The List of Literature

  Poetry & Prose    Books / People

‘The’ is the definitive article.
 
It struck in a flash. I stumbled and slipped (literally now: I was down on my knees, reeling). Looking up from where I fell, beseeching and imploring god knows who or what, I could see no easy way out of this all consuming heart-rending malaise (it is akin to being helplessly trapped in a Rocky-red abyss, numb and immobile in an icey-blue, Baffin Bay crevasse… yet, I do too acknowledge it to be a bolthole of sorts: an escape from the claustrophobia of the village, the nuclear family, my ‘duties’ and my responsibilities… I am a human of “means” [I delude myself], or as convention would have me write, “a gentleman of independent–” but, ‘a human’ is what I will write [and in fact I ain’t, I am now in penury and as frugal as can be]. As an aside, I can’t abide the ‘man’ this and ‘man’ that which is the constant motif in nearly all of what I read be it literary criticism or philosophy. There’s emergent hope though, Dawkins, my man, makes good, see for instance his “Magic of Reality,” so too does another of my men, Yuval Noah Harari, see his “Sapiens;” they both switch egalitarianally between ‘his’ and ‘her’ when they go about describing this and describing that.). Any which way, it is literature to which I reached out to in the hope of it being able to clear this malevolent haize, it is on literature to which I now divulge. Literature, certain kinds anyway, speaks to the human condition… find the right text and it is like listening in on the sort of conversation you want to be partaking in, yes, it will either be you passively hearing a monologue or you, as a mute participant, listening to a dialogue between another two or more. But, let me say this: in a way, you ‘can’ partake, because you can pause, hold your finger down on the sentence where you want to interject and you can think your thoughts aloud — voice them out and participate that way — and/or you can make notes, cross reference the points and counterpoints and even, elaborate. Ideally (I humbly suggest) such elaborations and further musings would be noted down in an A5 unlined journal by way of a black and yellow striped pencil (unlike ink pens, these tools are no slaves to gravity). Some philosophers think we are alone anyway (living entirely in our own heads) and, bereft now of any meaningful companionship, I am indeed alone in what we will simply call: “conventionally conceived ‘reality'” (alone in this bolthole for which, picture a bed in a room with the light of day purposefully blinded out). This bout of malaise seems more trenchant and malevolent than ever. Nothing seems capable of alleviating it — charting a pathway out of this chasm — not my voluminous collection of texts nor my decade’s worth of drafts, neither either, the alternatives at hand: (1) the perusal of current affairs (be it “Mask Wars” or the march of technology and notions of “Total Control” [some now are want to call this “doomscrolling” and define it as the act of consuming an endless procession of negative news stories {i.e., the folly that was “Brexit” and the ensuing debasements, see, e.g., “Pompayo Pets Poodles”. I’ll say, like I assume we all do, I’ve my favourite fixes — singular actually, my favourite is: The Guardian — I’ll say too that I am partial to long form reportage too and, for this, seem to find most of merit in American publications. The latter is by no means always doom and gloom. Outlets include: Lapman’s Quarterly, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Long-Form, The New York Times and the British stalwart: New Statesman}] and (2) the listening, with eyes shut tight, to podcasts. I’ll say this, podcasts have increasingly come to constitute a potential to achieving some degree of succour. But what is it that I gravitate toward when burying myself in these alternatives (these longer form articles and reams of audio files)? Yep, yes, it is literature. And more specifically, it is the understanding, analysis and wider import of this highest form of art that obsesses me rather than having stories read to me for, if I want to digest prose or poetry, I must read it myself, not have it read to me… (the reason is straightforward, I can’t understand it otherwise) I would love to have all that I read in codex form but, ink cartridge costs and guiltiness about the paper production process mean it is increasingly done by way of a screen (a split screen: a PDF reader on the right-hand side, set to Zoom to Page Level and Page Display to Enable Scrolling and Notepad on the left-hand side [formatting and spellcheck can go sing to the sea! Though latterly I do have a habit of using the reader’s yellow highlighter and red underlining tools, not formatting exactly, but a bit more elaborate than the bare-bones notepad])  [1]  Here’s a point, in whatever way I delve into literature I find that if we dig and dig (see what influenced those who influenced these) we end up, in some way shape or form, with: [a] King James Bible and [b], Homer’s two epic poems (“Iliad” and “Odyssey”). Can it really be the case that everything since then is in some way additions to, based upon, or commentaries on, this plus two-millennia old canon? (Viz. “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, “The Hebrew Bible”, Hesiod’s “Theogony”, Homer’s works and a handful of pre-B.C.E. Greek dramas by the likes of Aeschylus (c. 450 BCE), Euripides (c. 400 BCE) & Sophocles (c. 450 BCE)) [2] Literature too is creative non-fiction. How much really have the soul-searching questions of philosophy advanced since pre-BCE? (take in the musings and thoughts of say Plato (c. 399-366 BCE) and Aristotle (c. 344-323 BCE) and ask yourself what new questions have been asked… [knowledge from neuroscience and insights from psychoanalysis are advances yes, but have they changed any of the fundamental questions that were first articulated and recorded some two and a bit millennia ago?]). Accounts of history too. Histrionics. How has this changed in purpose? The utilising of multiple sources and referencing aside, what I wonder is fundamentally different from say the accounts of Herodotus and his “The Histories” (c. 440 BCE) and, Thucydides and his “The Peloponnesian War” (c. 400 BCE) to the work of Edward Gibbon and his “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (1776-1788), some 2,000 odd years later? Is any of it objective? Indeed, would any even claim to be… Patronage of the arts. Mark my words: “patronage of the arts.” Stop for a minute. Ponder this: “Oh he was a ruthless tyrant but he was responsible for building the Royal Opera Hall,” or this, “Yes he was a ruthless businessman but he was an avid buyer of contemporary sculpture.” It is like saying we should thank war (rape, trauma and pillage) for today’s modern communication systems and advances in medical procedures. Historians tend to favour one side and fear the possible rise of the other. All too often the writing of history is an exercise in downplaying the atrocities we commit and amplifying those that are committed against us. (Yes this is the extremest of glosses, the grossest of oversimplifications but consider the following: one, did Virgil’s “Aeneid” have a political purpose, was there a paymaster? And two, who the bloody hell wrote, lock, stock and barrel, “The Art of the Deal”?)


These dark moods, these black spots do seemingly grow in inverse proportion to the shortening evening spans of the autumn nights that are now upon us (u & eye, me ‘n’ yew).

A fall of mine would typically unfold rather like ‘this’ fall is unfolding — and the chain of textual analyses etc. I’ll now describe, is more about the attempted recovery process; the path taken to clamber out of the said hole (n.b., and to reiterate it is a [bolt]hole not entirely without appeal [the cause of the fall: the realisation, that came in a lightening strike, that I am once more, farfromyou]):

From Wilde’s “De Profundis” I got to The book of Daniel and from the The book of Daniel I got to Susana’s tale and to put a picture to the protagonist (a creatively imagined one, but still) I became aquainted with Artemisia Gentileschi (the painter of “Susanna and the Elders,” see below) and from the gallant Gentileschi I came to know of Amrita Sher-Gil (as both were included on a list of “Badass Women of History,” № 21 & № 22, respectively [this list was compiled by an individual who evidently has no interest in being known — the blog listing these women had no author name {no “about” page} — but he or she started the list by quoting Laurel Ulrich, see below]). Lists! Yes, “lists” was the next port of call on my arduous and winding road from perdition. […] We will now list some lists (down below). Why — o fictitious reader u ask — present here, in abridged form, a list that is derived from a large series of extant lists of literary works compiled by one John M. Becker of Boston, Massachusetts? Well, our list, this list, the list below, will one day form the genesis of this website’s podcast series: “The Significance of Literature” (It should be said that Becker’s lists are quite something and it is heartily recommended that you do take a look: Becker’s Meta-lists”).


Well-behaved women seldom make history.

— Laurel Ulrich (a Pulitzer-prize winning reader in history).

Before touching upon Artemisia Gentileschi and Amrita Sher-Gil, we’ll first (re)introduce you to one Noor Inayat Khan who caught our eye (at № 9):

The Talented Ms Noor Inayat Khan
 
On September 13th, 1944, an Indian princess lay on the floor in a concentration camp in Dachau; she’d been brutally tortured and then shot dead with a bullet to the head. Her name was Noor Inayat Khan. The Germans knew her as that dark skinned British spy, Nora Baker. As Shrabani Basu writes, Noor Inayat Khan was in fact the first woman radio operator to be infiltrated into occupied France duruing WWII. She would posthumously be awarded Britain’s highest civilian honour, the George Cross and France would bestow on her the Croix de Guerre. But on that bleak September day, she lay alone.
 
