(Angry) Thoughts on The House of Mirth

For science, read this article first.

We had the most uninspiring NYE. Nathan played video games, I read a book, we ate okayish takeout burritos and not a drop of alcohol touched our lips. We were both tired and I was feeling sick. There was a minor adventure when a baby bird fell down the chimney, and Nathan got to have a Cinderella moment when he caught it and it flew from his hands out the window, singing a merry tune as it went.

Anyway. I wanted to watch The House of Mirth.

I hadn’t seen the movie since I was about 15, half a lifetime ago (literally). I had fuzzy but fond memories about how tragic everything was for Lily, but mostly about what a dreamboat Lawrence Selden (Eric Stoltz) was. I had a ridiculous crush on Eric Stoltz after this movie. I remember reading the book around that time as well, which just further furnished all my daydreams about how wonderful Selden was.

So, we watched the movie last night. I have never, ever, not in my entire life, had such a dramatic – violent – change of heart on my feelings about a book or a movie. I can’t even explain it. I’ll try my best, splitting my reaction and interpretation into two halves:

Fifteen year old me: Lawrence Selden is such a babe, and look – he’s so above all of that high society rubbish. All of those people chew you up, spit you out and abuse you, Lily – be like Selden, reject it and be free. It’s all your fault – you cared too much about money and luxury, you could have lived a more humble life as Selden’s girlfriend if you’d been brave enough to shrug off societal expectations. He was just waiting for you to make that leap, you could have been happy but you were too stupid!

Thirty year old me: Lawrence Selden is the worst. He could not have been more of a jerk. Yes, the social circles that Lily move in are unwaveringly cruel, and yes, she made one terrible decision after another, but this was almost always a result of her naivety and trusting nature. But Selden planted the seeds of everything – it was him who kept her at arm’s length and was happy to derail her chances at security and maybe even happiness because it was more fun for him toy with her, confuse her and tempt her for his own amusement, but never offer any sort of commitment or even emotional availability. He swindled her – he took advantage of her love for him by not guiding her towards what was right or responsible for a woman of her position, but instead acting like “if you act according to my principles – even if they ruin your whole life – then maybe you’ll live up to my expectations and maybe I’ll give you the time of day”. He promised to love her, but withdrew it the moment that she had a get a job and couldn’t be the decorative nymph of his lust-dreams. He is a user, he is selfish, he thinks he is so much more special than anybody else, he thinks that society’s rules don’t apply to him, but really, he’s just the worst.

There! If I had a punching bag, I’d be taping Stoltz as Selden’s smarmy face to it right now – it is 24 hours later and I’m still mad. I guess that as you get older, you meet so many Seldens in real life. They are everywhere, and that’s why the film still feels so raw and relevant even now. You will also meet a Bertha Dorset or two. I suppose I should be proud that I have a better sense for these kind of toxic mind games these days, but it frightens me how naive I was when first watching the film – with age comes experience, I guess!

1001 Books

Sometimes I feel like a terrible example of a literature student. I was drunk at my parents’ house around Easter, and I confessed sadly to everybody that I was a fraud as I “had not even read How to Kill a Mockingbird” [sic]. Uni is a great starting place, but I feel like there is so much extension work that must be done to ensure that I’m a well rounded reader. The trimester system is wonderful in theory—who doesn’t want to finish their degree faster?— but not so great in practice, especially for liberal arts students. So many subjects have entire movements or schools of thought reduced to a single week of study, which is barely enough time to learn anything intimately. As a result, I feel like I’ve spent my degree scraping minimal knowledge about a thousand things, and learning about nothing in great depth. Perhaps the fault is entirely mine, perhaps I’m not built to read four novels a week, absorb their essence and promptly move on to the next topic. But that’s how it is, and I will keep repeating my mantra: Honours will be differentA doctorate will be different. When I have a year (or several!) to study something, I will finally feel like an expert.

So, I’m taking it upon myself to fill the gaps. To make myself into the type of Literary Person that could dare show their face at Literary Events, amongst other Literary People, whilst being oh so terribly Literary. On her blog, Karen Andrews talked about the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I like a challenge, and this one seems big enough to actually fill a lifetime, especially since the list will likely keep expanding. So, here goes. Like Karen’s list, strikethrough means finished, red means abandoned or temporarily put aside or simply not finished, yet. And bold means I really want to read it!

