Italo Calvino's Essay Why Read The Classics

647 Words3 Pages
In this day and age, more and more information is at our fingertips. Whether on our computers, tablets, or phones, we are able to access any information that we desire. With the advent of the Internet, this enabled people to choose which news they hear and create their own bubble. A side-effect of this is that people tend to not think for themselves anymore. This has lead many to ask, what is the point of the classics in this modern world? This is exactly the question that Italian writer Italo Calvino attempts to answer in his essay, ‘Why Read the Classics’. In the essay, Calvino writes about the classics and their importance to the modern world, such as the ability to think critically. I agree with Calvino that the classics are meant to make us think. The term classic is much disputed as many hold different ideas of what a classic is or is not. In Italo Calvino’s essay, ‘Why Read the Classics’, he attempts to define the classics by giving a total of fourteen definitions. However, arguably the most poignant definition he gives is his eleventh. Calvino writes, “Your classic author is one you cannot feel indifferent to, who helps you define yourself in relation to him, even in dispute with him”. This is the main reason why people can’t agree on what a…show more content…
However, that is not true in every case. Sometimes, no matter how hard someone tries, they simply feel indifferent to it.Calvino writes, “Naturally, this only happens when a classic really works a such-that is, when it establishes a personal rapport with the reader”. As a classic is meant to make the reader think, sometimes it doesn’t accomplish this task. Sometimes the text simply doesn’t connect with the person who is reading. Since the text doesn’t establish anything within the person, it doesn’t make the person think, therefore it is not a classic at least in their
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