Noor Inayat Khan was born on New Year’s Day, 1914 in a monastery just outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Her father was a Sufi preacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan, and her mother was an American, Ora Ray Baker. Her father had travelled from his homeland of Baroda in India to the West on the instructions of his teacher, who had told him to take his message of music and peace to the world. Her father, Inayat Khan, also happened to descend from the uncle of Tipu Sultan, the 18th c. ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.
 
On the night of September 11th 1944, Noor was ordered to come out of her cell. She was driven handcuffed to another prison — she was told she was going to work as an agricultural labourer… She and three others reached Dachau at midnight and walked with their suitcases to the concentration camp. It was to be a long night for Noor. Perhaps because she was labelled “highly dangerous”, and perhaps because she was dark-skinned, she was singled out for further torture. All night long, she was kicked and beaten and when her frail body had slumped on the floor, she was asked to kneel and shot point blank at the back of the head. Noor Inayat Khan’s last words were said by surviving prisoners to have been: “Liberté.” Back in England, both her mother and brother had the same dream. Noor came to them surrounded by blue light. She told them she was free.

Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – c. 1656)
Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – c. 1656)

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 – c. 1656) was an Italian Baroque painter who started off in the style of Caravaggio. She is currently considered one of the most accomplished seventeenth-century Italian painters and was the first woman to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. Artemisia is renowned for being able to depict the female figure with great naturalism and for her skill in handling color to express dimension and drama. Many of Artemisia’s paintings feature women from myths, allegories, and the Bible, including victims, suicides, and warriors. Amongst her best known subjects are Susanna and the Elders, Judith Slaying Holofernes and Judith and Her Maidservant:

'Susanna and the Elders' by Artemisia Gentileschi (circa 1610)
“Susanna and the Elders”
by Artemisia Gentileschi (circa 1610).

The Rape of Artemisia
 
The story of Artemisia Gentileschi’s rape by one Agostino Tassi and her participation in the trial of her rapist long overshadowed her achievements as an artist. Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome and was the eldest child of the Tuscan painter Orazio Gentileschi. In 1611, Artemisia’s father tasked Agostino Tassi to tutor her but, soon after this tutelage begun, Tassi raped Artemisia. In the aftermath Artemisia started to have sexual relations with Tassi, with the expectation that they were going to be married but after a while it became clear he was planning to marry someone else — he was actually married to someone else as well. So, nine months after the rape, her father Orazio pressed charges against Tassi. The major issue of this trial was the fact that Tassi had taken Artemisia’s virginity. If Artemisia had not been a virgin before Tassi raped her, the Gentileschis would not have been able to press charges. During the ensuing seven-month trial, it was discovered that Tassi had planned to murder his wife, had engaged in adultery with his sister-in-law, and planned to steal some of Orazio’s paintings. Shockingly, Artemisia was tortured with thumbscrews at the trial in order to verify her testimony. At the end of the trial Tassi was exiled from Rome, yet according to Wikipedia, the sentence was never carried out.

Amrita Sher-Gil

Amrita Sher Gil - a pioneering artist
“I am an individualist, evolving a new technique, which, through not necessarily Indian in the traditional sense of the word, will yet be fundamentally Indian in spirit. With the eternal significance of form and color I interpret India and, principally, the life of the Indian poor on the plane that transcends the plane of mere sentimental interest.”
— Amrita Sher-Gil

As was written by someone, “Amrita left this world in the year 1941, aged 28 after a serious illness which made her to slip into coma.” What’s now is that the exact cause of her death is unknown but it might have been a failed abortion. In indirect support of this was the fact that her mother accuse her husband of being responsible for her death. Today Amrita Sher-Gil is deservedly seen as the pioneer of modern art in India. It is said that “The Moor’s Last Sigh,” by Salman Rushdie, was inspired by the life and times of Amrita.

I do go on a bit, but you know what? So what! My one is a talker, loquaciousness is their forte, their métier so to speak. So I write for and to them alone. Let me get some focus, find some way out of this malaise. “The Significance of Literature.” “Ways of Escape.” Roots and Rootedness… I just keep coming back to the fact that so much work is based on biblical stories, I mean, it is so isn’t it. I do acknowledge that it tended to be the only book in most dwellings and the only one read by many to their offspring, generation after generation after generation. Berated by, bashed with — read: “Oranges aren’t the Only Fruit” — the fear of G, the confessional, the guilt of self-pleasure, frightful tales of damnation drilled into the furtive pre-formative minds of oh so very many and I’ll be frank: same applies to the T and the Q too — read a little of the late Christopher Hitchens. Yet, The Good Book’s poetry and prose, it’s play with words and its fantastical tales, its thoughtful proverbs, its arousing erotica, implied and explicit, inadvertently stumbled upon during sedate Sunday schools or staid family bible study groupings… the beginnings of horniness in inconvenient surroundings. And so on and so forth. But, lest we forget it “is” an obvious source of inspiration for any aspiring poet or writer of prose, i.e., a wanna be wordsmith just like me.

I for one got beached upon one Bathsheba… As he would say to me: “What can I do!” You see, our Artemisia did decide to paint her too (I feel sure she knew well what her paying male clients wanted to see in the painting to be hung on their bedroom walls — dressing up the undressing women in a veneer of biblical respectability was just the lucrative golden ticket.)

“Bathsheba bathing”
— by Artemisia (c. 1644)

Bathsheba is a biblical character who a peeping tom observed whilst she was bathing… The tom happened to be a King and despite his station and his status as married, lusted after her. King David’s interactions with Bathsheba are described in II Samuel (11:1—27). David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw her and wanted to see more. Despite finding out that Bathsheba was married to man called Uriah, he desired her and later made her pregnant.

Bathsheba holding King David's letter -- by Willem Drost (c.1654)
“Bathsheba holding King David’s letter”
— by Willem Drost (c.1654)
— can be seen @ Musée du Louvre (48°51″40″N 2°20’11″E).

So, beginnings, foundational tales, the holy grail of a starting point: The Original Story (the initial inquiry into and on the human condition…) was written when? what facilitated for the minds that made it up to be given the time and space to make it up? That’s question one. Question two is this: To what degree have credible advances been made to the initial inquiries and summations? I am not talking of science, for in that domain we’ve come on leaps ‘n’ bounds, I am talking of “Why.” Why is it that the emotions of love and hate, envy and jealousy and our tendency to lethargy define who and what we are… We have in the thousand year period before the Common Era (C.E.) — so, I am referring to say 1,100 Before C.E. (B.C.E.) to around 100 BCE — some critically important happenings and texts in relation to those initial inquiries. First was the Babylonian/s who merged together the 11 tablets that, as one, came to be know as: “The Epic of Gilgamesh” (written some 1,000 years earlier, so: 4,000 years old as of 2020). Secondly, we have Hesiod and Homer (creator of the Greek Gods and, founder of the epic, poetic and mythical story form, respectively) and thirdly, there is the cast of characters that wrote the sublime tales (sublime in their insights, flights of fancy and play with words) that got merged together in the “Hebrew Bible,” today’s Old Testament in the King James Version — the book that is used in Western courts of justice to swear by and swear on, the book that governs the lives of so many both willingly and unwillingly.

Was Virgil influenced by Homer, yes. was Dante influenced by Virgil, yes. Did English literature, from Shakespeare onward draw wittingly or otherwise on (i) Dante and Petrarch (the latter whose rediscovery of Cicero’s letters is often credited with initiating the 14th c. Italian Renaissance and the founding of Renaissance humanism) (ii) The “Aeneid” by Virgil (written in around 6–9 B.C.E), (iii) Homer’s two epics: “Iliad” and “Odyssey”and (iv), the stories of the bible’s Old and New testaments.

