What makes it classic?
Greil Marcus, one of America’s most admired pop culture critics and co-editor of A New Literary History of America said in an interview on PRI’s To The Best of Our Knowledge that the thing that makes something classic is:
When you listen to a musical composition or read a composition, do you return to it over and over again to mine for something new? – To go back because you know you haven’t gotten to the bottom of it – that makes it classic.
How does a classic work stay alive and provoke you? How are new responses created from the return of a phrase or the melody and the rhythm. It’s not about the complexity, it’s about being unfinished.
To remain alive to your “own fragility” as Marcus puts it, allows the work to recreate itself upon every visit.
What are your favorite classic things in your life?