Daily Archives: April 16, 2020

What’s a Classic? & Classic Club Spin #23

What is a Classic?

There is a discussion post over on the Classics Club blog about the age-old question of “What Makes a Classic?” In the same fashion which I approached every under grad lit paper I ever wrote, I will dodge that question.

Actually, I have given it some thought, but I will admit that my list is probably full of works that many people would not consider classics. Over 50 years old? Sure. Have “stood the test of time”? Well, they’re available to the public, but that’s not really what we’re talking about, right? We’ve entered an age when gems and junk alike are scanned and collected and available for download. The advantage of this is that (all things equal (I’m not saying they are)) the general public can take a peek at some of the marginalized literature of the day. Is The Wind in the Rose-Bush by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman a classic? Has her inclusion to the realm of “classic” been limited by her being female? I don’t know. I’ve read a few of her short stories in old periodicals and I want to read more.

I’m also interested in the context of classics. What other literature is around during a period that spawned many “classics”? What other foundational works of a genre that may have been overlooked? Many of the books I’ve picked are lesser-known works by famous authors or lesser-known works of certain genres (mystery and horror). I’m kind of using Classics Club as an excuse to examine the mortar between the classical bricks. I don’t think that’s contrary to the spirit of the Club; if it is, this is a project I’ll probably still undergo alone.

Classics Club Spin #23

I’ve been looking forward to another Spin!

What’s the what? I post a list of 20 books from my Classics Club list. On Sunday the 19th, the Classics Club blog will randomly choose a number from 1–20 and that’s my May club book. So, here’s my list:

  1. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  2. The Leavenworth by Case by Anna Katharine Green
  3. Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy
  4. Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson
  5. King Solomon’s Mines by Henry Rider Haggard
  6. The Beetle by Richard Marsh
  7. The Door in the Wall by H. G. Wells
  8. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  9. The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective by Catherine Louisa Pirkis
  10. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume
  11. Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime, and other stories by Oscar Wilde
  12. The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill
  13. The Parasite by Arthur Conan Doyle
  14. The Lady of the Shroud by Bram Stoker
  15. The Tale of Terror by Edith Birkhead
  16. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
  17. The Dorrington Deed-Box by Arthur Morrison
  18. The Wind in the Rose-Bush by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman
  19. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
  20. The House of the Vampire by George Sylvester Viereck

No particular theme with the list other than books I wouldn’t mind reading.

Horror Films A to Z ~ Night Tide

Night Tide

Year: 1961
Runtime: 1h 26m
Director: Curtis Harrington
Writer: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Gavin Muir

A young sailor falls in love with a mysterious woman, performing as a mermaid at the local carnival. He soon comes to suspect the girl might be a real mermaid, who draws men to a watery death during the full moon.

Initial: Apathetic about my “N” choices, I went with the one with the poster I liked the most.


What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead) This movie isn’t without its charms, but the terror is way overplayed. Dennis Hopper’s Johnny is pretty much a himbo—if there is exposition to be done, it’s to Johnny’s blank face. Linda Lawson had a pretty extensive TV career in the 60s and later the 2000s. With her looks, I’m surprised she never took off as a horror movie femme fatale. But then, I suppose that kind of character with her looks was the purview of England’s Hammer Films and Lawson was a Hollywood actress.