We will chart literature and denote and document it’s majesty and significance. In particular A. B. and J. H. K. shall look for roots and prize out the ways in which it deals with those elemental questions. Please note that the list below is based on a computations made by a wide number of people. In sum it does this. It is the amalgamation of a trawl of extant lists be they on or offline. There are a surfeit of lists in fact but, but many are say the top 10 or the top 25 or the top 100. Many, many are genre or gender specific, or, or a great many are done by decade or geographic region, “American,” “British,” e. t. c. Also many are organised by popularity, this list, the one you’ll see below, is organised as thus: a chronological list of works that appear on at least three of what I’ll call the authoritative lists. I can say that the lists queried are c. twennie-five. In addition, I have decided to only list each author once, but within their listing, will cite each work of theirs that has appeared on at least three of the ‘authoritative lists.’ Lastly, I up front confess that I have not scanned the list to see how balanced it is in terms of race or gender — somehow I’ve outsourced this to the original list compilers (some of those lists were compiled by literary critics, others by publishers, others by selected authors and others still by dear readers, by poll, themselves) — nor is it particularly representative of works from Asia or South America. Here I’ll be frank, I make zero judgment on merit by region however, I have mostly had British teachers in school and at my university, the literature department is dominated by North Americans (yes we have to do the Elizabethan era and the Romantics, but given free reign and we are all over Frost and Poe and Morrison, I ain’t complaining, I am just saying…)…


‘The’ List of Lists

— a. k. a.: The Queen of Queens
— the stars (with my moon)

KEY
📙 Fiction (prose, poetry &… drama)
📗 Philosophy
📘 (Creative) Non-fiction (inc. politics & science)
📕 Religious texts

 

📙 The Epic of Gilgamesh

— author/s unknown (c. 2,000 B.C.E.)
— Poetry / narrative / on 10 lists
 
This, this, this is the beginning of it all; known as the first work of fiction. It was set out on 12 large tablets of clay covered in dense tracts of Cuneiform script. We most probably will never know what was on the twelfth for it is said to have been destroyed by the creators… sexual awakening, the search for the elixir of youth, welcoming in the flood myth and the seditious serpent, the first foray into the acceptance of one’s mortality. Love. Love is ephemeral like the Mayfly but love to is the be all and the end all.


📙 Theogony
(Ancient Greece, c. 800-750 B.C.E.) (on 3 lists)
— Hesiod (poetry: narrative)


📙 The Iliad
📙 The Odyssey
(Ancient Greece, c. 775-700 BCE) (on 20 lists)
— Homer (poetry: narrative)


📕 The Upanishads

— author/s unknown (c. 900-600 BCE)
— Fiction / religious texts / on 5 lists
 
The Upanishads were composed in Sanskrit and form part of the Vedas — the sacred and ancient scriptures that are the basis of India’s Hindu religion (and presumably, caste system). The word ‘Upanishad’ means “sitting near devotedly,” which heralds the image of a pliant student listening with rapt attention to the sayings of their spiritual master. Each lesson (“upanishad”), takes up a theme ranging from the attainment of spiritual bliss to karma and rebirth. Scholars do declare that collectively, they are meditations on: life, death & immortality and fundamentally that in essence the central idea is that that truth can by reached by faith rather than by thought… and that …we need not fear death as we carry within us the promise of eternal life.


📕 The Bible

— annonymous (“Old Testament” [Mesopotamia/Palestine: c. 1,000 BCE – c. 200 BCE]; “New Testament” [Palestine: c. 96 CE – c. 336 CE])
— Fiction / religious texts / on 12++ lists
 
I’ll wager the world, all the coffee in Colombia that there is no more influential work than this. This will be followed by and alphabetically: Dante, Homer and Shakespeare.


📙 Poems [by Sappho]
(esp. Fragment 42 and Fragment 155) (Ancient Greece, c. 620-580 BCE) (on 4 lists)
— Sappho (poetry: lyric)


📙 Fables [by Aesop]
(esp. The Tortoise and the Hare and The Grasshopper and the Ant) (Ancient Greece, c. 600-560 BCE) (on 4 lists)
— Aesop (fiction: stories)


📙 Dramas [by Aeschylus]
— The Persians (c. 472 BCE / on 3 lists)
— The Suppliant Women (Ancient Greece, c. 469 BCE) (on 3 lists)
— Prometheus Bound (Ancient Greece, c. 460-415 BCE) (on 5 lists)
— The Oresteia (trio) (c. 458 BCE) (on 10 lists)


📙 Dramas [by Sophocles]
Oedipus the King (Ancient Greece, c. 450 BCE) (on 15 lists)
Women of Trachis (Ancient Greece, c. 450 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Ajax (Ancient Greece, c. 447 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Antigone (Ancient Greece, 442-441 BCE) (on 11 lists)
Electra (Ancient Greece, c. 418-414 BCE) (on 6 lists)
Philoctetes (Ancient Greece, 409 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Oedipus at Colonus (Ancient Greece, 401 BCE) (on 5 lists)


📘 The Histories
(Ancient Greece, 441, BCE) (on 10 lists)
– Herodotus (non-fiction: history)


📙 Alcestis (Ancient Greece, 438 BCE) (on 5 lists)
Medea (Ancient Greece, c. 431 BCE) (on 13 lists)
Hippolytus (Ancient Greece, c. 428 BCE) (on 4 lists)
Andromache (Ancient Greece, c. 425 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Hecuba (Ancient Greece, c. 424 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Electra (Ancient Greece, 420 BCE) (on 5 lists)
Heracles (Ancient Greece, c. 416 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Trojan Women (Ancient Greece, 415 BCE) (on 5 lists)
Iphigenia in Tauris (Ancient Greece, 414 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Ion (Ancient Greece, 414 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Helen (Ancient Greece, 412 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Orestes (Ancient Greece, 408 BCE) (on 3 lists)
The Bacchae (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE) (on 7 lists)
Iphigenia at Aulis (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Cyclops (Ancient Greece, c. 400 BCE) (on 3 lists)
– Euripides (drama)


📙 The Knights (Ancient Greece, 424 BCE) (on 4 lists)
The Clouds (Ancient Greece, 423 BCE) (on 6 lists)
The Wasps (Ancient Greece, 422 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Lysistrata (Ancient Greece, 411 BCE) (on 8 lists)
The Frogs (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE) (on 5 lists)
The Birds (Ancient Greece, 400 BCE) (on 7 lists)
The Assemblywomen (Ancient Greece, 392 BCE) (on 3 lists)
– Aristophanes (drama)


📘 The Peloponnesian War
(Ancient Greece, 400 BCE) (on 8 lists)
– Thucydides (non-fiction: history)


📗 Apology

(Ancient Greece, c. 399-387 BCE) (on 9 lists)
Crito (Ancient Greece, c. 399-387) (on 3 lists)
The Republic (Ancient Greece, c. 387-380 BCE) (on 8 lists)
Meno (Ancient Greece, c. 387-380) (on 3 lists)
The Symposium (Ancient Greece, c. 380-360 BCE) (on 4 lists)
Phaedo (Ancient Greece, c. 380-360) (on 3 lists)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)


📗 Poetics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE) (on 8 lists)
Nichomachean Ethics (c. 335-323 BCE) (on 6 lists)
Physics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE) (on 5 lists)
Rhetoric (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Metaphysics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE) (on 3 lists)
On the Soul (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE) (on 3 lists)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)


📙 Amphitryon (Roman Republic, c. 220-184 BCE) (on 3 lists)
Pseudolus (Roman Republic, c. 220-184 BCE) (on 3 lists)
– Plautus (drama)


📙 Odes (Ancient Rome, 65-8 BCE) (on 7 lists)
– Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (poetry: lyric)


📙 Poems [by Catullus]
Poems (esp. Attis) (Roman Republic, c. 65-54 BCE) (on 3 lists)
– Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) (poetry: lyric)


📗 De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (Ancient Rome, 50 BCE) (on 8 lists)
– Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus) (poetry: narrative/non-fiction: philosophy)


📙 Eclogues (Bucolics) (Roman Republic, 39-38 BCE) (on 3 lists)
The Aeneid (Roman Empire, 29-19 BCE) (on 14 lists)
– Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) (poetry: narrative)


📙 Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) (Roman Empire, 2 CE) (on 3 lists)
Metamorphoses (Roman Empire, 2-8 CE) (on 8 lists)
– Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) (poetry: narrative)


📙 Satyricon (Roman Empire, c. 27-66 CE) (on 4 lists)
– Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter) (attrib.) (poetry: narrative/fiction: novel)


📘 Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (Roman Empire, 100-125 CE) (on 6 lists)
– Plutarch (Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus) (non-fiction: biography/history)


