Dec 29, 2003

The century's literature
A Great Books exercise
Five books from 100 years. The barbarians are burning the libraries of the 20th century, the Fascists are erasing the reading material of 100 years, and you get to save, to preserve, five and only five books.

Which do you chose?

I'd choose to go down in the censoring flames of the library, but let's make it a little easier. Five novels, one century. If you could save only five piece from the literature of the 20th century from the Fascists, barbarians, fundamentalists, whatevers, which would you save? It's an exercise in "Great Books."

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad.
Ulysses, by James Joyce.
Steppenwolf, by Hermann Hesse.
1984, by George Orwell.
Man in Full, by Tom Wolfe.

In contrast, Random House's list is: Joyce's Uylsses, Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby, Nabokov's Lolita and Huxley's Brave New World.