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The Classics Club Monthly Meme: July 2013

The Classics Club July meme is a little hard to answer. It requires us to reflect and to think critically. Bad news is I haven’t found an instance since the first of July to do either of the two. Anyway, here’s the topic:

What classic book has changed your view on life, social mores, political views, or religion?

Hmm. After looking at the list of books that I have read on Goodreads, I still couldn’t decide. The two books that come to mind are This Is Water by David Foster Wallace and The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. The first influenced my views on the value of real education (and on how to deal with the daily tedium of life). The second completely changed my views on suicide. One can argue that it should be Camus who has influenced my views on it, but I’ve read it through Barnes.

However, these are contemporary works. This doesn’t mean to say that I am not picking up anything from classic books. I get a lot of stuff from them. I think about what I gathered from them and then I decide what to believe. Mostly I get bits and pieces that I add to system of beliefs and principles, but no whole chunks have been encountered as of now. I have yet to encounter a classic book that would significantly change my views on life, social mores, political views, or religion.

I have a feeling though that Joseph Conrad has a great influence on my thoughts regarding the evil within a person, but I have to reread his works to refresh myself. It has been so long since I read his Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer, so I have to verify.

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