📙 The Golden Ass (Roman Empire, c. 158-180 CE) (on 5 lists)
– Apuleius (Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis) (fiction: novel)


📗 Meditations (Roman Empire, c. 180 CE) (on 6 lists)
– Marcus Aurelius (non-fiction: memoir/philosophy)


📗 The Enneads (Egypt/Roman Empire, 270 CE) (on 3 lists)
– Plotinus (non-fiction: philosophy)


📕 Mahabharata
(India, c. 300-400 CE) (on 10 lists)
– Vyasa (attrib.) (poetry: narrative/religious text)


📕 Confessions (Algeria/Ancient Rome, c. 400 CE) (on 11 lists)
The City of God (Algeria/Roman Empire, 426 CE) (on 3 lists)
– Augustine of Hippo (non-fiction: religion)


📙 Mu’allaqat (The Hanging Poems) (Arabia, c. 550-630 CE) (on 3 lists)
– Anonymous (poetry: lyric)


📕 The Qur’an (Arabia, 610-632 CE) (on 10 lists)
– religious text


📙 Beowulf (England, c. 1000) (on 5 lists)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)


📙 The Book of Kings (Shahnameh) (Persia, c. 1010) (on 6 lists)
– Ferdowsi (poetry: narrative)


📙 The Tale of Genji (Japan, c. 1021) (on 11 lists)
– Murasaki Shikibu (fiction: novel)


📙 The Rubaiyat (Persia, c. 1100) (on 6 lists)
– Omar Khayyam (attrib.) (poetry: lyric)


📘 Deliverance from Error (Persia, c. 1100) (on 3 lists)
– Al-Ghazali (non-fiction: memoir)


📕 Guide for the Perplexed (Spain/Morocco, c. 1190-1204) (on 3 lists)
– Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) (non-fiction: philosophy/religion)


📙 The Masnavi (Persia, c. 1258-1273) (on 5 lists)
– Jalalu’l-Din Rumi (poetry: lyric)


📕 Summa Theologica (Italy, 1265-1274) (on 3 lists)
– Thomas Aquinas (non-fiction: religion)


📙 Njal’s Saga (Iceland, c. 1270-1290) (on 4 lists)
– Anonymous (fiction: saga)


📙 The Divine Comedy (Italy, c. 1308-1321) (on 21 lists)
– Dante Alighieri (poetry: narrative)


📙 Poems (esp. Sonnets To Laura in Life: 109) (Italy, c. 1326-1374) (on 4 lists)
– Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) (poetry: lyric)


📙 Poems (esp. O beautiful wine bearer, bring forth the cup (Ghazal 1)) (Persia, c. 1330-1390) (on 4 lists)
– Hafez (Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī) (poetry: lyric)


📘 Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness) (Japan, 1330-1332) (on 3 lists)
– Yoshida Kenko (non-fiction: essays)


📙 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (England, c. 1350) (on 3 lists)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)


📙 The Decameron (Italy, 1350-1353) (on 8 lists)
– Giovanni Boccaccio (fiction: linked stories)


📙 The Canterbury Tales (England, c. 1380-1400) (on 14 lists)
– Geoffrey Chaucer (fiction: linked stories/poetry)


📘 The Praise of Folly (In Praise of Folly) (Netherlands, 1511) (on 7 lists)
– Desiderius Erasmus (non-fiction: satire)


📗 The Prince (Italy, 1513) (on 12 lists)
– Niccolò Machiavelli (non-fiction: political philosophy)


📙 Utopia (England, 1516) (on 6 lists)
– Thomas More (fiction: satire)


📙 Journey to the West (Monkey) (China, c. 1540-1560) (on 5 lists)
– Wu Cheng’en (fiction: novel)


📘 Essays (France, 1580) (on 13 lists)
– Michel de Montaigne (non-fiction: essays)


📙 Astrophel and Stella (England, c. 1580) (on 3 lists)
– Philip Sydney (poetry: narrative)


📙 Tamburlaine, Pts. 1 and 2 (England, 1587-1588) (on 3 lists)
Doctor Faustus (England, 1588) (on 5 lists)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)


📙 A Comedy of Errors (England, 1589) (on 9 lists)
Henry VI, Pts. 1, 2, 3 (England, 1591) (on 5 lists)
Titus Andronicus (England, 1592) (on 5 lists)
Richard III (England, 1592-1593) (on 11 lists)
Romeo and Juliet (England, 1594) (on 11 lists)
The Taming of the Shrew (England, 1594) (on 9 lists)
Two Gentlemen of Verona (England, 1594) (on 9 lists)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (England, 1594-1595) (on 13 lists)
Richard II (England, 1595) (on 9 lists)
Love’s Labour’s Lost (England, 1595) (on 6 lists)
The Merchant of Venice (England, 1596) (on 11 lists)
Henry IV, Pts. 1 & 2 (England, 1597) (on 10 lists)
Much Ado About Nothing (England, 1598) (on 9 lists)
Henry V (England, 1598) (on 9 lists)
Julius Caesar (England, 1599) (on 11 lists)
Twelfth Night (England, 1599) (on 10 lists)
As You Like It (England, 1599) (on 10 lists)
Hamlet (England, 1600) (on 16 lists)
All’s Well that Ends Well (England, 1602) (on 9 lists)
King Lear (England, 1605) (on 15 lists)
Othello (England, 1604) (on 13 lists)
Measure for Measure (England, 1604) (on 10 lists)
Macbeth (England, 1605) (on 11 lists)
Antony and Cleopatra (England, 1606) (on 10 lists)
The Tempest (England, 1611) (on 10 lists)
– William Shakespeare (drama)


📙 Poems (esp. Holy Sonnet X [“Death be not proud…“]) (England, c. 1595-1631) (on 6 lists)
– John Donne (poetry: lyric)


📙 Poems (esp. On my First Son and Song To Celia (“Drink to me only with thine eyes”)) (England, c. 1595-1637) (on 3 lists)
– Ben Jonson (poetry: lyric)


📙 The Faerie Queen (England, 1590 [Bks. I-III], 1596 [Bks. IV-VI]) (on 3 lists)
– Edmund Spenser (poetry: narrative)


📘 ** Essays (England, 1597) (on 3 lists)
** The Advancement of Learning (England, 1605) (on 3 lists)
– Francis Bacon (non-fiction: education/science)


📙 Volpone (England, 1606) (on 5 lists)
The Alchemist (England, 1612) (on 4 lists)
– Ben Jonson (drama)


📙 The Duchess of Malfi
(England, 1614) (on 3 lists)
– John Webster (drama)


📙 Don Quixote
(Spain, 1605 [Pt. 1], 1615 [Pt. 2]) (on 22 lists)
– Miguel de Cervantes (fiction: novel)


📙 Novum Organum (England, 1620) (on 3 lists)
New Atlantis (England, 1623-1626, pub. 1627) (on 3 lists)
– Francis Bacon (fiction: novel)


📘 **Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
(Italy, 1632) (on 4 lists)
– Galileo Galilei (non-fiction: science/fiction: dialogue)


📗 ** Discourse on Method (France/Netherlands, 1637) (on 4 lists)
** Meditations on First Philosophy (France/Netherlands, 1641) (on 4 lists)
– René Descartes (non-fiction: philosophy)


📙 Lycidas (England, 1637) (on 3 lists)
Areopagitica (England, 1644) (on 4 lists)
Paradise Lost (England, 1667) (on 11 lists)
Paradise Regained (England, 1671) (on 5 lists)
Samson Agonistes (England, 1671) (on 4 lists)
– John Milton (drama)


📗 ** Leviathan (England, 1651) (on 6 lists)
– Thomas Hobbes (non-fiction: political philosophy)


📙 The Would-Be Gentleman (France, 1655) (on 5 lists)
Ridiculous Precieuses (France, 1659) (on 3 lists)
The School for Wives (France, 1662) (on 5 lists)
The Misanthrope (France, 1666) (on 6 lists)
The Miser (France, 1668) (on 6 lists)
Tartuffe (France, 1669) (on 9 lists)
– Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) (drama)


📙 The Princess of Cleves (France, 1678) (on 4 lists)
– Madame de La Fayette (fiction: novel)


📙 All for Love (England, 1678) (on 3 lists)
– John Dryden (drama)


📙 The Pilgrim’s Progress (England, 1679) (on 7 lists)
– John Bunyan (fiction: novel)


