Who haven't you read?

version

Who loves ya, baby?
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.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
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....
 

luka

Moderator
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
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
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.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
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.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
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.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
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.
 

luka

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

IdleRich

IdleRich
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

luka

Moderator
To add to corpseys tips, short extracts of long books. A sentence or two, a paragraph or even a page if you have time on your hands
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I guess Gravity's Rainbow would be my one volume recommendation for this board, though maybe most of have read it? Followed by Infinite Jest, if you love that and want to repeat the experience.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I guess Gravity's Rainbow would be my one volume recommendation for this board, though maybe most of have read it? Followed by Infinite Jest, if you love that and want to repeat the experience.
Not read them, or Ulysses or Moby Dick.

Or nearly enough women.

Or Hegel or Kant or Plato.

I did get around to these over the last few years and would recommend:

Austen - Pride and Prejudice
Dickens - Oliver Twist
Doestoevsky - Crime and Punishment
Gogol - Dead Souls
 

luka

Moderator
I don't feel obliged to read books by women just because they are women. Tokenistic bookshelf. Merit badges. I don't see the point.
 
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