This could be fun . . . New Classics.

We’ve talked a little bit about this — the arrival of the truly middlebrow. Slate Magazine has come up with its 21st century “classics”. . . . Read the article, nominate something, including a justification, on your blog, and I’ll hit you up with some extra credit. Here’s what they have to say:

David Foster Wallace, in his introduction to The Best American Essays 2007, coined a great phrase to describe our contemporary media environment: “Total Noise.” Movies, books, television shows, the journalistic outlets formerly known as newspapers, podcasts, YouTube videos, actual museums, tweets—they all comprise the noise. It’s easy to feel that the cultural world has fractionated into endless niches. Yet, just as in previous decades, there will be those ideas that emerge and endure: the new classics.

The difference now is that the classics are more personalized—there is no longer a mass culture that aids in canon formation. The classics are also more diverse, as high, low, and middlebrow culture have become inextricably twirled and tangled. The new millennium is only 11 years old, but we at Slate became curious—as a thought experiment—about which cultural artifacts since 2000 will speak to future eras. What are the timeless expressions being forged in our noisy moment? Even more important: What are we overlooking that will one day be seen as an essential document of our time? To that end, we asked Slate contributors to name the new classics in the fields they know best.

Please send your own nominations for “new classics” to or use the #newclassics hashtag on Twitter. We’ll gather all of your suggestions for a follow-up article. Now, let the wildly discursive attempt at canon formation begin!”

The New Classics


About jchall1960

I'm the instructor for FA 200, Introduction to the Arts at the University of Alabama
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2 Responses to This could be fun . . . New Classics.

  1. Nure Kassas says:

    This is pretty interesting. I guess it sort of took several generations to redefine what “classics” meant to include works of art that are considered classic by the younger generations, but it seems like it is finally happening. I think it’s great that we are expanding the classics category to recognize work that is considered timeless by the younger generations, especially because those works of art (such as Star Wars) are very important to so many people, and the artists who created them deserve to be recognized.

  2. wnichols1993 says:

    There are new “classics” made in each year, generations and decades. Different age generations have their opinions on what is and what isn’t a classic or not. I agree with the commenter above me, everyone has their opinions of classics but which they may be, each novel has an author. An author that should be recognized regardless of a generation’s opinion.

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