Posted by: Jodi | April 25, 2010

Quickly Quotable #5

“A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness.”
Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937)



  1. While this is undoubtedly (also) true, I think another way for something to become a classic is for it to survive the years we knew it as a child.

  2. Reading this and Rik’s comment, I immediately think of Dr. Seuss:

    Cat in the Hat
    Green Eggs and Ham
    Oh, The Places You’ll Go
    Horton Hears A Who

    Charming tales that are both timeless and irrepressibly fresh!


    • Both very true, I love classic children’s books. Some of my favorites include Roald Dahl’s
      “Matilda” and E.B. White’s “Stuart Little” among many, many of others. (Yes, I know those should be underlined, the question is how?)

  3. But who is the judge? I have talked a bit about the essence of things dubbed “timeless,” or “ageless” (which could include “classic,” as well) in my blog in different posts: one entitled “The Art of Reading,” and the other “Haven’t We Always Been in Love?” The URL:

    Hermeneutical perspective comes into play, and there is almost always disagreement over what can be judged as a classic, most particularly in its own time. Edith Wharton is correct only to a point, because what she deems classic, regardless of her expertise, is not always a universally shared opinion.

    BTW, YOU have a problem with not underlines in these comment spaces??? Just think of how I feel!


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