The Classics as seen through my eyes….

This entry was posted by on Monday, 12 March, 2007 at

So, here’s a new meme, one I gakked and modded from elmunadi as evidenced in the thread here. – Mark any of these you own a copy of in bold, and any you’ve read, but don’t have a copy of in italic.

The Most Significant bits of Classic Literature over the Last 500 Years, 1507-2007

* Hamlet, William Shakespeare
* The Tyger, William Blake
* The Black Cat, Edgar Allen Poe
* Walden, Henry David Thoreau
* O’ Captain, My Captain, Walt Whitman
* To The Virgins to Make Much of Time, Robert Herrick
* Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, Joyce Carol Oates
* I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain, Emily Dickinson
* A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, Ernest Hemingway

* Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
* The Pearl, John Steinbeck
* A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner
* The Lottery, Shirley Jackson
* Dubliners, James Joyce
* Ode on a Grecian Urn, John Keats
* Beowulf, As Translated by Seamus Heaney
* The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
* Irish Faerie Tales, William Butler Yeats
* 95 Poems, e.e. cummings
* A&P, John Updike
* The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
* 1984, George Orwell
* Delta of Venus, Anais Nin

* The Wild Duck, Henrik Ibsen
* The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
* Snow Country, Yasunari Kawabata
* The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
* Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne
* Beloved, Toni Morrison
* Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
* Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs
* Bartleby the Scrivener, Herman Melville

* Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, Hunter S. Thompson
* A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
* Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll
* The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T. S. Eliot

* Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
* The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
* The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Mark Twain
* The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
* Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
* The Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred Lord Tennyson

I’d add to that list: (Feel free to add up to two)

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9 Responses to “The Classics as seen through my eyes….”

  1. Hmmm… Nice selection! A few of your choices are authors/poets that I’d solidly place in the list, but are stories/poems that I’ve not read by those authors. Herrick, Jackson, and Gilamn are authors/poets I’ve not read at all.

    I’d add –
    if leaning towards the modern edge:
    The First Circle, Aleksandr Solhenitsyn
    The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner

    or, if leaning towards the midrange:
    Faust (Pt I & II), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Enemy of the People, Henrik Ibsen

    Indecisiveness rules until I get on the plane this evening.

    (BTW – I think I see an interesting possibility in the list – a game of matching the authors and their works with diametrically opposed in terms of style/method/angle/etc… – Hemingway vs Faulkner, Lewis vs Thompson.

    I think that’s a game I’d lose qucikyl, but interesting nonetheless.

  2. I was never much of a fan of long novels. My taste run squarely in short stories and poetry, so my list reflects that. Besides, I think some of these authors BEST and most important works were those which relatively few read and even fewer give praise to.

    As for your game, I think it is a bit like Huggermugger, in that whomever you are playing with/against must be unbelievably well read to even stand a chance, let alone make it “fun”. Which is to say, I might give you a run for your money at who goes out first 😉

  3. As a side note, one of my prized possessions is a first run, signed, numbered hardbound copy of Joyce Carol Oates short story “Will you always Love me?”. If I had to sell all my other books, this would be the one that follows me to my grave.

  4. huggermugger

    Depends on the author for me – some authors have the skill of drawing you into a narrative that takes you on a sleighride, others toss you onto a rollercoaster, or perhaps a long distance train. Every one may have been interesting, or terrifying, or slow and comfortable enough for you to get up and walk around a bit during the trip. At the end, your face may be chapped, stomach rattling around, and some of your baggage lost or dented. (ok, never attempt to write coherently before 10am, at least, not if you’re me and short sleep)

    Huggermugger’s rules read like a collision between Trival Pursuit, Win Ben Stein’s Money!, and Fizzbin, but I see what I think may be your point… it’d be a lovely drawing room game for Edwardian uber-Yalies, and thus a game that might need a little social distruption added to the mix.

    I envy your Oates.

  5. We own Beloved? I’ve been wanting to read that! And we do own a very nice copy of Lolita, in hardback.

    I would add these, as a shout-out to classic horror/mystery:

    Murders in the Rue Morgue, Edgar Allan Poe
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley
    Dark Carnival, Ray Bradbury (I know Ray is already represented, too bad)

  6. I didn’t know we had “Lolita”… huh. And yes, I am near positive we have “Beloved”, though I can’t recall where it is right now. I know I read it, and that means I bought the book since i read it during college.

    As for your list, yes Ray is represented already, as is Poe… that doesn’t mean those two works aren’t worthwhile!

  7. I could probably come up with a whole listing of influential horror/suspense classic literature. Of course, these would be works that were influential to ME 🙂

  8. go for it! I caveated my list as the most important (not influential), as seen through my eyes… which really is fact at this point now anyways 😉

    I say go ahead and snag this and change it up for your preferred genre like Kevin pushed me to do!

  9. Pushed? I merely dusted off the plank and got out of the way, amigo – you went and did the swan dive ;^)

    btw – 11 hrs LAX-London – 3 hrs in Heathrow (will never do a transfer there again if I can help it – security has gotten very very stupid above and beyond usual) – 7 hrs LHR-Dubai… and here I iz in a hotel overlooking a lot of construction cranes.

    Siobhan, definitely take a whack at horror/mystery (I mean, why not?) {dusting plank off…again)


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