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Animal’s People – Indra Sinha
The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery
Saturday – Ian McEwan
Falling Man – Don DeLillo
The Children’s Book – AS Byatt
On Beauty – Zadie Smith
The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid
Invisible – Paul Auster
Slow Man – JM Coetzee
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
American Rust – Philipp Meyer
Adjunct: An Undigest – Peter Manson
The Kindly Ones – Jonathan Littell
Cost: A Novel – Roxana Robinson
The Sea – John Banville
The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble
Against the Day – Thomas Pynchon
Home – Marilynne Robinson
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
Carry Me Down – MJ Hyland
Kieron Smith, Boy – James Kelman
The Master – Colm Tóibín
Mother’s Milk – Edward St Aubyn
The Gathering – Anne Enright
Vanishing Point – David Markson
Measuring the World – Daniel Kehlmann
The Blind Side Of The Heart – Julia Franck
The Lambs of London – Peter Ackroyd
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian – Marina Lewycka
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
Dining on Stones – Iain Sinclair
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Accidental – Ali Smith
Drop City – T Coraghessan Boyle
The Line of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst
The Colour – Rose Tremain
2666 – Roberto Bolano
Thursbitch – Alan Garner
Small Island – Andrea Levy
The Light of Day – Graham Swift
The Book about Blanche and Marie – Per Olov Enquist
What I Loved – Siri Hustvedt
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
Islands – Dan Sleigh
Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky
Elizabeth Costello – JM Coetzee
The Swarm – Frank Schatzing
London Orbital – Iain Sinclair
Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry
Your Face Tomorrow – Javier Marias
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
A Tale of Love and Darkness – Amos Oz
The Double – José Saramago
Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Unless – Carol Shields
Lady Number Thirteen – Jose Carlos Somoza
Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
The Successor – Ismail Kadare
The Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor
Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre
That They May Face the Rising Sun – John McGahern
The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
In the Forest – Edna O’Brien
Shroud – John Banville
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Youth – JM Coetzee
Dead Air – Iain Banks
Snow – Orhan Pamuk
Nowhere Man – Aleksandar Hemon
The Book of Illusions – Paul Auster
Gabriel’s Gift – Hanif Kureishi
Austerlitz – WG Sebald
Platform – Michael Houellebecq
Schooling – Heather McGowan
Soldiers of Salamis – Javer Cercas
Atonement – Ian McEwan
I’m Not Scared – Niccolo Ammaniti
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
Don’t Move – Margaret Mazzantini
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
The Body Artist – Don DeLillo
Fury – Salman Rushdie
At Swim, Two Boys – Jamie O’Neill
Choke – Chuck Palahniuk
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargos Llosa
An Obedient Father – Akhil Sharma
The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho
Spring Flowers, Spring Frost – Ismail Kadare
Bartleby and Co – Enrique Vila-Matas
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
The Heart of Redness – Zakes Mda
Under the Skin – Michel Faber
Ignorance – Milan Kundera
Nineteen Seventy Seven – David Peace
Celestial Harmonies – Péter Esterházy
City of God – EL Doctorow
How the Dead Live – Will Self
The Human Stain – Philip Roth
The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
After the Quake – Haruki Murakami
Small Remedies – Shashi Deshpande
Super-Cannes – JG Ballard
House of Leaves – Mark Z Danielewski
Blonde – Joyce Carol Oates
Pastoralia – George Saunders
The Museum of Unconditional Surrender – Dubravka Urgresic
In Search of Klingsor – Jorge Volpi
Pavel’s Letters – Monika Maron
Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolano
Dirty Havana Trilogy – Pedro Juan Guitierrez
The Heretic – Miguel Deliber
Crossfire – Miyabe Miyuki
Timbuktu – Paul Auster
The Romantics – Pankaj Mishra
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
As If I Am Not There – Slavenka Drakulić
Money to Burn – Ricardo Piglia
Everything You Need – AL Kennedy
Fear and Trembling – Amélie Nothomb
Margot and the Angels – Kristien Hemmerechts
The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie
Disgrace – JM Coetzee
Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
Fall on Your Knees – Ann-Marie MacDonald
Elementary Particles – Michel Houellebecq
A Light Comedy – Eduardo Mendoza
Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi
Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
Cloudsplitter – Russell Banks
All Souls Day – Cees Nooteboom
The Talk of the Town – Ardal O’Hanlon
Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis
Another World – Pat Barker
The Hours – Michael Cunningham
Santa Evita – Tomas Eloy Martinez
Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho
Mason & Dixon – Thomas Pynchon
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Great Apes – Will Self
The Late-Night News – Petros Markaris
Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
Troubling Love – Elena Ferrante
Underworld – Don DeLillo
Jack Maggs – Peter Carey
The Life of Insects – Victor Pelevin
Our Lady of Assassins – Fernando Vallejo
American Pastoral – Philip Roth
The Untouchable – John Banville
Silk – Alessandro Baricco
Cocaine Nights – JG Ballard
Hallucinating Foucault – Patricia Duncker
Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
The Ghost Road – Pat Barker
Deep River – Shusaku Endo
Forever a Stranger – Hella Haasse
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
The Clay Machine-Gun – Victor Pelevin
Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light – Ivan Klima
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
The Unconsoled – Kazuo Ishiguro
Morvern Callar – Alan Warner
The Information – Martin Amis
The Twins – Tessa de Loo
The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie
Sabbath’s Theater – Philip Roth
The Rings of Saturn – WG Sebald
The Reader – Bernhard Schlink
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Love’s Work – Gillian Rose
The Holder of the World – Bharati Mukherjee
The End of the Story – Lydia Davis
Remembering Babylon – David Malouf
Mr Vertigo – Paul Auster
The Adventures and Misadventures of Magroll – Alvaro Mutis
The Folding Star – Alan Hollinghurst
Whatever – Michel Houellebecq
Before Night Falls – Reinaldo Arenas
Land – Park Kyong-ni
The Master of Petersburg – JM Coetzee
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture – Apostolos Doxiadis
Pereira Declares: A Testimony – Antonio Tabucchi
The Triple Mirror of the Self – Zulfikar Ghose
City Sister Silver – Jàchym Topol
All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
How Late It Was, How Late – James Kelman
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
Felicia’s Journey – William Trevor
Disappearance – David Dabydeen
The Invention of Curried Sausage – Uwe Timm
The Shipping News – E Annie Proulx
The Dumas Club – Arturo Perez-Reverte
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
Looking for the Possible Dance – AL Kennedy
Operation Shylock – Philip Roth
Memoirs of Rain – Sunetra Gupta
Complicity – Iain Banks
On Love – Alain de Botton
What a Carve Up! – Jonathan Coe
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields
The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
The House of Doctor Dee – Peter Ackroyd
Astradeni – Eugenia Fakinou
The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
Faceless Killers – Henning Mankell
The Emigrants – WG Sebald
The Laws – Connie Palmen
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Life is a Caravanserai – Emine Özdamar
The Discovery of Heaven – Harry Mulisch
