Literature: Genres, Eras, and More

James Earl Jones-literature-quote

As some of you may know, I studied English Literature in junior college. Like most incoming students, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to study when I started college. Yet, I knew I wanted it to somehow involve reading and writing. After changing my major a few times, I stuck with English Literature and I loved it.

As I’ve said before, I chose to study English because I love the ambiguity and opportunity for deep discussion. As one can infer, because I studied literature, I enjoy reading. After all, I greatly look forward to being able to read more after I finish my undergraduate degree.

Nevertheless, even though I love to read, I am quite picky about what I read. I do not consider myself a potluck reader. Much like my music selection, I prefer to invest in one category, era, or author at a time. I want to fully divulge into what they offer.

I don’t think I could be a full-fledged English major without a favorite era of literature or favorite category of novels. My favorite era is 20th-century literature, while my category within that era is the classics.

I strongly believe today’s writing is nothing like the 20th-century. Today’s writing seems dull and unpassionate. Today’s writing is too easy to read. I love reading books that have chapters, paragraphs, or phrases that require deep thought and mulling over. I love reading something so powerful that you must stop right then and there to take it all in.

I think another reason why I prefer older classics over today’s myriad is older classics provide a slew of thematic elements in them. As a reader, you always learn something. Reading a classic is never the same each time. There is always something new. Some detail always stands out.

A few books I like to read include Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. The above-mentioned novels may suggest I like military-like or somewhat gory books. But that is not entirely true.

For me, the quality of writing and how the story is told are far more important than the topic of focus itself. The quality of writing can make even the most challenging or obscure topics interesting.

Sadly, though, I am guilty of half-starting a book and not finishing it until a few years later. I also find myself rereading a lot of books. For some reason, I tend to enjoy a book far more the second or third time around than I do the first. This is especially true with the books Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Maybe with a few more years under my belt, I can better appreciate those novels than when I did in high school. We shall see one day. Nevertheless, my list of books I have yet to read is ever-growing. I look forward to one-day diving into countless others.

Nevertheless, it should be no surprise my favorite book of all time is from 20th-century literature either. My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We’ll talk more about that book later. It deserves its own post.

For now, I want to simply say thank you. Thank you for reading this blog and for being part of my audience. I do not have a grand lesson or takeaway for you this week. Regardless, I am still the same writer I was when I started this blog nearly two years ago, just with a few more scars and life stories to tell, and an even greater passion for all things English.



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