Discussion » Technology » Great Authors

  • Rockstar Mooney
    Rockstar Mooney wrote:

    No intro necessary here. I like these authors and would like to see some more names added.

    Before someone starts a thread titled "Can you blow your nose & fart at the same time ? " let's talk about a less interesting topic like great authors.

    Who is your favorite author ?

    Share your favorite book

    We're talking ultimate-fighting-style here: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, modern, ancient, everything's fair game except eye-gouging and fish-hooking.

    William Faulkner

    Revered modernist writer, historian and sociologist, is known for capturing the raw beauty of the rural South in all its dark complexity. While his sprawling verse and habit of knotting together past, present and future has overwhelmed some critics, others have responded to the demands of his writing. His command of syntactical structures pushed the language forward at least seventy-five years, which is to say nothing of his mesmerizing use of dialogue. Our master, for all time. Faulkner received the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature for "his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel."

    Must Reads : As I Lay Dying, Absalom Absalom, A Fable,The Reivers, The Old Man, Light in August, The Sound and the Fury,A Rose for Emily, Knight's Gambit,Dry September.

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    William Shakespeare

    There's a lot to say about Bill. His mercy, his ways of thinking. He admired everything he gave voice to, we can also hope he admired himself. He took the old stories, and he wrote them new.Who could do comedy and tragedy with equal aplomb? He was master of satire, of broad and physical comedy. He was easy with stage directions, easy with criminals, harder on saints.

    Must Reads: Romeo and Juliet, The Sonnets, Hamlet,A Midsummer Night's Dream, MacBeth,The Tempest, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice,The Comedy of Errors,Julius Caesar.

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    Franz Kafka

    He was a genius, our brightest genius, our maker of myth and hater of self. Proof it can come from any place, even hate or fear. All his novels are classics, even minor ones. His letter-writing! He is a code-maker, an analyst, a man of endless feeling, reserve, and talent. He wrote to God, addressed God, was God.

    Must Reads : The Trial,The Castle, The Metamorphisis, In The Penal Colony.

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    Charles Dickens

    He did things with story in his serials that still have not been attempted as well, took formulas and reconstructed them to his purpose, he was the mad scientist of place and person, the address to the Industrial Revolution. There he was for the greatest change in human history and thank heavens we had him to stand there, backing into darkness, so we could see the light.

    Must Reads : Great Expectations,Nicholas Nickleby, Hard Times, Oliver Twist,The Old Curiosity Shop.

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    Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Dostoyevsky displayed a nuanced understanding of human psychology in his major works. He created an opus of vitality and almost hypnotic power, characterized by feverishly dramatized scenes where his characters are frequently in scandalous and explosive atmospheres, passionately engaged in Socratic dialogues. The quest for God, the problem of evil and suffering of the innocents haunt the majority of his novels.

    Must Reads : Poor Folk,Notes from Underground,The Eternal Husband,The Double,Mr. Prokharchin.

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    James Joyce

    He wrote the beginnings of the short story we recognize today, the tragic and insane last moments of "The Dead." Ditto the ultimate line of "Evangeline" in Dubliners: "Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition." The most profound symbolist we have: the joy and fun of Ulysses, he gave more to the prose than you could, he forced you to be more, to cross to where he was standing, seeing as only he could. He has also been an important influence on writers and scholars as diverse as Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges,Flann O'Brien, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Phillip Norbert Årp, Salman Rushdie, Robert Anton Wilson, John Updike, and Joseph Campbell. Ulysses has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire (Modernist) movement".

    Must Reads: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,Ulysses,Exiles,Dubliners,Finnegans Wake,Chamber Music

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    Gertrude Stein

    To know that you have picked up something she has written, perhaps casually, or it was given to you, and to open her little world of language, where nothing was explained, and the reader had to come the rest of the way herself. She mastered being famous or notorious. Delivered those magnificent deadpan lectures. Said more in three words than most did in whole books.

    Must Reads: Tender Buttons, Everybody's Autobiography,Three Lives,Word Portraits,Q.E.D.

