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  • Showing only topics with the tag "literature". Back to normal view
    1. Looking for genre classics

      While the latest hype-trains and the guaranteed oldies give me a reading list a few thousand books long, I like to read things which are left by the wayside. This list here is a good example. The...

      While the latest hype-trains and the guaranteed oldies give me a reading list a few thousand books long, I like to read things which are left by the wayside. This list here is a good example. The author gives a list of genre classics. Books which aren't good enough to make the top 1000 books of all time, but are classics in their own genre and influenced a lot of future authors. The Princess and the Goblin is a good example. Everyone interested in Tolkien and the Inklings has read it, as well as those who like modern fairy tales, but it doesn't crop up much in recommendations lists. These are books which aren't quite as commonly discussed, but still good and important for people interested in the genre.

      So, if you have a favorite genre or sub-genre I would love to read your 'genre classics' list, with maybe a sentence about why I should enjoy it. Not quite as comprehensive as a class on books, more than a bullet point.

      Edit:
      I just realized I didn't change the title. By the 'gap', I originally meant the gap between the books everyone suggests from the past and the mountain of dredged pulp you find in libraries and bookstores: books which are worth still reading, even if they aren't one of the 'Classics'. More like underrated recommendations.

      5 votes
    2. International alternatives...

      I've recently realised I read a lot of American literature. I'd like to broaden my horizons so I'm wondering for fun if anyone out there can suggest an international (i.e non-US) counterpart for...

      I've recently realised I read a lot of American literature. I'd like to broaden my horizons so I'm wondering for fun if anyone out there can suggest an international (i.e non-US) counterpart for any of the following or just general non-US recommendations?

      • Denis Johnson
      • David Foster Wallace
      • Flannery O'Conner
      • Carson McCullers
      8 votes
    3. International literature #6: French

      I'd put this series on hold, because of lack of activity. Now I'll give it another go, with French, one of the languages with huge amounts of influential literature. So, without further ado,...

      I'd put this series on hold, because of lack of activity. Now I'll give it another go, with French, one of the languages with huge amounts of influential literature.

      So, without further ado, please share your favourite French books and authors!

      14 votes
    4. International literature #5: Polish

      Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many...

      Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many different forms: Commonwealth, Holy Roman Empire, Prussia, Russia, German Empire, Soviet Union, and now in it's current form. Poland has produced many famous figures, such as Chopin and Marie Skłodowska Curie, and now it's time to share Poland's best authors.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Polish?

      5 votes
    5. International literature #4: Arabic

      This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions! Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3...

      This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions!

      Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3 Portuguese. It wasn't the most commented post, but it had some good recommendations.

      8 votes
    6. International literature #3: Portuguese

      The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go. This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of...

      The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go.

      This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of course other places as well =)! The only writer of Portuguese that I know by name is Paulo Coelho, so I look forwards to your recommendations.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Portuguese?

      13 votes
    7. International literature #2: Korean

      Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language,...

      Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language, but I won't get mad if you post Nabokov in the thread about Russian. So, without further ado:

      What are your favourite texts originally written in Korean?

      8 votes
    8. What's the deal with Proust?

      I've never read Marcel Proust, and I know very little about his work. But every serious reader of literature I know absolutely gushes over him, but never seems to be able to explain what's good...

      I've never read Marcel Proust, and I know very little about his work. But every serious reader of literature I know absolutely gushes over him, but never seems to be able to explain what's good about it or what the books are even about.

      The scarce pop-culture references I see to his work (like in "Little Miss Sunshine") seems to cast an affection for Proust as kind of a mark of being an unmoored and depressive romantic.

      So is he worth reading? The full collection of "Remembrance of Things Past" is nearly $100, so that's not a trivial amount to invest. Is there a recommended/definitive translation or edition I should read? What should I keep in mind or be open to if I do try giving it a shot?

      By that last question I mean like, I'd have hated "Catcher In the Rye" if I wasn't told ahead of time to approach it from the mindset of a 15 year old boy. Or I kind of hated 'Madame Bovary" but when explained to me that this was Flaubert's exercise in trying to make people see themselves in an adulteress, a generally reviled archetype, and this was groundbreaking for the time lets me at least appreciate it for accomplishing what it's set out to do. Are there any literary contexts like I this should have in my head before I delve in?

      11 votes
    9. International literature #1: Italian

      This is the first post (a test post, to see if there is any interest) of a series of posts where we can share our favourite texts in foreign languages. I will try to include the large languages,...

      This is the first post (a test post, to see if there is any interest) of a series of posts where we can share our favourite texts in foreign languages. I will try to include the large languages, and some small as well. You're welcome to request a language too. So, without further ado:

      What are your favourite texts originally written in Italian?

      14 votes
    10. What are some good Spanish books?

      I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original,...

      I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original, non-translated literature.

      What Spanish-language books would you recommend (that are not too difficult to read)?

      6 votes
    11. The greatest lesson you've learned from classical fiction?

      I am currently enjoying a very thought-provoking semester of American Literature. Prior to this class, I wouldn't have considered fiction as useful in my everyday life, as opposed to something...

      I am currently enjoying a very thought-provoking semester of American Literature. Prior to this class, I wouldn't have considered fiction as useful in my everyday life, as opposed to something like a self-help book. What I've found is exactly the opposite, and I have found novels such as Great Expectations to be even more influential than anything I've ever read.

      So I ask you all, what is the greatest lesson you've learned from classical fiction?

      12 votes