The Difference between the Classic and Contemporary Fiction Novel

Time of Writing

While, as vague as it sounds, contemporary fiction does not have a starting point in its timeline as to when the classification had started to separate it from ancient writings which withstood the tests of time, it is generally agreeable that books that were written in the early 19th century or prior to that period are considered «classic» whereas books that were written post-World War II are considered «contemporary».

Although counting by the thousands now, if not more, some prominent authors you would likely to encounter for the classical category would include names like Homer, Shakespeare, Miguel De Cervantes, John Bunyan, J.R.R. Tolkien, Franz Kafka, etc.

On the other hand, notable novelists of the modern contemporary setting would include names such as J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, John Grisham, etc.

Style of Writing

It is nothing new that languages evolved over time, much like English was, even before its worldwide proliferation, as a result of a growing evolution starting from its crude beginnings. This is very much apparent in the style of writings ancient people had than the modern authors of today. But the changes with the style is not just ostensive based on the choice of words or sentence construction but also of the logic that underpins the use of the language—a kind of semantic shared and differentiated by both generation.

With the classic as the foundation of today’s considered more refined writing which are shared by modern contemporary authors, it is from these old writings that certain changes were based on and are made—a kind of building block that, instead of being substituted, was improved upon.

Not just as a means to which certain changes are based from resulting from an inevitable change, it is from these old writings that certain words, phrases, or idioms are coined from that which persisted in usage to this day.

Different Commercial Usage

Bearing qualities that are able to withstand the changing of the times and still remaining relevant to this day, enduring book titles under the classic fiction category is commonly targeted towards academic bodies and students for studies or for audiences that seek intellectual stimulation.

While the notion does not necessarily placed contemporary fiction in the opposite side of the spectrum and is not totally removed from academic classes, the society has placed greater importance in the classics rather than in the present when dealing with literature studies. Still by the end of the school year, thousands of students are ready to throw their copies of Shakespeare into a bonfire, frustrated from analyzing the complicated and often confusing language of the classics. So why do we subject many high school students to so much of what they hate? While many love the classics, many teenagers do not. Schools, and society on the whole, seem to possess the idea that if you’re reading a book that was written in the last decade or so, you can only be reading for entertainment – a fallacy So rather than placing such a heavy emphasis on classical literature, maybe we should strive to find a greater balance between all the genres available to the modern reader.

What makes a book good? In particular, what makes one book better than the other? It’s plot? Character? It’s significance in history? This is a discussion topic to explore whether classical books and authors, such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen or Emily Bronte, are better than the newer, more contemporary authors–like Stephanie Meyers, John Grisham, Stephen King or Dan Brown.

So every week we will compare two books and all are welcome to comment if it is good, such as the best think since the bible or bad so the best use would be as a door stop or draft excluder.

Ladies First

Charlotte Brontë heroine Jane Eyre versus Helen Fielding’s Brigitte Jones

«Jane Eyre» by Charlotte Brontë

One of the most famous Victorian writers, Charlotte Brontë is noted mainly for her novel «Jane Eyre».  Jane is an ambitious woman who decided not to follow the norms of the society of her time, in Jane Eyre she introduces a thinking woman who is able to follow her feelings and maintain her independence, and through the narrative creates a strong intimacy with the reader. Although Jane Eyre’s story can be considered a happy one, it reflects the social difficulties a woman had to face in her upbringing during her time.

«Bridget Jones» by Helen Fielding

«Bridget Jones’s Diary», written by Helen Fielding portrays a year in the life of 30-something, career-minded Bridget Jones. Bridget who is a self-involved woman concerned with her weight, appearance and securing a boyfriend. The book is written as a diary and tracks Bridget’s life during a twelve-month span, beginning with her New Year’s Resolutions. Her resolutions include quitting smoking, drinking less, losing weight, finding a boyfriend, getting a better career, and not dating emotionally unavailable men.

Both have made it to the big screen and have been copied and made it into our everyday English Language, for example:

«Shut up, please. I am very busy and important.»
Ms Jones

and

«I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.»
Ms Brontë

Please read and inwardly digest and then you will have two ladies to discuss. Please send your reviews, comments, opinion and anything else you may deem relevant, finally please state which of our ladies of easy leisure you prefer. We will keep score and publish the results and best of the best reviews and the best of the worst reviews so to speak.

Enjoy!