Originally Posted by Kai
What does it mean to "make a ripple on the surface of the pool of literature?"
To me, it seems like a lot of the so called "classics" are classics because only people with graduate degrees in English even pretend to enjoy reading them. It's an Emperor's New Clothes phenomenon, only the very best can appreciate these works, so they must be great.
This is definitely true. Some authors that are considered important contributors to English lit, such as Stephen Crane, Jack London, Charlotte Gilman, are almost unreadable. The Open Boat and The Yellow Wallpaper are two works in particular that made me seriously contemplate suicide (Had to read for my English degree).
I mentioned Fenimore Cooper earlier, and while he's certainly not a great writer, his work is far more readable than the writers mentioned above as well as writers such as Jane Austen, the Bronte's, Hemingway, Faulkner, Melville, Hawthorne, etc.