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Chapter 5 - Time After Time


Today's beach musing included a discussion of what makes a book timeless. The definition of "timeless", according to Dictionary.com, is

1. without beginning or end; eternal, everlasting and

2. referring or restricted to no particular time.

Apparently people much smarter than I have debated this very subject and have even given lectures about timelessness in literature.

Here is what they have identified:

  • A timeless story is one that contains the emotional truths of life.

  • The story must be enduring and have a core emotional experience that transcends any period of time.

Some examples of timeless books might be -

  • The Outsiders by SE Hinton - How can the reader not feel the pain Pony Boy does when he loses his best friend?

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - All the hurt, anger, and shame Elizabeth feels when shunned by Darcy can't help but hit the reader in the heart.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - The fear that both Jem and Scout have coming home from the school pageant is palpable to the reader.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - The reader admires Jane's indomitable spirit even when confronted with the most difficult of circumstances.

  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum - Dorothy's struggle to find her home and support her friends has the reader cheering her on throughout the book.

Please write and let me know - what is your favorite timeless book?

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