The Daughter – Pavlos Matesis
A Heart So White – Javier Marias
Possessing the Secret of Joy – Alice Walker
Indigo – Marina Warner
The Crow Road – Iain Banks
Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson
Jazz – Toni Morrison
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
The Shadow Lines – Amitav Ghosh
Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Høeg
The Butcher Boy – Patrick McCabe
Black Water – Joyce Carol Oates
The Heather Blazing – Colm Tóibín
Asphodel – HD (Hilda Doolittle)
Black Dogs – Ian McEwan
Hideous Kinky – Esther Freud
Arcadia – Jim Crace
The Great Indian Novel – Shashi Tharoor
Wild Swans – Jung Chang
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
Mao II – Don DeLillo
Typical – Padgett Powell
Inland – Gerald Murnane
Regeneration – Pat Barker
Obabakoak – Bernando Atxaga
Downriver – Iain Sinclair
Gimmick! – Joost Zwagerman
Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord – Louis de Bernieres
Wise Children – Angela Carter
Paradise of the Blind – Duong Thu Huong
Get Shorty – Elmore Leonard
Amongst Women – John McGahern
Vineland – Thomas Pynchon
Vertigo – WG Sebald
Stone Junction – Jim Dodge
The Last World – Christopher Ransmayr
The Music of Chance – Paul Auster
The First Garden – Anne Herbert
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
A Home at the End of the World – Michael Cunningham
Like Life – Lorrie Moore
Possession – AS Byatt
Kitchen – Banana Yashimoto
The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi
The Midnight Examiner – William Kotzwinkle
A Disaffection – James Kelman
Sexing the Cherry – Jeanette Winterson
Moon Palace – Paul Auster
Black Box – Amos Oz
Billy Bathgate – EL Doctorow
Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
All Souls – Javier Marias
The Melancholy of Resistance – László Krasznahorkai
The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker
Of Love and Shadows – Isabel Allende
The Trick is to Keep Breathing – Janice Galloway
The History of the Siege of Lisbon – José Saramago
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
The Ballad for Georg Henig – Viktor Paskov
London Fields – Martin Amis
The Book of Evidence – John Banville
Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood
Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
The Beautiful Room is Empty – Edmund White
Wittgenstein’s Mistress – David Markson
Memory of Fire – Eduardo Galeano
The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
The Swimming-Pool Library – Alan Hollinghurst
Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey
Libra – Don DeLillo
The Player of Games – Iain M Banks
The Beautiful Mrs Seidenman – Andrzej Szczypiorski
Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga
Ancestral Voices – Etienne van Heerden
The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams
The Radiant Way – Margaret Drabble
Annie John – Jamaica Kincaid
The Afternoon of a Writer – Peter Handke
The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy
Simon and the Oaks – Marianne Fredriksson
The Passion – Jeanette Winterson
The Pigeon – Patrick Süskind
Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
The Child in Time – Ian McEwan
Cigarettes – Harry Mathews
The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
World’s End – T Coraghessan Boyle
Half of Man is Woman – Zhang Xianliang
Enigma of Arrival – VS Naipaul
The Taebek Mountains – Jo Jung-rae
Love Medicine – Louise Erdich
Beloved – Toni Morrison
The Young Man – Botho Strauss
Anagrams – Lorrie Moore
Matigari – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Marya – Joyce Carol Oates
Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons
The Old Devils – Kingsley Amis
Lost Language of Cranes – David Leavitt
An Artist of the Floating World – Kazuo Ishiguro
Extinction – Thomas Bernhard
Democracy – Joan Didion
Foe – JM Coetzee
The Drowned and the Saved – Primo Levi
Reasons to Live – Amy Hempel
The Parable of the Blind – Gert Hofmann
Larva: Midsummer Night’s Babel – Julian Rios
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
Professor Martens’ Departure – Jaan Kross
The Cider House Rules – John Irving
A Maggot – John Fowles
Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis
Contact – Carl Sagan
The Witness – Juan Jose Saer
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Fado Alexandrino – Antonio Lobo Antunes
Perfume – Patrick Süskind
The Christmas Oratorio – Goran Tunstrom
Old Masters – Thomas Bernhard
White Noise – Don DeLillo
Queer – William Burroughs
Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
Legend – David Gemmell
Dictionary of the Khazars – Milorad Pavić
Baltasar and Blimunda – Jose Saramago
The Bus Conductor Hines – James Kelman
The Book of Diquiet – Fernando Pessoa
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis – José Saramago
The Lover – Marguerite Duras
Empire of the Sun – JG Ballard
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Blood and Guts in High School – Kathy Acker
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Flaubert’s Parrot – Julian Barnes
Money: A Suicide Note – Martin Amis
Couples, Passerby – Botho Strauss
Shame – Salman Rushdie
Worstward Ho – Samuel Beckett
Fools of Fortune – William Trevor
The War at the End of the World – Mario Vargas Llosa
La Brava – Elmore Leonard
Leaden Wings – Zhang Jie
Waterland – Graham Swift
The House with the Blind Glass Windows – Herbjorg Wassmo
The Life and Times of Michael K – JM Coetzee
The Diary of Jane Somers – Doris Lessing
The Piano Teacher – Elfriede Jelinek
The Sorrow of Belgium – Hugo Claus
If Not Now, When? – Primo Levi
Smell of Sadness – Alfred Kossmann
A Boy’s Own Story – Edmund White
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard
Clear Light of Day – Anita Desai
A Pale View of Hills – Kazuo Ishiguro
Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally
Southern Seas – Manuel Vasquez Montalban
The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
The Newton Letter – John Banville
Fool’s Gold – Maro Douka
On the Black Hill – Bruce Chatwin
Concrete – Thomas Bernhard
A Dry White Season – Andre Brink
The Names – Don DeLillo
Rabbit is Rich – John Updike
Lanark: A Life in Four Books – Alasdair Gray
So Long a Letter – Mariama Ba
The Comfort of Strangers – Ian McEwan
July’s People – Nadine Gordimer
Summer in Baden-Baden – Leonid Tsypkin
Broken April – Ismail Kadare
Waiting for the Barbarians – JM Coetzee
The Back Room – Carmen Martin Gaite
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Rites of Passage – William Golding
Rituals – Cees Nooteboom
Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
Requiem for a Dream – Hubert Selby Jr
City Primeval – Elmore Leonard
The Beggar Maid – Alice Munro
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
Smiley’s People – John Le Carré
Shikasta – Doris Lessing
The Wars – Timothy Findley
A Bend in the River – VS Naipaul
Burger’s Daughter – Nadine Gordimer
The Safety Net – Heinrich Böll
Quartet in Autumn – Barbara Pym
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino
The Engineer of Human Souls – Josef Skvorecky
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Cement Garden – Ian McEwan
Almost Transparent Blue – Ryu Murakami
The World According to Garp – John Irving
Kiss of the Spider Woman – Manuel Puig
Life: A User’s Manual – Georges Perec
The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch
The Singapore Grip – JG Farrell
Yes – Thomas Bernhard
Blaming – Elizabeth Taylor
The Virgin in the Garden – AS Byatt
In the Heart of the Country – JM Coetzee
The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter
Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin
The Shining – Stephen King
Dispatches – Michael Herr
Petals of Blood – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
The Hour of the Star – Clarice Lispector
Woman at Point Zero – Nawal El Saadawai
The Left-Handed Woman – Peter Handke
Ratner’s Star – Don DeLillo
The Year of the Hare – Arto Paasilinna
