First lines from Michael Dirda’s Introduction to his new book, Classics for Pleasure, out in November 2007 from Harcourt. Dirda claims this final addition to his “books about books” series has no overlap of authors or books:

“Classics are classics not because they are educational, but because people have found them worth reading, generation after generation, century after century. ore than anything else, great books speak to us of our own very real feelings and failings, of our all-too-human daydreams and confusions. Sappho’s heartache is that of anyone who has ever been hopelessly in love. Ernst Junger’s Storm of Steel starkly reveals both the horror and exhilaration of war. The Book of Common Prayer reliably comforts us in times of sorrow, uplifts us in times of celebration. Truly distinctive voices, once heard, out never to be forgotten.”