📘 ** Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (England, 1687) (on 3 lists)
– Isaac Newton (non-fiction: science)


📗 ** Two Treatises of Government (England, 1689) (on 3 lists)
– John Locke (non-fiction: political philosophy)


📘 The Gourd (Japan, 1690) (on 4 lists)
The Monkey’s Raincoat (Japan, 1691) (on 4 lists)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North (The Narrow Road to the Interior) (Japan, 1694) (on 7 lists)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)


📙 Poems (esp. Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot) (GB, c. 1705 -1744) (on 3 lists)
– Alexander Pope (poetry: lyric/narrative)


📙 A Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights) (India/Persia/Arabia, 1704-1717 [1st English ed.]) (on 12 lists)
– Anonymous (fiction: linked stories)
Note: Expanded from Hezār Afsān (Persia, 10th Century CE)


📙 Robinson Crusoe (GB, 1719) (on 7 lists)
Moll Flanders (GB, 1722) (on 4 lists)
– Daniel Defoe (fiction: novel)


📙 Gulliver’s Travels (Ireland/GB, 1726) (on 13 lists)
– Jonathan Swift (fiction: satire)


📙 Pamela (GB, 1740) (on 4 lists)
– Samuel Richardson (fiction: novel)


📙 Joseph Andrews (GB, 1742) (on 4 lists)
– Henry Fielding (fiction: novel)


📙 Clarissa (GB, 1748) (on 4 lists)
– Samuel Richardson (fiction: novel)


📙 Tom Jones
(GB, 1749) (on 8 lists)
– Henry Fielding (fiction: novel)


📙 Candide
(France, 1759) (on 11 lists)
– Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (fiction: novel)


📙 The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
(Ireland/GB, 1759) (on 10 lists)
– Laurence Sterne (fiction: novel)


📙 The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia
(GB, 1759) (on 4 lists)
– Samuel Johnson (fiction: novel)


??????? 📙 Émile [a.k.a., “On Education”]
(Switzerland/France, 1762) (on 3 lists)
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau (non-fiction: education/philosophy)


📙 Dream of the Red Chamber (Story of the Stone) (China, 1763-1764 [manuscripts], 1791 [1st printed ed.]) (on 8 lists)
– Cao Xueqin (fiction: novel)


📙 The Vicar of Wakefield (Ireland/GB, 1766) (on 5 lists)
– Oliver Goldsmith (fiction: novel)


📙 The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (GB, 1771) (on 4 lists)
– Tobias Smollett (fiction: novel)


📙 The Sorrows of Young Werther
(Germany, 1774) (on 5 lists)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (fiction: novel)
Faust (Germany, 1808 [Pt. 1], 1832 [Pt. 2]) (on 11 lists)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (drama)


📘 ** Common Sense (GB/US, 1776) (on 3 lists)
The Declaration of Independence (US, 1776) (on 3 lists)
– Thomas Jefferson (non-fiction: political philosophy)


📘 ** The Wealth of Nations (GB, 1776) (on 3 lists)
– Adam Smith (non-fiction: economics)


📙 Jacques the Fatalist (France, 1765-1780) (on 6 lists)
– Denis Diderot (fiction: novel)


📙 Dangerous Liaisons (France, 1782) (on 6 lists)
– Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. Daffodils (“I wandered lonely as a cloud“) (GB/UK, 1787-1850) (on 5 lists)
– William Wordsworth (poetry: lyric/narrative)


📘 ** The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (GB, 1776-1788) (on 7 lists)
– Edward Gibbon (non-fiction: history)


📙 Songs of Innocence (GB, 1789) (on 8 lists)
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (GB, 1790-1793) (on 3 lists)
Songs of Experience (GB, 1794) (on 8 lists)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)


📙 Poems (esp. Kubla Khan) (GB/UK, c. 1792-1834) (on 6 lists)
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poetry: lyric)


📙 Castle Rackrent (UK, 1800) (on 3 lists)
– Maria Edgeworth (fiction:novel)


📙 Poems (esp. So, We’ll Go No More A Roving and She Walks In Beauty) (UK, c. 1805-1824) (on 3 lists)
– Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron) (poetry: narrative/lyric)


📙 Poems (esp. Ozymandias) (UK, c. 1810-1822) (on 3 lists)
– Percy Bysshe Shelley (poetry: lyric)


📙 Sense and Sensibility (UK, 1811) (on 4 lists)
Mansfield Park (UK, 1814) (on 3 lists)
Pride and Prejudice (UK, 1815) (on 13 lists)
Emma (UK, 1815) (on 7 lists)
Persuasion (UK, 1818) (on 3 lists)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. La Belle Dame Sans Merci) (UK, c. 1814-1821) (on 6 lists)
– John Keats (poetry: lyric)


📙 Waverley (UK, 1814) (on 3 lists)
– Walter Scott (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. The Canti) (Italy, 1816-1837) (on 7 lists)
– Giacomo Leopardi (poetry: lyric)


📙 Frankenstein (UK, 1818) (on 6 lists)
– Mary Shelley (fiction: novel)


📙 Tales (esp. The Queen of Spades) (Russia, c. 1820–1837) (on 4 lists)
– Alexander Pushkin (fiction: stories)


📙 Ivanhoe (UK, 1820) (on 3 lists)
– Walter Scott (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. Concord Hymn, Days, The Rhodora, and The Snow-storm) (US, c. 1823-1882) (on 4 lists)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (poetry: lyric)


📙 Fairy Tales and Stories (esp. The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Little Mermaid) (Denmark, c. 1825-1872) (on 4 lists)
– Hans Christian Andersen (fiction: stories)


📙 Poems (esp. The Charge of the Light Brigade) (UK, c. 1826-1892) (on 5 lists)
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson (poetry: lyric)


📙 The Betrothed (Italy, 1827) (on 5 lists)
– Alessandro Manzoni (fiction: novel)


📙 The Red and the Black (France, 1830) (on 12 lists)
– Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) (fiction: novel)


📙 Tales (esp. The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado) (US, 1832-1849) (on 10 lists)
– Edgar Allan Poe (fiction: stories)


📙 Louis Lambert (France, 1832) (on 3 lists)
Eugénie Grandet (France, 1833) (on 6 lists)
The Girl with the Golden Eyes (France, 1833) (on 3 lists)
Le Père Goriot (France, 1835) (on 9 lists)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)


📙 The Pickwick Papers (UK, 1837) (on 5 lists)
Oliver Twist (UK, 1838) (on 6 lists)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)


📙 The Charterhouse of Parma (France, 1839) (on 7 lists)
– Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) (fiction: novel)


📙 Dead Souls (Russia, 1842) (on 9 lists)
– Nikolai Gogol (fiction: novel)


📙 Stories (esp. Bartleby the Scrivener) (US, c. 1845-1891) (on 4 lists)
– Herman Melville (fiction: stories)


📙 Cousin Bette (France, 1846) (on 8 lists)
A Harlot High and Low (France, 1847) (on 4 lists)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)


📙 The Count of Monte-Cristo (France, 1846) (on 7 lists)
– Alexandre Dumas (fiction: novel)


📙 Wuthering Heights (UK, 1847) (on 11 lists)
– Emily Brontë (fiction: novel)


📙 Jane Eyre (UK, 1847) (on 10 lists)
– Charlotte Brontë (fiction: novel)


📗 ** The Communist Manifesto (Germany/UK, 1848) (on 9 lists)
– Karl Marx & Freidrich Engels (non-fiction: political philosophy)


📙 Vanity Fair (UK, 1848) (on 8 lists)
– William Makepeace Thackeray (fiction: novel)


📙 Mary Barton (UK, 1848) (on 3 lists)
– Elizabeth Gaskell (fiction: novel)


📙 David Copperfield (UK, 1849-1850) (on 8 lists)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)


📙 The Scarlet Letter (US, 1850) (on 7 lists)
– Nathaniel Hawthorne (fiction: novel)


📙 The Prelude (UK, 1850) (on 4 lists)
– William Wordsworth (poetry: narrative)


📙 Moby-Dick (US, 1851) (on 17 lists)
– Herman Melville (fiction: novel)
Billy Budd (US, c. 1891, pub. 1924) (on 5 lists)
– Herman Melville (fiction: novella)


📙 Uncle Tom’s Cabin (US, 1851) (on 5 lists)
– Harriet Beecher Stowe (fiction: novel)