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    Virginia Woolf

    Born in London in 1882, it was a very good year for a extraordinarily perceptive and sensitive woman. She saw the Godrevy lighthouse in Cornwall during her summers, and she did it: she wrote 'To the Lighthouse', one of the five greatest narratives ever constructed in English. Being depressed and unhappy is mere sport for the greats, Woolf had a chronic disposition: "One of my vile vices is jealousy, of other writers' fame," she said, and yet what could Virginia Woolf envy in another writer! Each of her novels begins as a small masterpiece, and then suddenly her stunning talent for voice creeps in and no matter the station or mask of the character, we feel ourselves shaken by her knowing.

    Must Reads: The Waves, Jacob's Room,"Biographies",The Voyage Out,A Room of One's Own,Between the Acts

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    Mark Twain

    Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language.

    Must Reads : The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims' Progress,The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,Tom Sawyer,Huckleberry Finn,A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Pudd'nhead Wilson.

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    Vladimir Nabokov

    The West's mad and zany master. 'Lolita' is probably more important than 'The Odyssey'. It is better written, at least. His stories are sublime pictures of the sane insane man behind the moving inventiveness of 'Pale Fire'. Talked a good game: try his lectures.

    Must Reads : Ada, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight,Transparent Things,Bend Sinister,The Original of Laura.

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    Other Great Authors

    Oscar Wilde - The Happy Prince and Other Stories,The Soul of Man under Socialism,De Profundis.

    Haruki Murakami - Hear the Wind Sing,Norwegian Wood,Kafka on the Shore,The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

    John Milton - On the Late Massacre in Piedmont,Paradise Regained,Of Prelatical Episcopacy.

    Samuel Beckett - Endgame, Krapp's Last Tape, Molloy, Malone Dies.

    Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Hadji Murad,The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

    Anton Chekhov - My Life, The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters,The Bishop.

    Roald Dahl - Sometime Never,My Uncle Oswald,Someone Like You.

    Dante - The Divine Comedy , Inferno.

    Stephen King - Salem's Lot, It, Misery,Bag of Bones,Cujo,Creepshow.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby.

    Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility , Pride and Prejudice.

    Geoffrey Chaucer - Canterbury Tales.

    Luis Borges - Labyrinths.

    Herman Melville - Moby Dick,Typee, Billy Budd, The Confidence Man.

    Laurence Sterne - A Sentimental Journey, Tristram Shandy,

    Euripides - The Trojan Women, Iphigenia in Aulis, Helen.

    George Orwell - Animal Farm,Burmese Days,A Clergyman's Daughter,Keep the Aspidistra Flying.

    Lord Byron - Don Juan,The Island, Heaven and Earth, Manfred, Darkness.

    John Keats - Sonnet to Solitude, Calidore,Endymion.

    Henry James - The Art of Fiction,The Portrait of a Lady, Wings of the Dove.

    Tu Fu - Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River,Ballad of the Old Cypress,By the Lake,Day's End.

    Sun Tzu - Art of War.

    James Baldwin - Go Tell It On The Mountain.

    Marcel Proust - In Search of Lost Time.

    John Berryman - The Dream Songs.

    Harold Pinter - The Dumb Waiter,The Birthday Party, The Dwarfs.

    Henry Miller - Tropic of Cancer,The Collosus of Maroussi.

    Rumi - Spiritual Couplets,In It What's in It.

    George Bernard Shaw - Heartbreak House.

    George Eliot - Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, Silas Marner.

    Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary .

  • High Priest
    High Priest wrote:

    I like Franz Kafka, the trial

  • A豆腐
    A豆腐 wrote:

    I'm gonna be subjective, my criterion is that their read didn´t let me indifference, a kind of Catharsis after read them, in some way they marked me..

    The Plague by Albert Camus

    The Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

    The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima

    1984 by George Orwell.

  • Ejdnzlaj
    Ejdnzlaj wrote:

    Kurt Vonnegut - pretty much anything that happened when he put pen to paper.

    John Fowles - The Collector is awesomely disturbed, The Magus is maybe the best book I've ever read. The French Lieutenant's Wife is one of the worst books I've ever read though.

