15 January 2010

The seven wonders of the week

1—A reader's digestive 

I hope to live long enough to devour Arthur Henry King's "Reading List for a Lifetime."
  • The Standard Works (the scriptures)
  • Homer, "The Iliad" (translator Richmond A. Lattimore), "The Odyssey" (translator Emile V. Rieu)
  • "The Bhagavad-Gita" (The Song of God) (translator Christopher Isherwood)
  • Aeschylus, "Aeschylus I -- Oresteia" (translator Richmond A. Lattimore)
  • Sophocles, "The Oedipus Cycle" (translators Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald)
  • Plato, "Phaedo," "The Republic"
  • Euripides, "Euripides One" (translator Richmond A. Lattimore)
  • Herodotus, "The Persian Wars" (translator George Rawlinson)
  • Virgil, "The Aeneid" (translator John Dryden or Robert Fitzgerald)
  • Livy, "The Early History of Rome"
  • Josephus, "The Jewish War"
  • Plutarch, "Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans" and "Lives of the Noble Romans" (editor Edmund Fuller)
  • Eusebius, "The Essential Eusebius"
  • Augustine, "The City of God"
  • Bede, "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People"
  • Dante, "The Divine Comedy" (translators John D. Sinclair or Dorothy L. Sayers)
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Canterbury Tales" (translator Nevill Coghill)
  • Niccole Machiavelli, "The Prince"
  • William Shakespeare, "Hamlet," "Othello," "Measure for Measure," "King Lear," "Macbeth," "Antony and Cleopatra," "Coriolanus," "The Winter's Tale," "The Tempest"
  • Miguel de Cervantes, "Don Quixote" (translator Walter Starkie)
  • Rene Descartes, "Discourse on Method" (translator Wollaston)
  • John Milton, "Paradise Lost," "Paradise Regained," "Samson Agonistes"
  • George Fox, "Journal" (editor Rufus M. Jones)
  • John Bunyan, "The Pilgrim's Progress"
  • Jean Baptiste Racine, "Athaliah," "Phaedra"
  • Moliere, "Tartuffe," "The Would-Be Gentleman," "The Precious Damsels," "The Misanthrope" (translators Morris Bishop or Kenneth Muir)
  • Jonathan Swift, "Gulliver's Travels"
  • Antoine Prevost, "Manon Lescaut"
  • Samuel Richardson, "Pamela" (Part I), "Clarissa"
  • Montesquieu, "The Spirit of the Laws" (translator Thomas Nugent)
  • Voltaire, "Candide"
  • James Boswell, "Life of Samuel Johnson"
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "Emile"
  • Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations"
  • Edward Gibbon, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"
  • John Woolman, "Journal"
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "Faust I, II" (translators Walter Kaufmann or Charles E. Passage), "Wilhelm Meister"
  • William Wordsworth, "The Prelude" (Books I and II)
  • John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, "The Federalist Papers" (editor A. Hacker)
  • John Keats, "Letters" (editor Robert Gittings)
  • Jane Austen, "Persuasion," "Emma"
  • Stendhal, "The Red and the Black"
  • Soren Kierkegaard, "Fear and Trembling," "The Sickness Unto Death" (translator Walter Lowrie)
  • Honore de Balzac, "Eugenie Grandet"
  • Karl Marx, "Early Writings"
  • Henry David Thoreau, "Walden," "Civil Disobedience"
  • Parley P. Pratt, "Autobiography"
  • Charles Dickens, "Little Dorrit," "Great Expectations"
  • George Eliot, "Middlemarch," "Daniel Deronda"
  • Gustave Flaubert, "A Sentimental Education" (translator Robert Baldick)
  • Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, "The Brothers Karamazov"
  • Leo Tolstoy, "War and Peace" (translator Rosemary Edmonds), "Anna Karenina"
  • Sarah Orne Jewett, "Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories"
  • William James, "The Varieties of Religious Experience"
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" (translator Walter, Kaufmann)
  • Henrik Ibsen, "Peer Gynt" (translator Michael Meyer), "Rosmersholm," "Ghosts," "Hedda Gabler"
  • Thomas Hardy, "The Mayor of Casterbridge"
  • Henry James, "The Ambassadors," "What Maisie Knew"
  • Anton Chekhov, "The Cherry Orchard," "The Seagull," "Uncle Vanya," "The Three Sisters" (translator David Magarshack)
  • Joseph Conrad, "Nostromo"
  • James Joyce, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"
  • Sigmund Freud, "The Interpretation of Dreams" (translator James Strachey)
  • Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain," "Joseph and His Brothers"
  • Marcel Proust, "Swann's Way" (translator C. K. Scott Moncrieff)
  • John Maynard Keynes, "The Economic Consequences of the Peace"
  • D.H. Lawrence, "Women in Love"
  • E.M. Forster, "A Passage to India"
  • Franz Kafka, "The Trial"
  • Hermann Hesse, "Steppenwolf," "The Glass Bead Game" (Chapter 7)
  • George Santayana, "The Last Puritan"
  • Montaigne, "Essays" (translator John Florio)
2—An amazing quote