📙 Bleak House (UK, 1852-1853) (on 6 lists)
Hard Times (UK, 1854) (on 4 lists)
Great Expectations (UK, 1860-1861) (on 8 lists)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)


📙 Leaves of Grass (US, 1855 [1st ed.]) (on 9 lists)
– Walt Whitman (poetry: lyric)


📙 Poems (esp. “‘Hope’ Is the Thing with feathers“) (US, c. 1855-1886) (on 7 lists)
– Emily Dickinson (poetry: lyric)


📙 North and South (UK, 1854-1855) (on 3 lists)
– Elizabeth Gaskell (fiction: novel)


📙 Madame Bovary
(France, 1857) (on 17 lists)
Sentimental Education (France, 1869) (on 8 lists)
– Gustave Flaubert (fiction: novel)


📙 Barchester Towers (UK, 1857) (on 3 lists)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)


📘 On the Origin of Species
(UK, 1859) (on 9 lists)
– Charles Darwin (non-fiction: science)


📙 The Woman in White
(UK, 1860) (on 5 lists)
– Wilkie Collins (fiction: novel)


📙 The Mill on the Floss (UK, 1860) (on 5 lists)
Silas Marner (UK, 1861) (on 5 lists)
– George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (fiction: novel)


📙 First Love
(Russia, 1860) (on 3 lists)
– Ivan Turgenev (fiction: novel)


📙 The Storm (Russia, 1860) (on 3 lists)
– Alexander Ostrovsky (drama)


📙 Les Misérables (France, 1862) (on 8 lists)
– Victor Hugo (fiction: novel)


📙 Fathers and Sons (Russia, 1862) (on 6 lists)
– Ivan Turgenev (fiction: novel)


📙 Tales (esp. The Enchanted Wanderer) (Russia, 1862-1895) (on 3 lists)
– Nikolai Leskov (fiction: stories)


📙 Short Novels and Tales (esp. The Turn of the Screw) (US/UK, c. 1864-1910) (on 7 lists)
– Henry James (fiction: stories/novellas)


📙 Notes from the Underground (Russia, 1864) (on 4 lists)
Crime and Punishment (Russia, 1866) (on 16 lists)
The Possessed (The Devils) (Russia, 1872) (on 6 lists)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)


📙 Our Mutual Friend (UK, 1864) (on 3 lists)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)


📙 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (UK, 1865) (on 9 lists)
Through the Looking Glass (UK, 1871) (on 6 lists)
– Lewis Carroll (fiction: novel)


📙 Brand (Norway, 1866) (on 3 lists)
Peer Gynt (Norway, 1867) (on 5 lists)
A Doll’s House (Norway, 1879) (on 11 lists)
Ghosts (Norway, 1881) (on 3 lists)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)


📙 The Last Chronicle of Barset (UK, 1867) (on 4 lists)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)


📙 Thérèse Raquin (France, 1867) (on 3 lists)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)


📙 Little Women (US, 1868) (on 6 lists)
– Louisa May Alcott (fiction: novel)


📙 War and Peace (Russia, 1869) (on 19 lists)
Anna Karenina (Russia, 1877) (on 16 lists)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novel)


📙 The Idiot (Russia, 1869) (on 8 lists)
The Brothers Karamazov (Russia, 1880) (on 14 lists)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)


📙 Phineas Finn (UK, 1869) (on 3 lists)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)


📙 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (France, 1870) (on 4 lists)
– Jules Verne (fiction: novel)


📙 The Drunken Boat (France, 1871) (on 3 lists)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)


📙 Middlemarch (UK, 1871-1872) (on 12 lists)
– George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (fiction: novel)


📙 A Season in Hell (France, 1873) (on 5 lists)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)


📙 Far from the Madding Crowd (UK, 1874) (on 5 lists)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)


📙 Illuminations (France, 1874) (on 3 lists)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)


📙 Stories (esp. The Necklace) (France, c. 1875-1893) (on 5 lists)
– Guy de Maupassant (fiction: stories)


📙 Poems (esp. Endless Time (Gitanjali #1); A Moment’s Indulgence (Gitanjali #5); The Lotus (Gitanjali #20); and The Gardener #38 (“My Love Once upon a Time”)
(India, c. 1877-1941) (on 5 lists)
– Rabindranath Tagore (poetry: lyric)


📙 L’Assommoir (France, 1877) (on 3 lists)
Nana (France, 1880) (on 3 lists)
Germinal (France, 1885) (on 4 lists)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)


📙 The Return of the Native (UK, 1878) (on 4 lists)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)


📙 Tales (esp. The Lady with the Dog) (Russia, 1880-1903) (on 11 lists)
– Anton Chekhov (fiction: stories)


📙 The Portrait of a Lady (US/UK, 1881) (on 8 lists)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. When You Are Old and The Second Coming) (Ireland, c. 1882-1939) (on 9 lists)
– William Butler Yeats (poetry: lyric)


📙 Treasure Island (UK, 1883) (on 6 lists)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novel)


📙 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (US, 1884) (on 14 lists)
– Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (fiction: novel)


📙 The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Russia, 1886) (on 6 lists)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novella)


📙 The Mayor of Casterbridge (UK, 1886) (on 6 lists)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)


📙 Kidnapped (UK, 1886) (on 4 lists)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (UK, 1886) (on 3 lists)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novella)


📙 The Bostonians (US/UK, 1886) (on 3 lists)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)


📗 Beyond Good and Evil (Germany, 1886) (on 3 lists)
– Friedrich Nietzsche (non-fiction: philosophy)


📙 The Father (Sweden, 1887) (on 4 lists)
– August Strindberg (drama)


📙 Fortunata and Jacinta (Spain, 1887) (on 3 lists)
– Benito Pérez Galdós (fiction: novel)


📙 Miss Julie (Sweden, 1888) (on 5 lists)
– August Strindberg (drama)


📙 The Maias (Portugal, 1888) (on 3 lists)
– José Maria de Eça de Queiroz (fiction: novel)


📙 Hunger (Norway, 1890) (on 8 lists)
– Knut Hamsun (fiction: novel)


📙 The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ireland/UK, 1890) (on 5 lists)
– Oscar Wilde (fiction: novel)


📙 Tess of the D’Urbervilles (UK, 1891) (on 7 lists)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)


📙 Diary of a Nobody (UK, 1892) (on 3 lists)
– George & Weedon Grossmith (fiction: novel)


📙 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (UK, 1892) (on 3 lists)
– Arthur Conan Doyle (fiction: stories)


📗 ** Das Kapital (Capital) (three volumes) (Germany/UK, 1867-1894) (on 4 lists)
– Karl Marx (non-fiction: economics/political philosophy)
Note: Volume I published by Marx in 1867. Friedrich Engels wrote Volumes II (1885) and III (1894) based on notes left by Marx.


📙 Jude the Obscure (UK, 1895) (on 6 lists)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)


📙 The Time Machine (UK, 1895) (on 5 lists)
– H. G. Wells (fiction: novel)


📙 The Red Badge of Courage (US, 1895) (on 4 lists)
– Stephen Crane (fiction: novel)


📙 Effi Briest (Germany, 1896) (on 4 lists)
– Theodor Fontane (fiction: novel)


📙 Dracula
(Ireland, 1897) (on 5 lists)
– Bram Stoker (fiction: novel)


📙 Misericordia
(Spain, 1897) (on 3 lists)
– Benito Pérez Galdós (fiction: novel)


📙 The Invisible Man
(UK, 1897) (on 3 lists)
The War of the Worlds (UK, 1898) (on 7 lists)
– H.G. Wells (fiction: novel)


📙 Heart of Darkness
(Poland/UK, 1899 [serial], 1902 [book]) (on 13 lists)
Lord Jim (Poland/UK, 1900) (on 7 lists)
The Secret Agent (Poland/UK, 1907) (on 5 lists)
– Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) (fiction: novel)

📘 ** The Interpretation of Dreams (Austria, 1899) (on 9 lists)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology)


📙 The Importance of Being Earnest (Ireland/UK, 1899) (on 6 lists)
– Oscar Wilde (drama)


📙 The Way of All Flesh (UK, c. 1899) (on 4 lists)
– Samuel Butler (fiction: novel)


📙 The Kreutzer Sonata (Russia, 1899) (on 4 lists)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novella)


📙 The Awakening (US, 1899) (on 4 lists)
– Kate Chopin (fiction: novel)


