The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors – The Marginalian

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The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors - The Marginalian“Studying is the nourishment that permits you to do fascinating work,” Jennifer Egan as soon as stated. This intersection of studying and writing is each a essential bi-directional life talent for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their private libraries. The High Ten: Writers Choose Their Favourite Books asks 125 of modernity’s best British and American writers — together with Norman Mailer, Ann Patchett, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Joyce Carol Oates — “to supply a listing, ranked, so as, of what [they] take into account the ten best works of fiction of all time- novels, story collections, performs, or poems.”

Of the 544 separate titles chosen, every is assigned a reverse-order level worth based mostly on the quantity place at which it seems on any listing — so, a guide that tops a listing at primary receives 10 factors, and a guide that graces the underside, at quantity ten, receives 1 level.

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In introducing the lists, David Orr presents a litmus take a look at for greatness:

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In the event you’re placing collectively a listing of ‘the best books,’ you’ll need to do two issues: (1) out of kindness, keep away from anybody engaged on a novel; and (2) resolve what the phrase ‘nice’ means. The primary half is straightforward, however how concerning the second? A brief listing of potential definitions of ‘greatness’ would possibly appear like this:

1. ‘Nice’ means ‘books which were best for me.’ 2. ‘Nice’ means ‘books that may be thought-about nice by the most individuals over time.’ 3. ‘Nice’ has nothing to do with you or me — or individuals in any respect. It entails transcendental ideas like God or the Chic. 4. ‘Nice’? I like Tom Clancy.

From David Foster Wallace (#1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis) to Stephen King (#1: The Golden Argosy, a 1955 anthology of the very best brief tales within the English language), the gathering presents a uncommon glimpse of the constructing blocks of nice creators’ combinatorial creativity — as a result of, as Austin Kleon put it, “you’re a mashup of what you let into your life.”

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The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors - The Marginalian

The guide concludes with an appendix of “literary quantity video games” summing up some patterns and developing a number of total rankings based mostly on the totality of the completely different authors’ picks. Amongst them (*with hyperlinks to free public area works the place obtainable):

  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Nice Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. In Search of Misplaced Time by Marcel Proust
  4. Ulysses* by James Joyce
  5. Dubliners* by James Joyce
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The whole tales of Flannery O’Connor
  10. Pale Hearth by Vladimir Nabokov
  1. Anna Karenina* by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary* by Gustave Flaubert
  3. Struggle and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. The tales of Anton Chekhov
  6. Middlemarch* by George Eliot
  7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Nice Expectations* by Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Emma* by Jane Austen
  1. William Shakespeare — 11
  2. William Faulkner — 6
  3. Henry James — 6
  4. Jane Austen — 5
  5. Charles Dickens — 5
  6. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
  7. Ernest Hemingway — 5
  8. Franz Kafka — 5
  9. (tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4
  1. Leo Tolstoy — 327
  2. William Shakespeare — 293
  3. James Joyce — 194
  4. Vladimir Nabokov — 190
  5. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177
  6. William Faulkner — 173
  7. Charles Dickens — 168
  8. Anton Chekhov — 165
  9. Gustave Flaubert — 163
  10. Jane Austen — 161

As a nonfiction loyalist, I’d love the same anthology of nonfiction favorites — then once more, well-known writers would possibly wave a realizing finger and level me to the advanced relationship between fact and fiction.

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