Classic literature takes you from where you are and sets you in the company of the wise, the deep, the wounded.
Lately, I have been diving more into literature. I’ve always had a love of old literature, especially classic literature.
These days I have found a healing component to classic literature that perhaps others may share as well. See, there’s a reason classic literature has lasted for centuries. There’s a reason we still study classic literature, even down to the bare bones of the sentence structure or verbiage. I have found several characteristics in reading classic literature that has had healing sort of effect on me.
Classic literature makes you think and feel in ways that today’s literature most of the time cannot. To be honest, I can’t quite explain it, but I do believe it has to do with the change in our pride or expectations we have in good writing and literature today. Writers from centuries ago have a gift in writing that we often look over and take for granted.
It brings you outside of yourself. Classic literature takes you from where you are and sets you in the company of the wise, the deep, the wounded. Wounds that we don’t often see today because, let’s face it, our world for the most part spoils us. But not just that, the writers with this gift take their wounds and the wisdom they learn and make it into a cascading light in the form of stories, poems, and novels.
It amazes me when I read a story, say from the 1800s. I am set right there in that little cabin or in that farmers field. I take on their own problems or their own joys. I can see and I can feel right along with the characters and suddenly my problems seem so small and minuscule. Not only that, but I slowly learn about my own problems. I see my life, the world, in a different way. The differing point of views adds color and variety to my life. It’s the kind of color I think we all need in some way or another.
But most importantly, I don’t feel so alone. Though my problems are vastly different from theirs, I still feel as though I am in familiar company. It’s a wonderful feeling.
So, if you are reading this and it’s been awhile since you have dug into some classic literature, I want to challenge you. Pick a good book from the classic literature genre. One preferably that you haven’t read, or perhaps you read long ago in High School.
You never know, it may be something that sticks with you and helps you to see your world differently!