📙 Uncle Vanya (Russia, 1899-1900) (on 5 lists)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)


📙 Sister Carrie (US, 1900) (on 5 lists)
– Theodore Dreiser (fiction: novel)


📙 Stories (esp. Idgah and Kafan) (India, c. 1900-1936) (on 3 lists)
– Premchand (Dhanpat Rai) (fiction: stories)


📙 Buddenbrooks (Germany, 1901) (on 8 lists)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)


📙 Kim (India/UK, 1901) (on 7 lists)
– Rudyard Kipling (fiction: novel)


📙 The Wings of the Dove
(US/UK, 1902) (on 4 lists)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)


📙 The Ambassadors (US/UK, 1903) (on 6 lists)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)


📙 Man and Superman (Ireland/UK, 1902-1903) (on 5 lists)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)


📙 The Call of the Wild (US, 1903) (on 5 lists)
– Jack London (fiction: novel)


📙 Stories (esp. The Metamorphosis) (Czechoslovakia, 1904-1924) (on 16 lists)
The Trial (Czechoslovakia, 1914-1915, pub. 1925) (on 14 lists)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)


📙 The Cherry Orchard (Russia, 1904) (on 11 lists)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)


📙 The Golden Bowl (US/UK, 1904) (on 4 lists)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

📘 The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Germany, 1904) (on 3 lists)
– Max Weber (non-fiction: economics/history)


📙 The House of Mirth (US, 1905) (on 7 lists)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)


📙 Major Barbara (Ireland/UK, 1905) (on 5 lists)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)


📙 Poems (esp. Poetry and The Fish) (US, c. 1905-1972) (on 5 lists)
– Marianne Moore (poetry: lyric)

📘 ** Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (Austria, 1905) (on 4 lists)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology)


📙 The Jungle (US, 1906) (on 4 lists)
– Upton Sinclair (fiction: novel)


📙 A Wind in the Willows (UK, 1908) (on 5 lists)
– Kenneth Grahame (fiction: novel)


📙 The Old Wive’s Tale (UK, 1908) (on 4 lists)
– Arnold Bennett (fiction: novel)


📙 A Room with a View (UK, 1908) (on 4 lists)
Howards End (UK, 1910) (on 5 lists)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)


📙 Stories (esp. A Madman’s Diary) (China, 1909-1936) (on 8 lists)
– Lu Xun (fiction: stories)


📙 Poems (esp. The Waste Land) (US/UK, c. 1909-1965) (on 8 lists)
– T.S. Eliot (poetry: lyric)


📙 Ethan Frome (US, 1911) (on 4 lists)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)


📙 Zuleika Dobson (UK, 1911) (on 3 lists)
– Max Beerbohm (fiction: novel)


📙 Death in Venice (Germany, 1912) (on 6 lists)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novella)


📙 Sons and Lovers (UK, 1913) (on 11 lists)
The Rainbow (UK, 1915) (on 6 lists)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)


📙 Dubliners (Ireland, 1914) (on 6 lists)
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Ireland, 1916) (on 9 lists)
Ulysses (Ireland/France, 1922) (on 17 lists)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)


📙 Kokoro (Japan, 1914) (on 6 lists)
– Natsume Soseki (fiction: novel)


📙 The Good Soldier (UK, 1915) (on 4 lists)
– Ford Madox Ford (fiction: novel)


📙 Of Human Bondage (UK, 1915) (on 4 lists)
– W. Somerset Maugham (fiction: novel)

📘 ** Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Germany, 1917) (on 3 lists)
– Albert Einstein (non-fiction: science)

📘 The Education of Henry Adams (US, 1918) (on 6 lists)
– Henry Adams (non-fiction: memoir)


📙 My Ántonia (US, 1918) (on 5 lists)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)


📙 Winesburg, Ohio (US, 1919) (on 5 lists)
– Sherwood Anderson (fiction: linked stories)


📙 The Age of Innocence (US, 1920) (on 7 lists)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. Harlem (Dream Deferred)) (US, c. 1920-1967) (on 3 lists)
– Langston Hughes (poetry: lyric)


📙 Six Characters in Search of an Author (Italy, 1921) (on 7 lists)
– Luigi Pirandello (drama)


📙 The Forsyte Saga (three novels and two stories) (UK, 1906-1921) (on 5 lists)
– John Galsworthy (fiction: novels/stories)


📙 The True Story of Ah Q (China, 1921-1922) (on 3 lists)
– Lu Xun (Lu Hsun) (fiction: novella)


📙 Siddhartha (Germany/Switzerland, 1922) (on 3 lists)
– Hermann Hesse (fiction: novel)


📙 Zeno’s Conscience (The Confessions of Zeno) (Italy, 1923) (on 7 lists)
– Italo Svevo (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. Lullaby) (US, 1923-1973) (on 4 lists)
– W.H. Auden (poetry: lyric)


📙 A Lost Lady (US, 1923) (on 3 lists)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)


📙 The Magic Mountain (Germany, 1924) (on 10 lists)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)


📙 The Castle (Czechoslovakia, 1922-1924, pub. 1926) (on 8 lists)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)


📙 A Passage to India (UK, 1924) (on 8 lists)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)


📙 Saint Joan (Ireland/UK, 1924) (on 8 lists)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)


📙 Juno and the Paycock (Ireland, 1924) (on 5 lists)
– Sean O’Casey (drama)


📙 The Great Gatsby (US, 1925) (on 12 lists)
– F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction: novel)


📙 Mrs. Dalloway (UK, 1925) (on 8 lists)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)


📙 An American Tragedy (US, 1925) (on 6 lists)
– Theodore Dreiser (fiction: novel)


📙 The Counterfeiters (France, 1925) (on 5 lists)
– André Gide (fiction: novel)


📙 Stories (esp. A Rose for Emily and That Evening Sun Go Down) (US, c. 1925-1962) (on 5 lists)
– William Faulkner (fiction: stories)


📙 Orpheus (France, 1925) (on 3 lists)
– Jean Cocteau (drama)


📙 The Sun Also Rises (US, 1926) (on 9 lists)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)


📙 The Plough and the Stars (Ireland, 1926) (on 4 lists)
– Sean O’Casey (drama)


📙 The Good Soldier Švejk (Czechoslovakia, 1926) (on 4 lists)
– Jaroslav Hašek (fiction: novel)


📙 In Search of Lost Time (seven novels) (France, 1913-1927) (on 18 lists)
– Marcel Proust (fiction: novels)


📙 To the Lighthouse (UK, 1927) (on 10 lists)
(fiction: novel)
📘 A Room of One’s Own (UK, 1929) (on 7 lists)
(non-fiction: essay)
📙 The Waves (UK, 1931) (on 4 lists)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)


📙 Steppenwolf (Germany/Switzerland, 1927) (on 3 lists)
– Hermann Hesse (fiction: novel)


📙 Gypsy Ballads (Spain, 1928) (on 5 lists)
– Federico García Lorca (poetry: lyric)


📙 Lady Chatterley’s Lover (UK, 1928) (on 5 lists)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)


📙 Nadja (France, 1928) (on 5 lists)
– André Breton (fiction: novel)


📙 Parade’s End (UK, 1924-1928) (on 4 lists)
– Ford Madox Ford (fiction: novel)


📙 Point Counter Point (UK, 1928) (on 3 lists)
📙 Brave New World (UK, 1932) (on 9 lists)
– Aldous Huxley (fiction: novel)


📙 The Threepenny Opera
(Germany, 1928) (on 3 lists)
– Bertolt Brecht (with music by Kurt Weill) (drama)


📙 The Sound and the Fury (US, 1929) (on 12 lists)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)


📙 All Quiet on the Western Front
(Germany, 1929) (on 7 lists)
– Erich Maria Remarqué (fiction: novel)


📙 A Farewell to Arms (US, 1929) (on 6 lists)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)


📘 The Story of My Experiments with Truth
(India, 1929) (on 5 lists)
– Mohandas K. Gandhi (non-fiction: memoir)


📙 The Maltese Falcon (US, 1929) (on 5 lists)
– Dashiell Hammett (fiction: novel)


📙 Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany, 1929) (on 4 lists)
– Alfred Döblin (fiction: novel)


📙 Les Enfants Terribles (Frances, 1929) (on 4 lists)
– Jean Cocteau (fiction: novel)


📙 Look Homeward, Angel (US, 1929) (on 4 lists)
– Thomas Wolfe (fiction: novel)


