Assertion of “Why Read the Classics?”

Why Read the Classics? written by Italo Calvino implies the message on the affirmation of knowledge while reading classics helps us connect to them. The things that we have already learned help us understand the meaning or events that happen in a classic.

Before you even start a classic you have already begun to know what it will ‘teach us’. “ 8) A classic does not necessarily teach us anything we did not know before. In a classic we sometimes discover something we have always known( or thought we knew), but without knowing that this author said it first, or at least is associated with itin a special way. And this, too, is a surprise that gives a lot of pleasure, such as we always gain from the discovery of an origin, a relationship, an affinity.”(Pg.3) Already having knowledge of a book you have not read makes the feeling of discovery all the more eventful. Calvino also states that having thought of something without saying it out loud and then reading it in a classic makes the reader begin to have a special connection not only with the book but as well as the writer who thought the same; the author. Having read a classic and made a connection with it is what makes the classic. You have made you own meaning to the book with what it has mentioned by using the knowledge that you have already learned in the past.    

When you read classics you begin to understand what the book is saying because of past thoughts or experiences that you have had. Having knowledge of the past and maybe even the present gives us something that we can relate to while reading the classics. We have already learned what the classics teach us but we have not yet made the connection until we have read them.


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