am afraid of it.