Literary Classics: Let's Discuss! :)

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CedarRose

New member
Jul 26, 2020
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Canada
#1
Not sure where else to put this, but I was hoping to make a thread on here to discuss classic literature (Christian and non). Some examples: Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Jung, Aristotle, Plato, Frankl, Solzhenitsyn, CS Lewis, Tolkien, Bronté, Tolstoy, Dickens, St Augustine, Jordan Peterson, etc.

Basically great thinkers/writers new and old who have had a profound effect on the way we see ourselves, God, religion and the world around us.

This can be a thread about your favorite writers/thinkers and why they have been so influential on you.

Or for debate/discussion, but I would ask that the dialogue to remain respectful and come with an open mind.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
23,460
7,178
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#2
ooh where to start

Not that I've read all of the above.
But along those lines...and as I'm cataloguing Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol into the school library, I think Charles Dickens story did have a big influence on how many people celebrate Christmas today. Nobody wants to be accused of being a scrooge.

From what I know of Charles Dickens, he really did champion the poor and outcasts of society, and his values might have been Christian but not sure how deep his faith went.
From his observations, especially in books like Great Expectations and David Copperfield, the villains were always the rich and greedy. But the poor could be as avaricious and nasty as the ones they wanted to aspire to. His view of women though, was a typical male victorian attitude of the time, so his female characters arent as compelling. But some could be quite pathetic like Estella...the jilted spinster who wears her wedding gown in rags.

His books are very long as he wrote them in installments and are kind of like soap operas of his time. But they are always full of incidents and surprising plot twists.

I dont know if Charles Dickens has influenced my thinking though I do believe anyone who reads his work would feel empathy for children who had to grow up in apalling conditions and be subject to so much abuse.
 

mar09

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
4,927
1,259
113
#3
One writer i appreciated: Hans Christian Andersen. Once upon a time he wrote children's stories like (the autobiographical) The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes, and The Little Matchgirl. I also remember him for saying: “Where words fail, music speaks.”
 
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DWR

Guest
#4
So who decides who is or is not on your list?
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
41,345
16,317
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Tennessee
#5
I don't know if Charles Dickens has influenced my thinking though I do believe anyone who reads his work would feel empathy for children who had to grow up in appalling conditions and be subject to so much abuse.
We are in agreement on this. The same appalling conditions exist in today's modern world. Maybe Mother Teresa read his books.
 

CedarRose

New member
Jul 26, 2020
14
16
3
40
Canada
#7
So who decides who is or is not on your list?
Can you elaborate? I don't have a specific list. The above are examples of great thinkers and writers who have influenced generations. It's not exhaustive.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
11,782
2,947
113
#8
CS Lewis is one of my favourite authors, and has had a huge influence on me. I read the Narnia stories in 1971. I was not a Christian. I then read them 30 or 40 more times. When I had kids, I read the whole 7 books out loud to my oldest, years later to my middle 2, and 5 years later to my daughter. Each time I read them, I notice more and more Bible verses tucked in the pages. I see the theme of the Saviour more and more easily. And that we do anticipate a joyous ending and Christ returning!

I have all of his apologetics and scholarly books and the stories. I read the adult trilogy, never really understood it. Mere Christianity has some amazing allegories. The one I remember most from 30 years ago, was the demon telling his trainee that you have to be careful about Christians walking close to "him!" Because it's hard to do anything to them. Yes, walking with Christ is the answer, and when we are full of the Holy Spirit, the devil has to flee!!
 
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DWR

Guest
#9
Can you elaborate? I don't have a specific list. The above are examples of great thinkers and writers who have influenced generations. It's not exhaustive.[/QUOT

You left Zane Grey off your list and my wife want to know why you left off Stephen King.;)
 
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Northwind80

Guest
#10
CS Lewis is one of my favourite authors, and has had a huge influence on me. I read the Narnia stories in 1971. I was not a Christian. I then read them 30 or 40 more times. When I had kids, I read the whole 7 books out loud to my oldest, years later to my middle 2, and 5 years later to my daughter. Each time I read them, I notice more and more Bible verses tucked in the pages. I see the theme of the Saviour more and more easily. And that we do anticipate a joyous ending and Christ returning!

I have all of his apologetics and scholarly books and the stories. I read the adult trilogy, never really understood it. Mere Christianity has some amazing allegories. The one I remember most from 30 years ago, was the demon telling his trainee that you have to be careful about Christians walking close to "him!" Because it's hard to do anything to them. Yes, walking with Christ is the answer, and when we are full of the Holy Spirit, the devil has to flee!!
Have you ever read George MacDonald? If i'm not mistaken, he inspired both Tolkien and Lewis. I love the allegory that is in The Princess and the Goblin and the sequel.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
23,460
7,178
113
#11
of Tolkien and CS Lewis...
I must admit of the two I took to Tolkien's the Hobbit which is a much loved favourite book over CS Lewis Narnia series, however having said that Lewis was probably a much bigger subliminal influence even when I hadnt read the entire Narnia series.

But not the christian allegory side surprisingly enough, although good and evil are quite clearly dilineated in both writers fictions. As a child that would fly over my head...I was into the fantasy, the notion that there was another world, a better place, in ones imagination or entered via. a journey or wardrobe. I suppose now looking back on it its a glimpse of heaven but back then I had no real idea of heaven or how you would get there.

CS Lewis seems more highly esteemed amongst christians over Tolkien though, to the point of near idolatry, which sits rather uncomfortably with me! Of course both men being Oxford educated they were both extremely clever and convincing writers.

after taking over a school library and discovering it was bereft of classics (what, no Charlottes .web? No Mary Poppins? Only ONE copy of narnia? No hobbit?! No Dickens?) I had to rectify it immediately.

and of all the classic writers...the chronicles of Narnia is the one children are asking for. Though Dickens is attractive to some (especially when packaged in gold leaf and hardback with copious illustations).
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
23,460
7,178
113
#12
the Bronte sisters...Emily, Charlotte and Anne.

of the three Charlotte's Jane Eyre was the most profound I think, but a lot of Christians in the day were like why did she favour Mr Rochester over marrying the missionary.

well true enough many missionaries back in the day were men and they HAD to be married by order of the church, or they couldnt fufill their mission, which seems a bit absurd seeing plenty of single men and women where quite capabable going on their own and not deterred.

what Jane eyre shows is, you can be ugly, have a mad wife and a love child and still capture the heart of a young penniless governess. Because she knows him and forgives him. Oh but he goes blind in the end...possibly to pay for all that sin.