The Public Burning – Robert Coover
The Commandant – Jessica Anderson
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
Cutter and Bone – Newton Thornburg
The Port – Antun Soljan
Amateurs – Donald Barthelme
Patterns of Childhood – Christa Wolf
Autumn of the Patriarch – Gabriel García Márquez
W, or the Memory of Childhood – Georges Perec
The Diviners – Margaret Laurence
A Dance to the Music of Time – Anthony Powell
The Dispossessed – Ursula K Le Guin
Grimus – Salman Rushdie
The Dead Father – Donald Barthelme
Fateless – Imre Kertész
Willard and His Bowling Trophies – Richard Brautigan
High Rise – JG Ballard
Humboldt’s Gift – Saul Bellow
Dead Babies – Martin Amis
Correction – Thomas Bernhard
Ragtime – EL Doctorow
The Optimistrist’s Daughter – Eudora Welty
The Fan Man – William Kotzwinkle
The Twilight Years – Sawako Ariyoshi
Dusklands – JM Coetzee
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum – Heinrich Böll
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
Fear of Flying – Erica Jong
A Question of Power – Bessie Head
Lives of Girls & Women – Alice Munro
The Siege of Krishnapur – JG Farrell
The Castle of Crossed Destinies – Italo Calvino
Crash – JG Ballard
The Honorary Consul – Graham Greene
Cataract – Mykhaylo Osadchyl
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
The Black Prince – Iris Murdoch
Sula – Toni Morrison
Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
The Breast – Philip Roth
A World for Julius – Alfredo Bryce Echenique
The Summer Book – Tove Jansson
G – John Berger
Play It As It Lays – Joan Didion
Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
House Mother Normal – BS Johnson
Here’s to You, Jesusa – Elena Poniatowska
In A Free State – VS Naipaul
Seasons of Migrations to the North – Tayeb Salih
The Book of Daniel – EL Doctorow
Heartbreak Tango – Manuel Puig
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S Thompson
Moscow Stations – Venedikt Yerofeev
Group Portrait With Lady – Heinrich Böll
The Case Worker – Gyorgy Konrad
The Wild Boys – William Burroughs
Rabbit Redux – John Updike
The Sea of Fertility – Yukio Mishima
The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark
The Ogre – Michael Tournier
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
Jacob the Liar – Jurek Becker
Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick – Peter Handke
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Mercier et Camier – Samuel Beckett
Troubles – JG Farrell
Jahrestage – Uwe Johnson
The Atrocity Exhibition – JG Ballard
Tent of Miracles – Jorge Amado
Pricksongs and Descants – Robert Coover
Blind Man With a Pistol – Chester Hines
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
The Green Man – Kingsley Amis
Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
Ada – Vladimir Nabokov
Them – Joyce Carol Oates
The Cathedral – Oles Honchar
A Void/Avoid – Georges Perec
Eva Trout – Elizabeth Bowen
Myra Breckinridge – Gore Vidal
Day of the Dolphin – Robert Merle
The Nice and the Good – Iris Murdoch
Belle du Seigneur – Albert Cohen
Cancer Ward – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
The Manor – Isaac Bashevis Singer
The First Circle – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
2001 : A Space Odyssey – Arthur C Clarke
Z – Vassilis Vassilikos
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K Dick
Miramar – Naguib Mahfouz
Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid – Malcolm Lowry
The German Lesson – Siegfried Lenz
In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan
A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines
The Quest for Christa T – Christa Wolf
Chocky – John Wyndham
Marks of Identity – Juan Goytisolo
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
The Cubs and Other Stories – Mario Vargas Llosa
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
To Each His Own – Leonardo Sciascia
The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
Silence – Shusaku Endo
Pilgrimage – Dorothy Richardson
Death and the Dervish – Mesa Selimovic
The Joke – Milan Kundera
No Laughing Matter – Angus Wilson
The Third Policeman – Flann O’Brien
A Man Asleep – Georges Perec
Garden, Ashes – Danilo Kis
The Birds Fall Down – Rebecca West
Trawl – BS Johnson
Closely Watched Trains – Bohumil Hrabal
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
Back to Oegstgeest – Jan Wolkers
The Magus – John Fowles
The Vice-Consul – Marguerite Duras
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
The Three Trapped Tigers – Guillermo Cabrera Infante
Giles Goat-Boy – John Barth
The Crying of Lot – Thomas Pynchon
Things – Georges Perec
The River Between – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
August is a Wicked Month – Edna O’Brien
God Bless You, Mr Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut
Everything That Rises Must Converge – Flannery O’Connor
The Passion According to GH – Clarice Lispector
Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey
Come Back, Dr Caligari – Donald Bartholme
Albert Angelo – BS Johnson
Arrow of God – Chinua Achebe
Dog Years – Gunter Grass
The Ravishing of Lol V Stein – Marguerite Duras
The Third Wedding – Costas Taktsis
Herzog – Saul Bellow
V – Thomas Pynchon
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
The Time of the Hero -Mario Vargas Llosa
The Graduate – Charles Webb
The Death of Artemio Cruz – Carlos Fuentes
Manon des Sources – Marcel Pagnol
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré
The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark
Inside Mr Enderby – Anthony Burgess
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Time of Silence – Luis Martin-Santos
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
The Collector – John Fowles
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Memoirs of a Peasant Boy – Xose Neira Vilas
Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
The Drowned World – JG Ballard
No One Writes to the Colonel – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
Labyrinths – Jorg Luis Borges
Girl With Green Eyes – Edna O’Brien
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis – Giorgio Bassani
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
Franny and Zooey – JD Salinger
A Severed Head – Iris Murdoch
The Shipyard – Juan Carlos Onetti
Faces in the Water – Janet Frame
God’s Bits of Wood – Ousmane Sembene
Solaris – Stanislaw Lem
Bebo’s Girl – Carlo Cassola
Cat and Mouse – Günter Grass
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
Halftime – Martin Walser
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
The Magician of Lublin – Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Violent Bear it Away – Flannery O’Connor
How It Is – Samuel Beckett
Our Ancestors – Italo Calvino
The Country Girls – Edna O’Brien
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (finally!)
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
Promise at Dawn – Romain Gary
Cider With Rosie – Laurie Lee
Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse
Down Second Avenue – Ezekiel Mphahlele
Naked Lunch – William Burroughs
The Tin Drum – Günter Grass
Absolute Beginners – Colin MacInnes
Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow
Deep Rivers – Jose Maria Arguedas
Memento Mori – Muriel Spark
Billiards at Half-Past Nine – Heinrich Böll
The Guide – RKNarayan
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
The Leopard – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Pluck the Bud and Destroy the Offspring – Kenzaburo Oe
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon – Jorge Amado
The Bitter Glass – Eilís Dillon
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – Alan Sillitoe
Mrs ‘Arris Goes to Paris – Paul Gallico
The Birds – Tarjei Vesaas
Borstal Boy – Brendan Behan
The End of the Road – John Barth
The Once and Future King – TH White
The Bell – Iris Murdoch
Jealousy – Alain Robbe-Grillet
Voss – Patrick White
The Deadbeats – Ward Ruyslinck
