Tucked away in the back of the library, between the Westerns and the Mysteries, you will find my personal favorite section of the Paul Smith Library–The Classics. Here lie the books deemed eternally influential and important. These works of literature, though not necessarily appreciated during the period they were written in, have proved themselves nonetheless worthy and hauntingly relevant again and again over time.
If you are a student, you will surely see many of these titles on summer reading lists or syllabi for your upcoming classes. Borrowing from the library not only saves you money, but gives you even more of a push to finish reading knowing there is a due date looming!
For those of you new to reading the old, the following are two classics I have really enjoyed reading this year and would highly recommend to anyone wishing to explore this diverse and often controversial genre:
- Madame Bovary (1856) by Gustave Flaubert
In this novel, Flaubert poetically describes in great detail the story of a woman who finds life so boring she escapes by constantly chasing after things she does not need and cannot afford.
- To the Lighthouse (1927) by Virginia Woolf
Instead of a traditional plot, Woolf uses this novel to highlight the thoughts and philosophies of the Ramsay family (especially the matriarch, Mrs Ramsay) and those close to them. Ambiguity, rather than action, fittingly evokes a powerful commentary on the complicated nature of being human.
-Rax Fisher, Library Assistant