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What is a Classic?

Daniel, my son, I was thrilled when you agreed to take part in this experiment.

To recap what we discussed the other night on the phone: You asked me to give you a list of classics to read, and I told you that I had already created a WordPress site to do that. Not for you personally, but as an empty idea. When you stepped in, the idea became real.

Nothing could delight me more. Your intelligence and perception will make this infinitely more meaningful than it would have been without you.

Borrowing the system invented by Plutarch in his Parallel Lives of the Greeks and Romans (one of the Dead White Males classics which actually deserves to be read today), I want to explore and rearrange the classical canon of works… and extend it beyond literature to music and art.

So we’ll start with two pairs of women writers.

The Poets: Sappho (from the Greek island of Lesbos in the 6th century BCE) and Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (from Amherst, Massachusetts, 1830-1886).

The Novelists: Murasaki Shikibu (11th century Japan) and Jane Austen (18/19th century England).

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