Italian literary critic Domenico Scarpa and Egyptian novelist Mohaked Tawfik discuss the value of classics in the modern age
Sharjah, November 12, 2022
Distinguished authors led a vibrant discussion on why readers continue to read the classics in the modern age, and the impact of these works in the present time during a cultural session titled 'Classic Books' at the ongoing 41st Sharjah International Book Fair.
Italian literary critic and translator Domenico Scarpa and Egyptian novelist and diplomat Mohamed Tawfik, said classics are evergreen, adding that the same is true for books and writing, which enjoy enduring popularity today in the modern age.
Scarpa brought up the example of the classic children's story, Pinocchio. 'It was the first great classic on which Italian writers such as Italo Calvino and Primo Levi based the foundations of their writing. Being part of the classics is about having roots in a culture, and these writers brought to the outside world an image of Italy that was not the stereotypical one,' Scarpa said.
'Classical literature is one that responds to the need for wisdom by humankind. It entails a great humanitarian power,' noted Tawfik. 'Classics are works that have been liberated from the narrowness of time and moved forward. We cannot talk of the future without starting from the roots, and thus, without talking about the classics.'
The eminent writers concluded on the note that all classics are good - not because poor quality works were not written in the past, but because they did not survive into modern times and memory. Only the good classic literature has endured, they asserted.