read on, my brothers

I have to write a theme paper explaining the roots of my current political beliefs. Five to six pages. Due tomorrow. I can’t get worked up about this yet. I’m thinking a 10 p.m. start time sounds good.

Or, you know, 12:30 a.m. Which gives me :17 to procrastinate! Yay. Please note new “reading” icon.

That very old, oft-repeated Which Classics Have You Read list .

Copy the list into your own journal, bold the ones you’ve read & italicise the ones you want to read.

Beowulf (only half)
Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
Agee, James – A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James – Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul – The Adventures of Augie March
Brontë, Charlotte – Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily – Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert – The Stranger
Cather, Willa – Death Comes for the Archbishop

Chaucer, Geoffrey – The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton – The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate – The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness – again, only half
Cooper, James Fenimore – The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen – The Red Badge of Courage
Dante – Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel – Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel – Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor – Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore – An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre – The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George – The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man

Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Selected Essays
Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William – The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry – Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox – The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von – Faust
Golding, William – Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph – Catch-22
Hemingway, Ernest – A Farewell to Arms
Homer – The Iliad
Homer – The Odyssey

Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale – Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik – A Doll’s House
James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry – The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz – The Metamorphosis

Kingston, Maxine Hong – The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird

Lewis, Sinclair – Babbitt
London, Jack – The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas – The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel García – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman – Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur – The Crucible
Morrison, Toni – Beloved

O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene – Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George – Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan – Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel – Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas – The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria – All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond – Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry – Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William – Hamlet
Shakespeare, William – Macbeth
Shakespeare, William – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William – Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard – Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein

Silko, Leslie Marmon – Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles – Antigone
Sophocles – Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath

Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William – Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David – Walden
Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace

Turgenev, Ivan – Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire – Candide

Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. – HARRISON Bergeron
Walker, Alice – The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith – The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora – Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt – Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray

Williams, Tennessee – The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard – Native Son

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6 Responses to read on, my brothers

  1. phillyexpat says:

    I love your 1/2 and 1/2 Beowulf. Which translation do you have? I recommend Heaney’s.

    Run screaming from Walden. Trust me.

  2. kepkanation says:

    I have the Heaney translation neatly tucked away in the front of my Brit lit before 1800 book, and though I have intentions of returning to it, I doubt I will get there before I sell that monster back.

  3. phillyexpat says:

    Wow-16th Century Brit Lit, huh? Who’s in there? Granted, I did my thesis on Milton, but reading some of those guys was like pulling teeth . . .

  4. simplelyric says:

    See, I’d be interested in doing this meme, but it would drive me crazy. Not only would I need to do all the HTML coding to italicize and bold as directed, but I wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to include underline coding for the titles, too.

    I’ve heard that Moby Dick is one of those classics that most people feel like they should read but that it isn’t really worth the hassle of reading, if that makes any sense. HARRISON Bergeron, however, is a good story, albeit a depressing one. In fact, the vast majority of those books that I’ve read are depressing. I don’t know if that perpetuates the idea that only serious, heavy books can be truly meaningful, or if we’re supposed to see such books as more deserving of our admiration because they’re more realistic, like the father suggests in My Heartbeat.

  5. kepkanation says:

    I don’t know if that perpetuates the idea that only serious, heavy books can be truly meaningful, or if we’re supposed to see such books as more deserving of our admiration because they’re more realistic, like the father suggests in My Heartbeat

    Hm, this is one of those questions that I always seem to struggle with. I think there’s ample proof out there that great literature doesn’t *have* to be tragic to be great, but it seems to get overlooked. Jane Austen books would qualify as happy ending-books… but some would say they’re the weaker for it. Hmm, I just don’t know. I still love a good happy ending.

  6. simplelyric says:

    I still love a good happy ending.

    I do, too, and I think that happy endings have merit. And besides potential literary significance, it’s nice to believe that happy endings of some sort are realistically possible. It’s frustrating that classics lists focus so much on the non-happy ending books, because people who just try to read what are considered by critics or other groups to be classics will miss out on some great stories.

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