    Haruki Murakami - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore are insane masterpieces of magic realism colliding with existentialisim. Norweigan Wood is a slightly above average adolescent romance novel. Dance Dance Dance kind of sucked, but probably because I was comparing it to his best work. His non-fiction is also great

    Gabriel García Márquez - Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in the 80s, and rightfully so. 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera are true modern classics. Few authors have such an unbelievable command of language and emotion. Reading his books makes me feel my opinions are lumps of clay being wilfully molded by Gabo himself.

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Great choices from Adolfo; for me, the guy not on Mooney's that has to be mentioned would also be Camus. The Outsider is rarely far from my thoughts, haunting genius...

  • Olaf G.
    Olaf G. wrote:

    The book which impressed me the most was "Hunger" by Knut Hamsun. Not so much for its writing style or story but because it fit perfectly to the life i had just when i read it. That was beginning of tmy twenties when i went with my gf on a bike tour in Austria. For some reasons my gfs credit card did not work so after the trip we ran out of money and had no more money for food... but still 3 days to wait until our train went back...

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    To be fair to Mooney, about half of his list are neither English or American.

    If you were to nitpick at his lack of inclusivity, you could say that he didn't choose many females. Perhaps he is homosexual in his taste for fiction; I certainly am...

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    Chuck Palahniuk, Neal Stephenson, and Hunter S. Thompson are currently my favorite men of letters, or at least those I love to hate the most. I rarely read actually decent authors like Margaret Atwood, Kurt Vonnegut, and Mark Twain.

  • Ecce Marce
    Ecce Marce wrote:

    It seems that the Americans here dont really read anything non-English

  • Mari Vidste
    Mari Vidste wrote:

    Oscar Wilde - The Happy Prince and Other Stories,The Soul of Man under Socialism,De Profundis.

    Reading these, his dullest works, will give you no understanding of why Wilde was a genius. Life was his art, and so one need only read the biography by Richard Ellman, a book of quotations, and watch the 1952 film version of The Importance of Being Earnest.

    Gertrude Stein is almost as disgusting to read as she was to look at. Her 'word portraits' are some of the worst works of 'literature' ever produced.

    And I still contend that Titus Andronicus is Shakespeare's best play - an orgy of unrepentant violence and depravity.

  • Ecce Marce
    Ecce Marce wrote:

    Germany only have philosopher...~~~~@ECCE......list some german authors...

    wait..Kafka is former German..hehe

    Thats maybe as if you would say Americans only eat hamburgers or Chinese only invented Chop sticks. Of course Germany or the German language area has some great and important novellists. Kafka is just one of them (thought he was rather Austrian than German and i dont really know where the "former" comes from.) Hermann Hesse has also been translated into many languages (got a nobel prize). Goethe is maybe another name you have heard. Or maybe you know Micheal Endes "Never ending story"? Stefan Zweig is a writer I personally like a lot. For furher inspriation i kindly refer to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_literature

    But I did not mean to name now German writers. There are also many great writers in France, Russia, South America, Japan and last not least China.I found it funny that some people here seem to never have read any non-english fiction and then come up with crap like M. Atwood-

    My list contents too much English (American) author ?

    No. But your list sounds a bit like wikipedia... Did you read all those books?

  • Mari Vidste
    Mari Vidste wrote:

    Pictured above is Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein. To return the favor, Stein attempted a 'word portrait' of Picasso, but because she was retarded, she could only manage to record the farting noises made by the tumors in her brain:

    Shutters shut and open so do queens. Shutters shut and shutters and so shutters shut and shutters and so and so shutters and so shutters shut and so shutters shut and shutters and so. And so shutters shut and so and also. And also and so and so and also.

    Now I agree with Oscar Wilde that 'all art is meaningless' but he most certainly was not talking about this shit.

  • Ecce Marce
    Ecce Marce wrote:

    Ecce dude,your belief that native English speakers don't read any non-English literary works is limited only to your own imagination

    Dont generalize things, rockstar. You seem to be one of the few sophisticated people here. I doubt no second that most native english speakers do read literature from non-english countries. But look at the replies in this forum. Beside of you almost noone named one non-english author. And some people here name writers like Atwood but totally leave alone Kafka. I mean you can like him or not. But to mention Atwood rather than Kafka simply means that some people who replied to your threat dont even read wikipedia. I guess we all know who I am referring to.