The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham
The Manila Rope – Veijo Meri
Blue Noon – Georges Bataille
Homo Faber – Max Frisch
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Pnin – Vladimir Nabokov
The Glass Bees – Ernst Junger
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
The Wonderful “O” – James Thurber
Justine – Lawrence Durrell
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
The Lonely Londoners – Sam Selvon
The Roots of Heaven – Romain Gary
Seize the Day – Saul Bellow
The Floating Opera – John Barth
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
The Devil to Pay in the Backlands – Joao Guimaraes Rosa
The Talented Mr Ripley – Patricia Highsmith
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Tree of Man – Patrick White
A World of Love – Elizabeth Bowen
The Trusting and the Maimed – James Plunkett
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
The Burning Plain – Juan Rulfo
The Last Temptation of Christ – Nikos Kazantzákis
The Recognitions – William Gaddis
The Ragazzi – Pier Paulo Pasolini
Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan
The Unknown Soldier – Vaino Linna
I’m Not Stiller – Max Frisch
The Sound of Waves – Yukio Mishima
Self Condemned – Wyndham Lewis
Death in Rome – Wolfgang Koeppen
The Story of O – Pauline Réage
A Ghost at Noon – Alberto Moravia
The Mandarins – Simone de Beauvoir
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Under the Net – Iris Murdoch
The Go-Between – LP Hartley
The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler
The Unnamable – Samuel Beckett
A Day in Spring – Ciril Kosmac
Watt – Samuel Beckett
The Dark Child – Camara Laye
Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
Junkie – William Burroughs
The Adventures of Augie March – Saul Bellow
The Hothouse – Wolfgang Koeppen
Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin
The Lost Steps – Alejo Capentier
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
The Judge and His Hangman – Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor
A Thousand Cranes – Yasunari Kawabata
The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson
Excellent Women – Barbara Pym
Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar
Malone Dies – Samuel Beckett
The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
The Opposing Shore – Julien Gracq
The Hive – Camilo Jose Cela
The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Rebel – Albert Camus
Molloy – Samuel Beckett
The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
The Abbot C – Georges Bataille
The Labyrinth of Solitude – Octavio Paz
The Third Man – Graham Greene
The Clocks – James Thurber
Gormenghast – Mervyn Peake
The Grass is Singing – Doris Lessing
Barabbas – Par Lagerkvist
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
The Guiltless – Hermann Broch
The Moon and the Bonfires – Cesare Pavese
The Garden Where the Brass Band Played – Simon Vestdijk
Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
The Case of Comrade Tulayev – Victor Serge
The Heat of the Day – Elizabeth Bowen
Kingdom of This World – Alejo Carpentier
The Man With the Golden Arm – Nelson Algren
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
All About H Hatterr – GV Desani
Disobedience – Alberto Moravia
Death Sentence – Maurice Blanchot
The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene
Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
Doctor Faustus – Thomas Mann
The Victim – Saul Bellow
Exercises in Style – Raymond Queneau
If This Is a Man – Primo Levi
The Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen – Tadeusz Borowski
Under the Volcano – Malcolm Lowry
In The Heart of the Seas – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
The Path to the Nest of Spiders – Italo Calvino
The Plague – Albert Camus
Back – Henry Green
Titus Groan – Mervyn Peake
Ashes and Diamonds – Jerzy Andrzejewski
The Bridge on the Drina – Ivo Andrić
Journey to the Alcarria – Camilo Jose Cela
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Froth on the Daydream – Boris Vlan
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Midaq Alley – Naguib Mahfouz
Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
The Pursuit of Love – Nancy Mitford
Loving – Henry Green
Arcanum – André Breton
Christ Stopped at Eboli – Carlo Levi
The Razor’s Edge – William Somerset Maugham
Transit – Anna Seghers
House in the Uplands – Erskine Caldwell
Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges
Dangling Man – Saul Bellow
Zorba the Greek – Nikos Kazantzákis
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Caught – Henry Green
The Death of Virgil – Herman Broch
The Glass Bead Game – Herman Hesse
Andrea – Carmen Laforet
Embers – Sandor Marai
The Tin Flute – Gabrielle Roy
Go Down, Moses – William Faulkner
Bosnian Chronicle – Ivo Andrić
The Outsider – Albert Camus
In Sicily – Elio Vittorini
The Poor Mouth – Flann O’Brien
The Living and the Dead – Patrick White
Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
Between the Acts – Virginia Woolf
The Hamlet – William Faulkner
Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren
Farewell My Lovely – Raymond Chandler
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
Native Son – Richard Wright
The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene
The Tartar Steppe – Dino Buzzati
Joseph and His Brothers – Thomas Mann
Party Going – Henry Green
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Chess Story – Stefan Zweig
Finnegans Wake – James Joyce
At Swim-Two-Birds – Flann O’Brien
Coming Up for Air – George Orwell
Goodbye to Berlin – Christopher Isherwood
The Harvesters – Cesare Pavese
Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller
Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys
Broad and Aliens is the World – Ciro Alegria
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
The Man Who Loved Children – Christina Stead
After the Death of Don Juan – Sylvie Townsend Warner
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson
Nausea – Jean-Paul Sartre
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
Cause for Alarm – Eric Ambler
Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
USA – John Dos Passos
Murphy – Samuel Beckett
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
On the Edge of Reason – Miroslav Krleza
The Years – Virginia Woolf
In Parenthesis – David Jones
The Revenge for Love – Wyndham Lewis
Out of Africa – Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen)
Alamut – Vladimir Bartol
To Have and Have Not – Ernest Hemingway
Summer Will Show – Sylvia Townsend Warner
Eyeless in Gaza – Aldous Huxley
The Thinking Reed – Rebecca West
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Keep the Aspidistra Flying – George Orwell
Wild Harbour – Ian MacPherson
Absalom, Absalom! – William Faulkner
The Blind Owl – Sadegh Hedayat
At the Mountains of Madness – HP Lovecraft
Ferdydurke – Witold Gombrowicz
Nightwood – Djuna Barnes
Independent People – Halldór Laxness
Auto-da-Fé – Elias Canetti
Rickshaw Boy – Lao She
The Last of Mr Norris – Christopher Isherwood
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – Horace McCoy
The House in Paris – Elizabeth Bowen
England Made Me – Graham Greene
Burmese Days – George Orwell
The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L Sayers
War with the Newts – Karel Capek
Threepenny Novel – Bertolt Brecht
Novel With Cocaine – M Ageyev
The Postman Always Rings Twice – James M Cain
Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh
Untouchable – Mulk Raj Anand
Tender is the Night – F Scott Fitzgerald
Thank You, Jeeves – PG Wodehouse
Call it Sleep – Henry Roth
Miss Lonelyhearts – Nathanael West
Murder Must Advertise – Dorothy L Sayers
The Bells of Basel – Louis Aragon
The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas – Gertrude Stein
On the Heights of Despair – Emil Cioran
Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
A Day Off – Storm Jameson
The Man Without Qualities – Robert Musil
