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Long live the classics!

Long live the classics!

These are Juliana Granados’ classic audiobook recommendations for the month of the book.

A text by Juliana Granados

A classic, remembering Borges, is a book that, within a local context, is destined to be read by several generations, since it is believed that certain aesthetic qualities stand out from it. Even so, Borges admitted that the criteria for designating a classic are not immutable; rather, they are susceptible to change. However, some books have managed to transcend the boundaries of local context and time. Here are six audiobooks to celebrate the classics of today and always in the month of the book.

Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Sonolibro

The story of Hamlet takes place in Denmark, being the protagonist a young prince son of the king who, by inheritance, corresponds to the throne of Elsinore, after the king dies under strange events. But the succession to the throne quickly changes when Hamlet’s mother, the queen, decides to remarry. There begins one of the best stories yet written. Hamlet is part of the select group of the most studied works in literature, and this is because, as H. Bloom would say, he has a conscience and a language superior to the divine.

Don Quijote de la Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes, P2P Audiobook

What would our Spanish language be without Don Quixote? Some say that it is the first great novel of Modernity, that its importance lies in the fact that it managed to disarticulate the model of writing up to that moment or in the multiplicity of its voices and so many other things. But these reasons are debatable, what is not debatable is that we tremble when we hear its first lines: «In a place of La Mancha, whose name I do not want to remember, not long ago there lived a nobleman…». This is Don Quixote, a hymn to our language, a call that summons us to celebrate a common language; it is, among many other things, a celebration of our language, of our Spanish.

The Divine Comedy, Alighieri, Dante, Author’s Republic

«In the midst of the path of life,

I found myself wandering through the dark forest…»

One day a poet goes astray, as often happens during existence. And so begins the journey of this lost poet, who is Dante himself, until he finds the light again, but not before knowing the dark jungle of hell, going through purgatory, and finally arriving in paradise. In this journey, the poet is not alone, he is accompanied by Virgil, the Roman poet, who guides him to paradise. The whole song is full of symbols and images from Western culture and literature, characters from the Judeo-Christian tradition, and Greek mythology. The Divine Comedy is an allegory of humanity’s forced passage from the darkness of sin to the light of redemption.

Animal Farm, George Orwell, Fonolibro

We have already paid tribute to the classics of the Renaissance and Modernity, but there are also contemporary classics. Months before the end of World War II, in 1945, Orwell published a novel that to this day continues to alert us to the rise of totalitarianism. On a farm, animals suffer the condition of being animals, with mistreatment, and lack of food and attention, until they decide to rebel against power. As a result, a new order is established, in principle more egalitarian. But power is power, and as quickly as equality came, totalitarianism arrives: freedom is curtailed and anyone who thinks differently is punished, because in the end «all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others».

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain, Author’s Republic

Spanish Language Day is celebrated on April 23 and Children’s Day on April 30. Along with both commemorations, campaigns to promote reading among children and young people are being carried out, and we also celebrate the classics of children’s and young people’s literature, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Published in 1876, this story narrates the antics of a teenager who always gets his way, his day-to-day life trying to escape from his duties and choosing enjoyment and adventure as his philosophy of life. The story of Tom Sawyer evokes affection for childhood as a stage of life in which character is forged while the values and principles of every human being are cultivated.

Pinocchio, Arsenio Corsellas, MARFER

Who doesn’t know Pinocchio? This tale has infinite interpretations and variations, but in essence, they all show the story of a puppet created by a man who longed to have a son. The exercise of being a father turns out to be more complex for Gepetto than he supposed because the foolish Pinocchio does not know how to distinguish between the path of good and the path of evil. The story of Pinocchio is a review of the arduous task of being fathers and mothers, and of teaching children to act correctly, to distinguish good from evil, and to be aware of decisions and their consequences; it is also a lesson for young people to reflect on their actions and take responsibility for their decisions.

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