Classic Literature vs. Modern

As I was reading through another classic book last night, I found myself pondering on something I have realized lately. Modern writers have lost the eloquence and depth of  writing that authors of the past held. When I read old novels I learn new words, my vocabulary is enlarged, my horizons are expanded. Today, I rarely learn anything from the new popular authors who submerge their books in sex and curse words to draw in their audience and get ratings. It seems today that authors are more concerned with how controversial they can make their book than they are about writing something worth reading. We have lost that eloquence and intelligence that the classics contain. So…I think I will just stick with old books by Fitzgerald, Bronte and Collins instead of what we have today.

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4 thoughts on “Classic Literature vs. Modern

  1. Interesting points! I love reading classics!! Not only is the language more diverse like you said, but also the plot lines seem more intricate and the characters are deep and well developed. Can any modern writing compare to the depth found in a story like Les Miserables? I think not!!

    On thing I have found to have some depth is modern day fantasy novels. Take the works of George R. R. Martin. As someone who wants to be an author myself, I learn so much from reading his stuff! He creates a world so full of intrigue and depth. He has many characters but develops them to where you have feelings for each of them. Nothing is off limits with his writing.

    So I feel there are some good novels still coming about, but one should never give up reading the classics.

    • And that was my point Joy. We should never give up reading from old classics where we can learn so much! But you are right that there are some great writers today, it is just more rare to find.

  2. I love classic literature, but not all modern writers are shallow or sensationalistic. Orson Scott Card has written many fantasy genre books that are unique and reminiscent of Grimm fairy tales. He also wrote the book Ender’s Game. I love Robin McKinley. Her retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale, Spindle’s End, layers the classic story with some interesting thoughts on what it means to be truly beautiful. Watership Down by Richard Adams, one of my all time favorite novels, deals with deep societal conflicts, reasoning vs emotion and faith, and the individual vs society as a whole, all wrapped up in a story about a group of rabbits fighting for survival that may seem childish at first until you notice the underlying themes. I have not read as many classics as I should, modern or otherwise, but these authors are a few I’ve come across that are worth more than just a disparaging glance lumped amongst others of lesser quality.

    • I completely agree with you. My blog about modern vs. classic literature was more to get people to ponder on the fact that classic literature is worth a look, because it is really what shaped and influenced a lot of writer’s stories today. Along with the fact that modern writers spend a lot of time drenching their books in sex, dirty language and all around shallow thoughts that you wouldn’t find much of in the classics. But it’s not my way of knocking modern literature. I love modern books as well. I just believe that the classics are where you really learn and expand your horizons because their is eloquence and depth in almost every old novel you read.

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