What defines a classic novel? Is it the author’s writing style, the concept and issues covered in the book, the author, the time period in which the book was written, etc? Yes, all classic books have been a major contribution to literature. But, what makes them that major contribution? How do you define if a book is a classic? How do you define what is so great about the book that it is a classic?
I am currently reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. F. Scott Fitzgerald is, and always has been, my favorite classic author. Partly because I love the Jazz Age and the 20’s is a time period that I am fascinated by. If I had to choose a time period to live in, the Roaring 20’s would be it (until the Great Depression hits. Then I am out of there). The other part of me choosing him as my favorite author is his distinctive romantic writing style. The man makes me swoon! He knows how to write. So, I own all F. Scoot Fitzgerald’s books and short stories. My bookshelves are like a shrine to him. As I read this book, I take in almost every single word he writes and find myself relaxing into the text. Reading the book becomes addictive to me. For me, it’s his writing style that makes his books classics. The words he uses are so vivid that it paints a picture for you. It’s literally like you are watching a movie in your head, or living the book yourself. You can almost smell the ocean and flowers he describes, picture the beauty of the men and women he uses as characters, taste the food the characters eat, and hear the music he describes. The words he uses are romantic and descriptive. I find that it is hard to find this writing style in contemporary literature. Maybe it is out there somewhere and I just haven’t found it. I could try looking for it, but until I find it, F. Scott Fitzgerald will be fine by me. He knew how to write. He is definitely a classic author.