Question: “What is your stance on the idea of contemporary classics? What novels do you think fit the bill now, or, if you think like me, may at some future date?”
My initial response: Contemporary classic? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
When I think ‘contemporary’ I think bestseller list, and when I look at that I see John Grisham and David Baldacci and James Patterson and frankly, it makes me a little bit worried about the quality of novels America loves. Sure, for escape, they may be great. But do I consider them classic material? Not so much.
What are the novels I’ve loved this year? The Wind In The Willows; already a classic. Madame Bovary, The Brothers Karamazov and Bleak House the same. Have I read anything with the mood, the lessons, the plot that these novels give? In a word, no.
But, there are novels which I think will have a lasting value, which will have an impact on generations to come.
Silence by Shusako Endo, for one. Because it addresses Christianity and apostasy, and I think these are issues which will become more and more relevant in this changing world. One where our faith makes us more and more volatile, no matter what faith it is that we adhere to.