Saturday, April 26, 2008

If you must write prose or poems

In David Lodge's Changing Places at one point the characters play a game called Humiliation, a form of intellectual strip poker in which the participants name literary classics they haven't read; the winner is an English professor who hasn't read Hamlet. Appropriately, I haven't read Lodge's novel, but it makes a good starting point to my follow-up of this literary A-Z of works I have read.

Thanks to those of you who posted your own lists (and well done for Driss for having read a book by an author whose name begins with 'Q', I've shamelessly appropriated it for this list.) Feel free to out yourselves this time round.

Same rules apply to the last list, so I've restricted it to novelists. If I've never read a word by them, I've listed the complete works. If the books are classics or modern day classics, so much the better. A few international stars also make the list. If the writer's obscure, you can guess I was stumped.

NB: I have a degree in English literature so there are some particularly glaring gaps in my reading here; that's what I get for wasting my time at college reading things like The Prelude and Troilus and Criesyde.

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart
Balzac, Honore de: Complete Works
Colette: Complete Works
Dickens, Charles: Hard Times, Oliver Twist, Bleak House
Eliot, George: Complete Works
France, Anatole: Complete Works
Grass, Gunter: Complete Works
Heller, Joseph: Catch 22
Ishiguro, Kuzuo: Complete Works. (I did like that film, too)
James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
Kafka, Franz: Complete Works
Lermontov, Mikhail: A Hero of Our Time
Mahfouz, Naguib: Complete Works
Naipaul, VS: Complete Works
Oe, Kenzaburo: Complete Works
Pater, Walter: Marius the Epicurian
Queneau, Raymond: Complete Works
Richardson, Samuel: Clairssa
Stendhal: Le Rouge et Le Noir
Tolstoy, Leo: Anna Karenina
Updike, John: Complete Works
Vonnegut, Kurt: Slaughterhouse 5
Wolfe, Tom: Bonfire of the Vanities
Xu Xi: Complete Works
Yates, Richard: Complete Works
Zamyatin, Yevgenny: We

I should also add that Edith Wharton, Orhan Pamuk and Jeffrey Archer very nearly made the list.

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