Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's okay...

...not to like 'classics'. Despite what your English teacher might have told you.

Mine was always trying to get me hooked on Jane Austen. This was, incidentally, a complete waste of time. It did not help that she thought I should read nothing but classics because I was 'too smart' for science fiction. (Hrm. I'd like to have introduced her to *Doctor* Stanley Schmidt, *Doctor* Isaac Asimov...I don't *think* Heinlein had a PhD, right?)

But most people who read genre fiction already know it's 'okay' not to like Jane Austen, or Charles Dickens, or Shakespeare (incidentally, I love Shakespeare).

What I do see is people thinking it's not okay not to like Tolkein - I do, but some people find him terminally boring. Or Dune. I never could get into Dune. The latest is that I finally got around to reading The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I love Watchmen. I think it is one of the best graphic novels ever written. It's not Moore's fault I found League almost unreadable. Sorry, Kevin, it's all on you.

I was thinking 'This is a great classic...this art sucks!'

And you know what? That's okay. It's important to remember that everyone has tastes and one man's 'classic' really can be another man's drek. I guess the point is not to criticize people for not liking something just because it's famous, highly popular or has won a ton of awards.

Classics, like any other beauty, lie in the eye of the beholder. And it's important not to just sheepishly follow the majority.