Why just one. I find Austen's entire oeuvre to be tripe, so I'm far over that limit.
Obviously there is that element of subjectivity which we call "taste", one was a complete arbitrary number. Art can't be fully objectified.
But I do think we have that much deeper an understanding of literature if we "get" and appreciate as wide a variety of what is considered and enjoyed as great literature as possible. That's just my personal feeling, this literature has provided the templates and shaped the structure of literary history while heavily influencing what came since.
It's a bit like tennis fans not enjoying watching certain greats. I personally like them all. Someone doesn't like Serena, someone doesn't like Evert ok, fair enough. But I would say their appreciation of tennis is that much the poorer for it.
Agreed. Many of her novels are about cheesy love stories, characters are boring, shallow, their relationships are superficial. Her writing is IMO simply unimpressive.
I think this is an example of how knowing the historical context aids appreciation/enjoyment of a work. The relationships of her characters are dominated by convention and propriety - of course there is an inbuilt superficiality to this - that the actual feelings and emotions are stifled is actually intentional and part of her world-building ability. The books' strengths are more about how she carefully crafts her plot to expose the underlying social dynamics - the fact that some of the characters a bit shallow is a social criticism and realism of her world.
Great authors/figures of literature provide a fascinating window into the past. Homer and Virgil are great examples, as is Tolstoy, and Austen in fact. It's perhaps a double edged sword that we have to know a bit of history first. I made my original comment as I wondered if I was missing something important from the context of Catcher in the Rye.