    Translation? Its a bit an old and boring topic. Do you really want to discuss it? Basically I think that two people never read the same book as they interpreate it in a different way. As we most people would not agree that a book is there for not unreadable, I would say that books are of course translateable.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    But to mention Atwood rather than Kafka simply means that some people who replied to your threat dont even read wikipedia.

    Which Wikipedia page says you can't cite Atwood as a great author without mentioning Kafka?

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Haven't read much Atwood, but thought Oryx and Crake had something, weird as it was.

    @Ecce you say, ' But look at the replies in this forum. Beside of you almost noone named one non-english author'.

    What about High Priest, A豆腐, Kieran, Olaf, MatureW, 柯南 and I? You appear to be commenting on a (relatively short) thread without even reading it.

    And why should someone mention Kafka rather than Atwood, are the two inextricably linked in some way?

    You are sounding odd, even by your own high standards.

  • Ecce Marce
    Ecce Marce wrote:

    Which Wikipedia page says you can't cite Atwood as a great author without mentioning Kafka?

    http://www.wikipedia.com/ewan_the_jackass_from_midwest

    What about High Priest, A豆腐, Kieran, Olaf, MatureW, 柯南 and I? You appear to be commenting on a (relatively short) thread without even reading it.

    Okay, I admit, i did not count exactly. But you also have to admit two things. 1st A豆腐, Kieran, Olaf, MatureW, 柯南 and yourself are not "some Americans", right? They are mostly Chinese, on German and a british, if i got it right. 2nd: Writers who wrote in English are still somehow praedominant. I just find that note worth.

    You are sounding odd, even by your own high standards.

    If I had high standards I would not discuss here.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    http://www.wikipedia.com/ewan_the_jackass_from_midwest

    404 lulz not found

    redirecting to http://www.umad.net

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    No you didn't count, you didn't even take so much as a cursory glance.

    Your entire last post to Mooney doesn't even mention Americans, so I fail to realize what that has to do with anything. As has already been mentioned before, about a third and a half of writers on this thread are not either from England or America, which is not bad going for a thread started by a English speaker.

    You seem to be talking crap...

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    Maybe Ecce could make a "Pretty Good But Probably Not Great Authors" thread and discuss literature in a sub-optimal language instead of clumsily attempting to make the otherwise exceedingly obvious point that Americans are uncultured monolingual plebs.

    Expecting North Americans to give even a fraction of a fuck about literature in their own language is asking an awful lot, but now we have to be sure to pad our lists of Great Authors with a token foreigner to satisfy the pretensions of someone whose standards are too high to discuss here? Son of an English teacher, that's just too much!

  • Yuki Inés
    Yuki Inés wrote:

    no on else like VS Naipaul ? I love every sentence of his Half A Life. Yukio Mishima is definetely my favorite too.

    Though Marquez was mentioned, I would like to add the name of Juan Rulfo. His Pedro Paramo is the first magic in latin American literature, which sparkles later from Onetti, Fuentes, Neruda, Puig and Llosa.

    I always found hispanic authors a bit dessfinado , amazing in their own ways, pessimism in Miguel de Unamuno's thoughts, romantic and sadness from Garcia Lorca.

    But as 单独子儿 took Kurt Vonnegut a decent writer, making contrast to hardcore figure like Chuck Palahniuk. I guess the whole atmosphere here is just too decent to mention my love for PG Wodehouse.

  • Ecce Marce
    Ecce Marce wrote:

    No you didn't count, you didn't even take so much as a cursory glance.

    I still did not count, but even with a cursory glance its very obvious that you can see a higher likelyness among non-native english speakers that they are litteraly more open-minded to writers from other cultures and countries. Count before you blame others!

    Expecting North Americans to give even a fraction of a fuck about literature in their own language is asking an awful lot, but now we have to be sure to pad our lists of Great Authors with a token foreigner to satisfy the pretensions of English teacher whose standards are too high to discuss here? Son of an English teacher, that's just too much!

    But what are they doing then? I mean not everyone can enjoy time in Thailand banging local girls, right?

