A Guide to the Classics
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“Oh yeah, I read that, but it was a long time ago,” you might say to an intellectual friend who wants to discuss a deep-rooted Nietszchian theory. “Refresh my memory?”

There are about 8 billion books out there that we’re all supposed to have read but haven’t. Maybe you chose to focus all of your attention on Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead of finishing Wuthering Heights, or you meant to finish Beloved but you know, the Hills was on.

Luckily, Jezebel has written up a trusty and hilarious “guide” to assure you have the right points of reference to accurately converse about all the classics you haven’t read. Think of it as SparkNotes for life instead of papers…but note that “guide” is in quotations, as it will only help you if music is blasting really loud and you just need enough time to confuse everyone before you exit the conversation.

The best summary is on War and Peace, where the article’s genius author provides the following for you to say (should Tolstoy’s epic novel come up at a dinner party or while waiting for the bus):

“Ah! War and Peace. So good. I love how Leo Tolstoy points out how both war and peace are literally happening around us all the time because that’s just how the world works. Sometimes you have war and other times, you have peace. Not just literal war and peace, but metaphorical war and peace, too. Those are my main feelings on that and also this book is very long.”

Sounds about right to us. Carry on, scholars!

[Do You Lie About Having Read Classic Books? This Guide Can Help! via Jezebel]

  • kim

    There’s a spelling error in the link

    • Leandra Medine

      Good catch–thanks!

  • I’m and English professor and I can’t get through Wuthering Heights. Every time I try, I read two chapters and then promptly fall asleep. Wherever I am, whatever the time, two chapters and I’m out like a light.

    Love the quote about War and Peace. Sounds like something I would totally try to pull off in conversation. Unfortunately, a few of my friends HAVE read it, and would call bullshit on me for it. Sigh…add it to the pile of books I “should” read someday!

  • Yeah, if I’m going to survive in the intellectual world I choose to live in, then I totally read up. Hopefully, I don’t stop reading after reading the list.

    Your Friend, Jess