What is a literary classic and why are these classic works important to the world?

A literary classic is a work of the highest excellence that has something important to say about life and/or the human condition and says it with great artistry. A classic, through its enduring presence has withstood the test of time and is not bound by time, place, or customs. It speaks to us today as forcefully as it spoke to people one hundred or more years ago, and as forcefully as it will speak to people of future generations. For this reason, a classic is said to have universality.

Joseph Conrad's (born Teodor Jósef Konrad Korzeniowski,1857-1924), three most acclaimed novels, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, and The Secret Sharer, all depict Conrad's concern with the human situation, loneliness, and moral dilemmas. Although born in Poland, Conrad went to sea on a British ship, where he learned English. Remarkably, Conrad wrote all of his works in English and is today considered one of the most important British novelists of his time.