The Spring 2011 LT Classics Challenge: The Search for Contemporary Classics

February 4, 2011 at 12:00 am 10 comments

After a long hiatus and some re-tooling, the Literary Transgressions Classics Challenge is back! So welcome all!

For those of you unfamiliar with the LT Classics Challenge, here’s how it works: We read one classic piece of literature every two weeks and join together to discuss the book at the end of the two weeks (Fridays will be Classics Challenge Day for this cycle). Discussion questions to get the mental wheels turning will be posted on Friday of the first week we spend with each book, but discussion is pretty open and all are welcome to bring up just about anything related to the book.

But how is this cycle different, you ask? What is this “re-tooling” you mentioned up top, Corey? Well I’ll tell you! As loyal LT readers may recall, this past summer I was pondering what constitutes a “contemporary classic” and wondering if there are any books published recently that will one day be deemed “classics.” I’m still not sure, but I thought the Classics Challenge would be a great way to go on a literary quest in hopes of discovering some contemporary classics and expand my own reading horizons. Therefore, this cycle of the Classics Challenge alternates between classic-classics and contenders for the title of contemporary classic (marked with an *). We’ll still have discussion about both as usual, but some of the selections are more modern than we’re used to in the Classics Challenge!

So let’s have a look at the book list for the Spring 2011 Classics Challenge:

Weeks of February 11 & 18 – A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Weeks of February 25 & March 4 – The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro *

Weeks of March 11 & 18 – Chéri by Colette

Weeks of March 25 & April 1 – Possession by A.S. Byatt *

Weeks of April 8 & 15 – A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Weeks of April 22 & 29 – My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk *

Weeks of May 6 & 13 – Le Père Goriot by Honore de Balzac

Weeks of May 20 & 27 – Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez *

As always, all Classics Challengers are encouraged to participate here on LT or over at their own blog (and remember to use the LT Classics Challenge Badge shown below if you plan on doing so!). All participants will be entered in a drawing to win a loverly Penguin Clothbound Classic (shown above), so it definitely benefits you to jot down some of your thoughts! The winner will be announced at the end of this cycle of the Challenge in June.

So happy reading, Challengers! I can’t wait to discuss these books with you and I hope that the selections are appealing for everyone. See you back here next week for some E.M. Forester!



Entry filed under: LT Classics Challenge, News. Tags: , , , , , , .

Teaser Tuesday “Sepulchre” by Kate Mosse

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Em  |  February 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I would love to participate, there are a few tempting titles in this list (not Balzac though), but I’m afraid I have already committed to enough challenges for now.
    Maybe next year?

    • 2. Corey  |  February 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      No worries; ours is a pretty loosey-goosey challenge, so there’s no need to “commit”! Just feel free to stop by and join us for any, all, or none of the books as you like. And you’re always welcome to join discussion even if you haven’t read the book along with us. :)

  • 3. Em  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:45 am

    I’ll keep an eye out and I might actually join for Woolf…

  • 4. Eva  |  March 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I’m glad to see this started up again while I was absent from the bloggy world! Although I am sad I missed the Remains of the Day discussion. I’ll see if I can get Cheri from my library before Friday: it’s always a good time for Colette. :D

    • 5. Corey  |  March 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

      Welcome back! :D

      You’re more than welcome to participate in any discussion whenever throughout the course of the Challenge. Obviously, it’s nicest if we’re all reading the same book together at the same time, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Remains of the Day (or any of the other ones, really).

      And I hope you can find Cheri in time for Friday!

      • 6. Eva  |  March 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

        I checked; the only copy my library has of Cheri is checked out and not due back until the 27th. So unless the person miraculously returns it to my library branch in the next couple days, I’ll have to be belated. :(

        And I’ll chime in on Remains of the Day and A Room With a View then! I’ll be happy to have a reason to read more Balzac later; I very much enjoyed Cousin Bette but never managed to return to him.

        • 7. Corey  |  March 16, 2011 at 2:23 am

          Oh no! Well, depending on how you feel about reading books online and how much you really want to read it before Friday, Gutenberg has Cheri available: And I’ll just keep my fingers crossed for a miraculous library-return, too.

          This will actually be my first Balzac. He’s definitely one of those authors I feel I should have read. (Mostly because of the Balzac shout-outs in “The Music Man.” *grin*)

  • […] 27, 2011 When I announced this cycle of the Challenge, I was hoping to discover some books that might be considered “contemporary classics.” […]

  • […] as with our previous cycle, this Challenge has a bit of a theme: classics written by women and, more specifically, Margaret […]

  • […] Book Club alternates months between “classics” and newer titles (ah, my constant quest for contemporary classics continues!), as will the LT Book Club. Sometimes I’ll add […]


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