    BTW. I also love Foucault.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    No you didn't count, you didn't even take so much as a cursory glance. ... I still did not count, .... Count before you blame others!

    alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Oh Ecce, you can be frightfully dull; maybe, just maybe, people who are non-native English speakers are more open-minded when it comes to writers from cultures, but I see no evidence of it. It all smacks of closed-minded assumptions to me. But to you it is obvious

    My impression of the UK that is has always been hugely welcoming of foreign literature and from what I know America and Australia are the same. Perhaps I'm wrong, maybe Marquez, Camus, Kafka, Goncharov, Eco and the like have slipped through the net, it certainly doesn't feel like it.

    You are basing this on the fact that Dando and Scott happened to mention a few American writers they like? Ho-hum.

    And what is all this English teacher shit, why do you give a proverbial monkey's fuck what people's jobs are?

  • Mari Vidste
    Mari Vidste wrote:

    a proverbial monkey's fuck

    I'm sorry. Is there a proverb about monkeys fucking that I'm not aware of?

    And by the way, I want it known that I am hating all over the face of an AmeriCUNT writer in this thread, and I am doing so as a proud AmeriCUNT myself, so...all this nationality talk is dead air, and the presence of comments by nonentities such as Ecce HOMO should not even be acknowledged.

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    Dont generalize things, rockstar. You seem to be one of the few sophisticated people here. I doubt no second that most native english speakers do read literature from non-english countries.

    It's posts like these that make me keep coming back to WLiB.

    A very brief engagement with your point: English as a language is more pervasive in global education than any other language, even if there are more Mandarin speakers. Your assertion that the average non-native English speaker has read more English texts than the number of non-English texts that the average native-English speaker has read simply reflects the reality of the role of English in most countries' education system, not some backward idea about enlightenment and cultural awareness.

    Also, stop using the word 'literally' if you're going to be all metaphorical with it. Hint: it's pretty difficult to be literally open-minded.

    Will reply to this topic again, but I was surprised and pleased to see Faulkner as the first mention. I can also quickly add my favourite writer (Fernando Pessoa) and favourite non-fiction theorist (Mikhail Bakhtin).

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    ...

    Hahahahaha ...

    Your assertion that the average non-native English speaker has read more English texts than the number of non-English texts that the average native-English speaker has read simply reflects the reality of the role of English in most countries' education system, not some backward idea about enlightenment and cultural awareness.

    I still cannot be sure, in that case, whether I should be considered native speaker, or non native speaker ... damn ... and since I failed to get Fries interested in Hamilton (Laurell K), my guess is that no one likes her stuff?

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    柯南, it depends what version of the bible you read, but I grant you 'not giving a monkey's fuck' is more idiomatic than proverbial.

    But I agree, a futile debate (if one can even deign to call it that); in the case of Ecce Homo, one should not Behold the Man.

  • Olaf G.
    Olaf G. wrote:

    @FMB: Ist "Hassficker" ein gebräuchliches Wort in Deutschland? Ich habe das noch nie gehört.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    Is there a proverb about monkeys fucking that I'm not aware of?

    I recall from my youth a certain racist creation myth pertaining to AIDS.

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    To go all modern, I've been reading a lot of old comics lately and I'd definitely add Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore to this list.

    T.S. Eliot also seems to be missing amongst the modernist writers above (and I prefer him to Woolf, Joyce et al).

    For Oscar WIlde, I'd recommend The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Salome as the ones to read before his other works.

  • WeLiveInBeijingRess

    truman capote

  • Mari Vidste
    Mari Vidste wrote:

    I recall from my youth a certain racist creation myth pertaining to AIDS.

    Please elaborate...

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    this thread is becoming quite the sleeper hit.

    柯南 when I was at school (and it wasn't much of school) there was a widespread idea bandied about that AIDS came from Africa via a monkey that had fucked or bit a man. For a while the myth was perpetuated by scientists as well as school children.

    I have no idea if is related to the English colloquialism, 'not giving a monkey's fuck,' I doubt it.

    Saying that I do find monkeys very cute, and in my weaker moments...

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    J G Ballard's 'Empire of the Sun is a novel. His autobiography (more a memoir really) is 'Miracles of Life'

    I'm going to get my apologies in early; I am being a pedantic prick here...

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    My favourite autobiography is probably I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (and the books that followed it up). That was at the point in my life when I still thought I was a strong black woman.

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