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17Feb

Top 10 classic stories retold | Ali Benjamin

From Zadie Smith’s new take on Howards End to Michael Cunningham’s reworked Virginia Woolf, these tales refresh books we thought we knew

It takes some audacity to retell a beloved classic. Classics, after all, endure for good reason; why mess with them? Plus, readers are often fiercely attached to the originals; why mess with them? When well done, though, retellings explore familiar themes with fresh eyes, deciphering a new world from the comfort of a trusted narrative, or expanding the literary canon to readers who have traditionally been excluded.

The writer faces an array of choices, all fraught: where is the line between honouring and exalting, borrowing and blighting? Which elements are essential, and which can be discarded?

Continue reading...

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