(Look, I love a lot of the books that were assigned reading, but I wasn’t in love with all of them. *cough*Moby Dick*cough*)
In high school English we all have to face the fact that we’re going to read classic literature and sometimes it can be a little hard to digest. I would often feel like I knew what the author was saying, but the language seemed so wordy and flowery that I couldn’t quite explain how I knew what was going on.
Especially when there were sex scenes.
Wait, did that just happen? I would re-read the page again–I think THAT just happened. Then the teacher would say, “The author is being suggestive here.” I guess back in the day it was just a bit more frowned upon to explicitly include sex scenes, so writers would use symbols and metaphors to hint at it because those scenes were actually important to the story. This made the dirty deed a lot more poetic and beautiful, but it also made them easy to miss.
What “Clandestine Classics” does is not rewrite the entire story, they just elaborate on the sex scenes in great detail. It makes them more fun to read, but you also get the difficulty, themes, and nuances of the original prose.
Here’s an excerpt:
“This stern, unyielding man brooks no refusal and demands all of what Jane has to offer as he invites her on a journey of the senses that would scandalise society. He demands her abject surrender. In his strong and athletic arms, Jane submits to his darkest desires and discovers hers are every bit as searing, plunging her into a world she never suspected and never wants to escape.”
If this gets more young people excited to read the classics I think it’s great. I am sure your English teacher would prefer you read the original, but what they don’t know can’t hurt, right? Just don’t describe Watson and Sherlock getting down on your final exam.
Would you read one of these “Clandestine Classics”? Let us know in the comments.