Dostoevsky wrote this in a letter to Mme. N. D. Fonvizina after he was released from prison in 1854 (and don't I wish he would write to me).
I am a child of the age, a child of lack of faith and doubt till now, and (this I know) this will be true till the coffin closes over. What frightful torments this thirst to believe has cost and costs me now, one which is all the stronger in my soul the more there are opposite proofs in me. And yet God sometimes sends me moments in which I am perfectly tranquil; in these moments I have formed in myself a symbol of faith in which everything is clear and sacred for me. This symbol is very simple; here it is: to believe that there is nothing more beautiful, profound, sympathetic, intelligent, manly, and perfect than Christ, and not only is not but, with jealous love I say to myself, cannot be. Even more, if somebody proved to me that Christ was outside the truth, and it really were so that the truth were outside of Christ, then I would rather remain with Christ than with the truth.

Oh, blessed chickpea crepes! Thank you, France! Really, you've got to try this recipe, with or without the fresh rosemary. Or the chevré.

4—Anti-Candida regimen

Did I mention that I'm finally back on the wagon? Goodbye, Krispy Kremes.


Because the air outside is practically unbreathable (worst air pollution in the nation this week, right here) and because January begs for laughter I need to be indoors seeing this. And this.

6—Community seed swap

And I'm in charge of organizing it. That's what they tell me anyway. Will keep you posted.



TonyB said...

Thanks for the Madness song ... but I notice there's no Thompson on that reading list. Must be some sort of a mistake.

Geo said...

TonyB, I think you should write your own "Reading List for a Lifetime." I'd be very interested to see your top recommendations.

Jessie said...

That is quite the list. I've read a few... but not many. I own a good number of them, though, if you want to borrow them. :)
Did you know that I got engaged at Walden Pond? Well, actually, Goose Pond, across the street, because it was much more romantic and secluded and less commercial (doesn't that seem ironic? that Walden is SO commercial?), but still...
And I don't want a letter from Doesteovsky. He may have been a literary genius, but he is terrifying to me! Have you read Crime and Punishment? Who can honestly come up with a murder like that? Man.
And glad to see that Joyce's Ulysses is NOT on the list--that book is ridiculous. People talk it up, but seriously--a book that goes on like that about wiping boogars on a rock, or peeing into the ocean... amazing literary references or not, I just don't need it.

Geo said...

Jessie, it makes me no end of happy that you got engaged at Goose Pond! Were there birds all around, honking their approval?

I did read Crime and Punishment, even willingly saw a stage performance of it. I can't help it, I guess—I relate to the tortured mind! ; )

If I wrote a must-read list, it would have to include the Moomintroll series, which is not considered high lit, but it hits the spot, a happy spot. You should see what you think of them. Both city libraries in P/O have them (in the children's sections).

TonyB said...

Geo - I don't think I've read 100 books of note in my entire life.

Sure, I've read more than 100 books, but I don't think you cold reasonably put "Competition Car Controls" or "Composite Engineering" on a reading list without getting laughed at.

Geo said...

I see what you mean. Looks like we could both do with an infusion of classics.

Scott said...

Love the list and the Dostoevsky quote. I can relate...or at least I want to believe I can relate to it. That might be a better to put it. I read 'Brothers Karamazov' last year and it was quite good. Bleak, but good. At least it was not as bad as 'Anna Karenina'; that book depressed me...and I like Hardy, so that is saying something. 'The Ambassadors' took me five tries to get through. I kept hitting the same paragraph (somewhere fairly early in the book) where I would become so lost and confused that I would put the book down and walk away. I finally read the whole thing, but I find that James is not my cup of tea, if you will. I would suggest 'Jude The Obscure' over Casterbridge if you are only going to read one of Hardy's novels. I would also have to add Tolkien because I think his work shows so many things modern fiction has lost; namely, the ability to use language to paint pictures in one's imagination. Anyway, we'll have to discuss this list sometime later. Let us know when you have some time and we'll stop by for a visit.

sfauthor said...

Nice list. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?


Jamie said...

So happy to hear some Madness...I need to do a classic ska sympoium here at home with the kids. They've had limited exposure considering what a huge part of their mama's (and uncles') musical life the ol' Madness/ English Beat/ Specials/ Funboy 3/Fishbone were. We heard "Must Be Love" the other day and it made everyone in the car so happy. Oh, dear Madness...hey, my word verification in "parthero"

Anthony Holden said...

Okay, two things.
One--yes to Madness.
Two--the reading list is awfully Western. What about our friends to the East? (This is largely spoken as a student of Japanese lit.)

Okay...three things. Double yes to Madness.

Bev Sykes said...

How embarrassingly depressing to realize I have read NONE of the books on your list. What's more, have little desire to.