A Scots Quair (Sunset Song) – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Journey to the End of the Night – Louis-Ferdinand Céline
The Street of Crocodiles – Bruno Schulz
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
To the North – Elizabeth Bowen
The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
The Radetzky March – Joseph Roth
The Waves – Virginia Woolf
The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett
Man’s Fate – Andre Malraux
Cakes and Ale – W Somerset Maugham
Cheese – Willem Elsschot
The Apes of God – Wyndham Lewis
Her Privates We – Frederic Manning
Vipers’ Tangle – Francois Mauriac
Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
Hebdomeros – Giorgio de Chirico
The Forbidden Realm – JJSlauerhoff
Passing – Nella Larsen
A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
The Return of Philip Latinowicz – Miroslav Krleza
Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett
Living – Henry Green
The Time of Indifference – Alberto Moravia
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
Berlin Alexanderplatz – Alfred Döblin
Insatiability – Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
The Last September – Elizabeth Bowen
Monica – Saunders Lewis
Harriet Hume – Rebecca West
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
Les Enfants Terribles – Jean Cocteau
Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
Story of the Eye – Georges Bataille
Orlando – Virginia Woolf
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – DH Lawrence
I Thought of Daisy – Edmund Wilson
The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall
The Childermass – Wyndham Lewis
Quartet – Jean Rhys
Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh
Quicksand – Nella Larsen
Parade’s End – Ford Madox Ford
Retreat Without Song – Shahan Shahnoor
Nadja – André Breton
Steppenwolf – Herman Hesse
Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust
To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
Tarka the Otter – Henry Williamson
Amerika – Franz Kafka
Some Prefer Nettles – Junichiro Tanizaki
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Blindness – Henry Green
The Castle – Franz Kafka
The Good Soldier Švejk – Jaroslav Hašek
The Plumed Serpent – DH Lawrence
One, None and a Hundred Thousand – Luigi Pirandello
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
The Making of Americans – Gertrude Stein
The Case of Sergeant Grischa – Arnold Zweig
Manhattan Transfer – John Dos Passos
Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
The Counterfeiters – André Gide
The Trial – Franz Kafka
Alberta and Jacob – Cora Sandel
The Artamonov Business – Maxim Gorky
The Professor’s House – Willa Cather
Under Satan’s Sun – Georges Bernanos
Billy Budd, Foretopman – Herman Melville
The Green Hat – Michael Arlen
The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
Chaka the Zulu – Thomas Mofolo
A Passage to India – EM Forster
The Devil in the Flesh – Raymond Radiguet
Zeno’s Conscience – Italo Svevo
Cane – Jean Toomer
Antic Hay – Aldous Huxley
Amok – Stefan Zweig
The Garden Party – Katherine Mansfield
The New World – Henruy Walda-Sellasse
The Enormous Room – EE Cummings
Jacob’s Room – Virginia Woolf
Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
The Glimpses of the Moon – Edith Wharton
Life and Death of Harriett Frean – May Sinclair
The Last Days of Humanity – Karl Kraus
Aaron’s Rod – DH Lawrence
Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis
Kristin Lavransdatter – Sigrid Undset
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Fox – DH Lawrence
Crome Yellow – Aldous Huxley
The Forest of the Hanged – Liviu Rebreanu
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
Main Street – Sinclair Lewis
Claudine’s House – Colette
Women in Love – DH Lawrence
Night and Day – Virginia Woolf
Tarr – Wyndham Lewis
Life of Christ – Giovanni Papini
The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West
The Shadow Line – Joseph Conrad
Summer – Edith Wharton
Growth of the Soil – Knut Hamsen
Bunner Sisters – Edith Wharton
The Storm of Steel – Ernst Junger
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
Under Fire – Henri Barbusse
Rashomon – Akutagawa Ryunosuke
The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford
Home and the World – Rabindranath Tagore
The Voyage Out – Virginia Woolf
Pallieter – Felix Timmermans
Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham
The Underdogs – Mariano Azuela
The Rainbow – DH Lawrence
The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan
Kokoro – Natsume Soseki
Locus Solus – Raymond Roussel
Rosshalde – Herman Hesse
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – Robert Tressell
Sons and Lovers – DH Lawrence
Death in Venice – Thomas Mann
The Charwoman’s Daughter – James Stephens
Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
Platero and I – Juan Ramon Jiminez
Fantômas – Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
Howards End – EM Forster
Impressions of Africa – Raymond Roussel
Three Lives – Gertrude Stein
Martin Eden – Jack London
Strait is the Gate – André Gide
Tono-Bungay – HG Wells
The Inferno – Henri Barbusse
A Room With a View – EM Forster
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge – Rainer Maria Rilke
The Iron Heel – Jack London
The Old Wives’ Tale – Arnold Bennett
The House on the Borderland – William Hope Hodgson
Mother – Maxim Gorky
The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Young Törless – Robert Musil
The Forsyte Sage – John Galsworthy
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
Professor Unrat – Heinrich Mann
Where Angels Fear to Tread – EM Forster
Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
Hadrian the Seventh – Frederick Rolfe
The Golden Bowl – Henry James
The Ambassadors – Henry James
The Riddle of the Sands – Erskine Childers
The Way of All Flesh – Samuel Butler
The Immoralist – André Gide
Memoirs of my Nervous Illness – Daniel P Schreber
The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
The Call of the Wild – Jack London
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Buddenbrooks – Thomas Mann
Kim – Rudyard Kipling
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad
None but the Brave – Arthur Schnitzler
Some Experiences of an Irish RM – Somerville and Ross
The Stechlin – Theodore Fontane
The Awakening – Kate Chopin
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The War of the Worlds – HG Wells
Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem – Emilio Salgari
The Invisible Man – HG Wells
What Maisie Knew – Henry James
Eclipse of the Crescent Moon – Geza Gardonyi
Fruits of the Earth – André Gide
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Quo Vadis – Henryk Sienkiewicz
Dom Casmurro – Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
The Island of Dr Moreau – HG Wells
As a Man Grows Older – Italo Svevo
The Time Machine – HG Wells
Effi Briest – Theodore Fontane
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Pharoah – Boleslaw Prus
The Real Charlotte – Somerville and Ross
Compassion – Benito Perez Galdos
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Born in Exile – George Gissing
Diary of a Nobody – George & Weedon Grossmith
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
News from Nowhere – William Morris
New Grub Street – George Gissing
Gösta Berling’s Saga – Selma Lagerlöf
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
The Viceroys – Federico De Roberto
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
The Kreutzer Sonata – Leo Tolstoy
La Bête Humaine – Émile Zola
By the Open Sea – August Strindberg
Hunger – Knut Hamsun
The Master of Ballantrae – Robert Louis Stevenson
Pierre and Jean – Guy de Maupassant
Down There – Joris-Karl Huysmans
Fortunata and Jacinta – Benito Pérez Galdés
The People of Hemsö – August Strindberg
The Woodlanders – Thomas Hardy
Thais – Anatole France
She – H Rider Haggard
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy
Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
Eline Vere – Louis Couperus
King Solomon’s Mines – H Rider Haggard
The Child of Pleasure – Gabriele D’Annunzio
Germinal – Émile Zola
Under the Yoke – Ivan Vazov
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Bel-Ami – Guy de Maupassant
Marius the Epicurean – Walter Pater
The Manors of Ulloa – Emilia Pardo Bazan
Against the Grain – Joris-Karl Huysmans
The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy
The Quest – Frederik van Eeden
A Woman’s Life – Guy de Maupassant
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
The House by the Medlar Tree – Giovanni Verga
The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
Bouvard and Pécuchet – Gustave Flaubert
Ben-Hur – Lew Wallace
The Regent’s Wife – Clarin Leopoldo Alas
Nana – Émile Zola
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Red Room – August Strindberg
Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Drunkard – Émile Zola
The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas – Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Virgin Soil – Ivan Turgenev
Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
The Hand of Ethelberta – Thomas Hardy
The Temptation of Saint Anthony – Gustave Flaubert
Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Enchanted Wanderer – Nicolai Leskov
Martin Fierro – Jose Hernandez
Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne
In a Glass Darkly – Sheridan Le Fanu
The Devils – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crime of Father Amado – Jose Maria Eca de Quieros
Erewhon – Samuel Butler
Pepita Jimenez – Juan Valera
Spring Torrents – Ivan Turgenev
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll
King Lear of the Steppes – Ivan Turgenev
He Knew He Was Right – Anthony Trollope
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert
Phineas Finn – Anthony Trollope
Maldoror – Comte de Lautréaumont
The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Thérèse Raquin – Émile Zola
The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope
Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
Uncle Silas – Sheridan Le Fanu
Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Water-Babies – Charles Kingsley
Les Misérables – Victor Hugo
Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev
Silas Marner – George Eliot
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
On the Eve – Ivan Turgenev
Castle Richmond – Anthony Trollope
The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
The Marble Faun – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Max Havelaar – Multatuli
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Oblomovka – Ivan Goncharov
Adam Bede – George Eliot
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
Indian Summer – Adalbert Stifter
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
Hard Times – Charles Dickens
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
Green Henry – Gottfried Keller
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
Villette – Charlotte Brontë
Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Blithedale Romance – Nathaniel Hawthorne
The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Shirley – Charlotte Brontë
Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë
The Devil’s Pool – George Sand
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Facundo – Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
The Count of Monte-Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
La Reine Margot – Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe
A Hero of Our Times – Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov
Martin Chuzzlewit – Charles Dickens
Camera Obscura – Hildebrand
The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
Lost Illusions – Honoré de Balzac
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
The Lion of Flanders – Hendrik Conscience
Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal
The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Eugene Onegin – Alexander Pushkin
The Nose – Nikolay Gogol
Le Père Goriot – Honoré de Balzac
Eugénie Grandet – Honoré de Balzac
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
The Red and the Black – Stendhal
The Life of a Good-for-Nothing – Joseph von Eichendorff
The Betrothed – Alessandro Manzoni
Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr – ETA Hoffman
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg
The Albigenses – Charles Robert Maturin
Melmoth the Wanderer – Charles Robert Maturin
The Monastery – Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Ormond – Maria Edgeworth
Michael Kohlhaas – Heinrich von Kleist
Rob Roy – Sir Walter Scott
Emma – Jane Austen
Henry of Ofterdingen – Novalis
Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Absentee – Maria Edgeworth
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Elective Affinities – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Castle Rackrent – Maria Edgeworth
Hyperion – Friedrich Hölderlin
The Nun – Denis Diderot
Camilla – Fanny Burney
The Monk – MG Lewis
Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
A Dream of Red Mansions – Cao Xueqin
The Interesting Narrative – Olaudah Equiano
The Adventures of Caleb Williams – William Godwin
Justine – Marquis de Sade
Anton Reiser – Karl Phillip Moritz
Vathek – William Beckford
The Days of Sodom – Marquis de Sade
Cecilia – Fanny Burney
Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Reveries of a Solitary Walker – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Evelina – Fanny Burney
The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Humphrey Clinker – Tobias George Smollett
The Man of Feeling – Henry Mackenzie
A Sentimental Journey – Laurence Sterne
Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
Émile; or, On Education – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rameau’s Nephew – Denis Diderot
Julie; or, the New Eloise – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rasselas – Samuel Johnson
Candide – Voltaire
The Female Quixote – Charlotte Lennox
Amelia – Henry Fielding
Peregrine Pickle – Tobias George Smollett
Fanny Hill – John Cleland
Tom Jones – Henry Fielding
Roderick Random – Tobias George Smollett
Clarissa – Samuel Richardson
Pamela – Samuel Richardson
Jacques the Fatalist – Denis Diderot
Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus – J Arbuthnot, J Gay, T Parnell, A Pope, J Swift
Joseph Andrews – Henry Fielding
A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
The Adventurous Simplicissimus – Hans von Girmmelshausen
Roxana – Daniel Defoe
The Conquest of New Spain – Bernal Diaz del Castillo
Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
Love in Excess – Eliza Haywood
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
A Tale of a Tub – Jonathan Swift
The Travels of Persiles and Sigismunda – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Thomas of Reading – Thomas Deloney
Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
Monkey: A Journey to the West – Wu Cheng’en
The Princess of Clèves – Marie-Madelaine Pioche de Lavergne, Comtesse de La Fayette
The Lusiad – Luis Vaz de Camoes
The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes – Anonymous
The Unfortunate Traveller – Thomas Nashe
Amadis of Gaul – Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo
Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit – John Lyly
La Celestina – Fernando de Rojas
Gargantua and Pantagruel – Françoise Rabelais
Tirant lo Blanc – Joanot Martorell
The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous
The Golden Ass – Lucius Apuleius
The Water Margin – Shi Nai’an and Luo Guanzhong
Aithiopika – Heliodorus
Romance of the Three Kingdoms – Luo Guanzhong
Chaireas and Kallirhoe – Chariton
The Tale of Genji – Murasaki Shikibu
Metamorphoses – Ovid
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter – Anonymous
Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus

