Revisiting The Classics I – Selections From The Colonel’s Library

Every library should have at least some classical literature on the shelves.  Here is a little of what is on mine.

Dracula – Bram Stoker, 1897.

DraculaEvery wish you had enough juice to make your real estate agent pay you a house call?

The original bad boy, if Dracula ever ran into Edward Cullen, he would have cut his head off and emptied his bladder down his neck.

The story opens with English attorney Johathan Harker traveling through the countryside of Eastern Europe.  Harker’s mission is to expedite the London affairs of the Count of Transylvania.  Before he knows it, Harker is in way over his head and barely escapes the castle with his life.

Harker makes his way back to England, only to find his friends and family threatened and his fiancé under seduction.  Bram Stoker was a bit of rake himself, stealing and marrying Oscar Wilde’s girlfriend, and keeping Wilde as a friend.  That’s some Dark Triad stuff right there.

The prose is a little dated, so for me at least it’s a slow read, but there’s a rich texture to it as we follow the protagonists working together as a team

I haven’t picked this book one up in a while.  Waiting for a snowy night so I can sit by the fire place with my wolf pelt over my knees.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens, 1884.

Huckleberry Finn“All modern American literature stems from this one book,” – Hemingway.

We could probably drop the microphone with this one quote, but my own ego just won’t let it go at that.

An imaginative re-creation of Clemens’ own boyhood along the Mississippi River, this work sets the standard for character development, and realistic dialogue.  Clemons does not shy away from the controversies of “natural” man versus “civilized” society, or the evils of slavery.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was once a staple of elementary and middle school classrooms throughout our great nation.  Tragically, this truly great book as been deemed inappropriate by our snowflake culture.  The word “nigger” appears in the dialogue over 200 times, which has caused many publishers to edit the book, and many school districts to strike it from the curriculum all together.  Yes. This. Happened.

The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri, 1320.

Divne ComedyThis is a long poem.  Long.  Did I mention it is long?

Dante presents us with a colorful vision of the afterlife as seen through the culture of the late Middle Ages of Western Europe.  The work is divided into three canticas: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.  As Dante traverses the dimensional planes, he his guided through Hell and Purgatory by the Roman poet Virgil, and through Heaven by his boyhood crush, Beatrice.

In Canto 28 he meets Mohamed being tormented in the circle of Hell reserved for frauds.  Perhaps the area reserved for rapists of nine-year-old girls was full.  Tomato/tom-Ahto.

About Phil Christensen

The trail behind me is littered with failure. The trail before me remains to be seen.
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2 Responses to Revisiting The Classics I – Selections From The Colonel’s Library

  1. Jimmy Pepe says:

    You continue to amaze me my good friend. I admire your writing and am really moved by your picks on good literature. While you were reading this stuff, I was reading Mad Magazine and Superman Comics. You have one Neil Young album (Harvest Moon) and you can write about it (and Mozart) with such splendor. I went to Woodstock and all I remember is mud and traffic jams. I have become closer to you via your Blog than we are in real life. That will change I believe. I see something in you that many people lack and I appreciate the fact that getting to know you (especially this way) is making me more cultured than a good yogurt. Keep your stuff coming my way. I love it and you gain more respect from me with each writing. Keep your Blog alive and moving and I will always be able to defend why a Shatzkin Knish is better that any other gourmet food in Brooklyn. In His Grip………Jimmy

  2. Brian Mulhearn says:

    GARGANTUA and PANTAGRUEL by FRANCOIS RABELAIS. A masterpiece written by a genius. No library is complete without this book. Thank you for your great writing.

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