Meaning of classic in literature

“The modern work is condemned to become dated unless, by achieving the status of a classic, it manages to free itself from the fluctuations of taste and critical opinion. (“We pass our time arguing over tastes and colors,” ValĂ©ry observed. “It is the same at the stock exchange, on countless juries, in the Academies, and it cannot be otherwise”). Literarily speaking, a classic, is a work that rises above competition and so escapes the bidding of time. Only in this way can a modern work be rescued from aging, by being declared timeless and immortal. The classic incarnates literary legitimacy itself which is to say what is recognized as Literature; what, in serving as a unite of measure supplies the basis for determining of that which is considered to be literary.”

Notes: Casanova’s take on how modernity can achieve continuity.

Casanova, P. (2004). The world republic of letters. (p. 92). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

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