review – dog songs


Last Christmas, I received a copy of Dog Songs by Mary Oliver. I love Mary Oliver’s poetry, and the thrilling, wondrous, open-heartedness of it all. Like most people of my generation, I collect inspirational quotes, but one of my top ten quotes comes from Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”. So I was especially keen to see what she had to write about dogs. Some people get dogs, some people don’t, and I just had a feeling that Mary Oliver with her exceptionally big heart would understand.

The poems fit together neatly as a collection, spanning lifetimes, but telling the stories of many dogs from different perspectives. Readers are given little glimpses into the minutiae of a dog’s life, from being picked out as a puppy, to having a last romp before being desexed, to the burial of a beloved companion. There is so much soaring beauty in her words and images, but it is tempered with moments of casual intimacy and solemn wisdom. Vignettes of hilarity overlap with utter poignancy, like in ‘School’*:

Come, I say, and you go galloping down the sand
to the nearest dead fish
with which you perfume your sweet neck.
It is summer.
How many summers does a little dog have?

But I think my favourite poem in the whole collection is ‘Little Dog’s Rhapsody in the Night’:

He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.
And when I’m awake, or awake enough

he turns upside down, his four paws
     in the air
and his eyes dark and fervent. 

“Tell me you love me,” he says.

“Tell me again.”

Could there be a sweeter arrangement? Over and over
he gets to ask.
I get to tell.

Oh, how well I know this arrangement. I read the whole collection through once, but I think it’ll be a while until I can bring myself to read it again – I cried, it is emotional for anybody who knows the love of dog and the tragedy that their lifespans are so short.

* Excerpts are taken from Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs (2013, Penguin).

the root of the root and the bud of the bud

The sky is grey and we both have colds. Life is all dirty dishes, chapped lips and mediocre essays right now. So here’s a poem.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
– e. e. cummings

the moral of the story is…

My main intention with this blog is to force myself to write. I find myself paralysed, all the time, when faced with blank spaces. Or having an idea that is so unusual, and feeling completely incapable of getting it down without destroying it. Like catching a goldfish only to smash it between overeager hands. Expect drivel and spelling mistakes!

Another intention (an easier one) is to collect all the bits and pieces of my life (and everything outside of my life) that inspire something. Memories have holes and vested interests, and they are very good at constructing lies and distorting things. So, this will provide a little time capsule for me.

Currently, I am working on a couple of pieces involving fairy tales. For uni. One of them is a fairy tale of my own design, the other piece is a school essay in which I tear a tale apart – Hansel and Gretel. It’s amazing that everybody knows this story, yet everybody gave different answers when I asked on facebook what the moral or ‘lesson’ was.

Don’t eat people’s houses.
Don’t trust kids.
Don’t trust adults.
Don’t trust your parents.
Don’t trust witches.
Don’t let your parents name you Hansel or Gretel.

I can’t pinpoint one overall moral either. It’s incredibly ambiguous, especially when you try to consider it as an instructional tale for children in 1857. It’s especially concerning when you consider the stepmother dies at the same time as the witch. Perhaps they are the same person..