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Thread: Who haven't you read?

  1. #1
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    Default Who haven't you read?

    I've barely read anything but some of you lot seem pretty well read so I'm curious as to where the blind spots are.

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    Dunno about who but in terms of massive pretentious European behemoths I haven't read A Man Without Qualities, In Search of Lost Time or The Magic Mountain. Or Clarissa for that matter but I will never even try that so....

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    In Search of Lost Time
    I'm 99% sure I will never read the full thing.

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    Dickens Flaubert Hugo George Elliot Jane Austen Proust Tolstoy Gogol tonne of major novelists really. Kant Hegel Marx heaps of heavy shit too much really but life gets in the way

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    Never read Dickens or Austen, but I don't really read novels very much anymore. I read fairly widely, too widely maybe, so I could say I haven't accrued enough expertise in specific fields.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Kant Hegel Marx heaps of heavy shit too much really but life gets in the way
    Yeah, I haven't read any of that stuff. It seems as though there's always something you should have read prior to whatever it is you're about to read.

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    Dickens Flaubert Hugo George Elliot Jane Austen Proust Tolstoy Gogol tonne of major novelists really. Kant Hegel Marx heaps of heavy shit too much really but life gets in the way
    Interesting that from the first list I've read at least something by all of them (ok not Hugo in fact) but the second list.... in fact I get less and less likely to read them as I get older I think.

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    Although I used to go out with a girl doing a phd in philosophy so I did have a lot of Kant and more read at me come to think of it.

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    Another sub thread within this thread could be what should you read? What are the building blocks of a reasonably educated cultivated mind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Another sub thread within this thread could be what should you read? What are the building blocks of a reasonably educated cultivated mind?
    I think that's implicit in the title anyway. The only thing is, there are so many books that everyone should read that no-one can read them all. The list needs ruthless pruning I suppose.

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    Last edited by Corpsey; 29-08-2019 at 12:01 PM.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    And good luck with that!

    "Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Phenomenology of Spirit; Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History"

    This alone would probably take me about five years
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    I think those lists might make sense when you are 18. Less so when life is rapidly diminishing i.e. Luka, me etc

    I'd be interested to know Dissenoids essential recommendations if people want to give it a shot. Hard thing is narrowing it down.

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    There are a lot of books available now that summarise all these "essential" books.

    Obviously reading a history of philosophy isn't going to give you everything that reading "The Republic" etc. would. But with limited time, it's a good option.

    I'm currently reading a Penguin History of the World (in fits and starts) which is giving me knowledge - unfortunately quickly forgotten - that I feel that I "should" have had years ago.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Two recommendations

    1. POETRY: Poetry tends to be very short and so you can easily read at least a bit of every canonical poet in no time at all. Not to say poetry is EASY but you can get a sampling of - say- Coleridge, work out if you think he's any good, and explore his poetry in general if you like what you have read.

    2. SHORT STORIES: Again, very short, and a lot of the big novelists also wrote short stories. You can therefore get a good idea of if a novelist is "worth" reading. You have to read literature for enjoyment, ultimately. There's no use forcefeeding yourself a 600 page victorian novel if you can't stand the author.

    3. PLAYS: On the page, very short. This is one of the great things about Shakespeare - unlike George Eliot, it won't take you all that long to read all of his major works.

    4. ANTHOLOGIES There are also lots of compendiums of important thinkers/writers you can dip into - I recently had a look in one of my old American studies textbooks and found an essay by Susan Sontag "Against Interpretation" which I really liked. I think I'll explore her other essays based on this.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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