Kenneth Rexroth’s Classics Revisited

From the Introduction:

“Men have been writing for over five thousand years and have piled up a vast mass of imaginative literature. Some of it is just writing that happens to have lasted physically. There are, however, a small number of books that are something more. They are the basic documents in the history of the imagination; they overflow all definitions of classicism and, at the same time, share the most simply defined characteristics. It is usually said that they deal with the archetypes of human experience, with characters at once concrete and universal, and with events and relationships that are invariant in the lives of all men.”