📙 The Bedbug (USSR, 1929) (on 3 lists)
– Vladimir Mayakovsky (drama)


📘 Goodbye to All That (UK, 1929) (on 3 lists)
– Robert Graves (non-fiction: memoir)


📙 As I Lay Dying (US, 1930) (on 7 lists)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)


📘 Civilization and its Discontents (Austria, 1930) (on 4 lists)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology/sociology)


📙 Stories (esp. The Doctor’s Son) (US, c. 1930-1970) (on 3 lists)
– John O’Hara (fiction: stories)


📙 The Good Earth (US, 1931) (on 5 lists)
– Pearl Buck (fiction: novel)


📙 Mourning Becomes Electra (US, 1931) (on 3 lists)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)


📙 Journey to the End of the Night (France, 1932) (on 10 lists)
– Louis-Ferdinand Céline (fiction: novel)


📙 Light in August (US, 1932) (on 6 lists)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)


📙 Blood Wedding (Spain, 1932) (on 4 lists)
– Federico García Lorca (drama)


📙 The Radetzky March (Austria, 1932) (on 3 lists)
– Joseph Roth (fiction: novel)


📙 Tobacco Road (US, 1932) (on 3 lists)
– Erskine Caldwell (fiction: novel)


📙 Young Lonigan (US, 1932) (on 3 lists)
– James T. Farrell (fiction)


📘 The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (US/France, 1933) (on 8 lists)
– Gertrude Stein (non-fiction: biography)


📙 Man’s Fate (France, 1933) (on 5 lists)
– André Malraux (fiction: novel)


📙 Miss Lonelyhearts (US, 1933) (on 3 lists)
– Nathanael West (fiction: novel)


📙 Tender Is the Night (US, 1934) (on 6 lists)
– F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction: novel)


📙 Tropic of Cancer (US, 1934) (on 5 lists)
– Henry Miller (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. Death Fugue) (Romania/France, c. 1934 -1970) (on 5 lists)
– Paul Celan (poetry: lyric)


📙 The Postman Always Rings Twice (US, 1934) (on 4 lists)
– James M. Cain (fiction: novel)


📙 A Handful of Dust (UK, 1934) (on 4 lists)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)


📙 Appointment in Samarra (US, 1934) (on 4 lists)
– John O’Hara (fiction: novel)


📙 I, Claudius (UK, 1934) (on 3 lists)
– Robert Graves (fiction: novel)


📙 The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan (US, 1934) (on 3 lists)
– James T. Farrell (fiction: novel)


📙 Call It Sleep (US, 1934) (on 3 lists)
– Henry Roth (fiction: novel)


📙 Independent People (Iceland, 1935) (on 6 lists)
– Halldór Laxness (fiction: novel)


📙 Murder in the Cathedral (US/UK, 1935) (on 6 lists)
– T.S. Eliot (drama)


📙 The Book of Disquiet (Portugal, 1935) (on 5 lists)
– Fernando Pessoa (fiction: novel)


📙 Residence on Earth (Chile, 1933-1935) (on 3 lists)
– Pablo Neruda (Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto) (poetry: lyric)


📙 Judgment Day (US, 1935) (on 3 lists)
– James T. Farrell (fiction: novel)


📙 Poems (esp. My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereaux Winslow) (US, c. 1935-1977) (on 3 lists)
– Robert Lowell (poetry: lyric)


📙 Absalom, Absalom! (US, 1936) (on 9 lists)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)


📙 Gone with the Wind (US, 1936) (on 9 lists)
– Margaret Mitchell (fiction: novel)


📙 U.S.A. (three novels) (US, 1930-1936) (on 6 lists)
– John Dos Passos (fiction: novels)


📘 The General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money (UK, 1936) (on 5 lists)
– John Maynard Keynes (non-fiction: economics)


📙 The House of Bernarda Alba (Spain, 1936) (on 3 lists)
– Federico García Lorca (drama)

📘 Out of Africa (Denmark, 1937) (on 8 lists)
– Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) (non-fiction: memoir)


📙 Of Mice and Men (US, 1937) (on 5 lists)
– John Steinbeck (fiction: novella)


📙 Their Eyes Were Watching God (US, 1937) (on 4 lists)
– Zora Neale Hurston (fiction: novel)


📙 The Hobbit (UK, 1937) (on 3 lists)
– J.R.R. Tolkien (fiction: novel)


📙 In Parenthesis (UK, 1937) (on 3 lists)
– David Jones (poetry: lyric)


📙 Rickshaw Boy (China, 1937) (on 3 lists)
– Lao She (fiction: novel)


📙 Rebecca (UK, 1938) (on 7 lists)
– Daphne du Maurier (fiction: novel)


📙 Our Town (US, 1938) (on 6 lists)
– Thornton Wilder (drama)


📙 Nausea (France, 1938) (on 5 lists)
– Jean-Paul Sartre (fiction: novel)


📙 Brighton Rock (UK, 1938) (on 4 lists)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)


📙 Scoop (UK, 1938) (on 3 lists)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)


📙 The Master and Margarita (USSR, 1929-1939, pub. 1966) (on 7 lists)
– Mikhail Bulgakov (fiction: novel)


📙 Finnegan’s Wake (Ireland/France, 1939) (on 6 lists)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)


📙 Mother Courage and Her Children (Germany, 1938-1939) (on 5 lists)
– Bertolt Brecht (drama)


📙 The Big Sleep (US, 1939) (on 5 lists)
– Raymond Chandler (fiction: novel)


📙 The Iceman Cometh (US, 1939) (on 4 lists)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)


📙 The Day of the Locust (US, 1939) (on 3 lists)
– Nathanael West (fiction: novel)

The Little Foxes (US, 1939) (on 3 lists)
– Lillian Hellman (drama)

The Time of Your Life (US, 1939) (on 3 lists)
– William Saroyan (drama)

At Swim-Two-Birds (Ireland, 1939) (on 3 lists)
– Flann O’Brien (Brian O’Nolan) (fiction: novel)

1940-1949

The Grapes of Wrath (US, 1940) (on 13 lists)
– John Steinbeck (fiction: novel)

Native Son (US, 1940) (on 8 lists)
– Richard Wright (fiction: novel)

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (US, 1940) (on 8 lists)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (US, 1940) (on 7 lists)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)

The Power and the Glory (UK, 1940) (on 5 lists)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (US, 1940) (on 4 lists)
– Carson McCullers (fiction: novel)

The Third Policeman (Ireland, 1939-1940) (on 3 lists)
– Flann O’Brien (fiction: novel)

Darkness at Noon (Hungary/UK, 1940) (on 3 lists)
– Arthur Koestler (fiction: novel)

The Stranger (Algeria/France, 1942) (on 16 lists)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)

The Skin of Our Teeth (US, 1942) (on 4 lists)
– Thornton Wilder (drama)

📕 Mythology (Germany/US, 1942) (on 3 lists)
– Edith Hamilton (non-fiction: mythology)


📙 The Little Prince (France, 1943) (on 8 lists)
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (fiction: novel)


📙 The Man Without Qualities (Austria, 1930-1943) (on 7 lists)
– Robert Musil (fiction: novel)

The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) (Germany/Switzerland, 1943) (on 4 lists)
– Herman Hesse

Our Lady of the Flowers (France, 1942-1943) (on 3 lists)
– Jean Genet (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Howl) (US, c. 1943-1997) (on 3 lists)
– Allen Ginsberg (poetry: lyric)

Ficciones (Argentina, 1944) (on 11 lists)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories)

No Exit (France, 1944) (on 4 lists)
– Jean-Paul Sartre (drama)

The Glass Menagerie (US, 1944) (on 4 lists)
– Tennessee Williams (drama)

Animal Farm (UK, 1945) (on 9 lists)
– George Orwell (fiction: novel)

Loving (UK, 1945) (on 5 lists)
– Henry Green (fiction: novel)

Brideshead Revisited (UK, 1945) (on 5 lists)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)

The Bridge on the Drina (Yugoslavia, 1945) (on 3 lists)
– Ivo Andrić (fiction: novel)

The Berlin Stories (two novellas) (UK, 1945) (on 3 lists)
– Christopher Isherwood (fiction: novellas)

All the King’s Men (US, 1946) (on 6 lists)
– Robert Penn Warren (fiction: novel)

Zorba the Greek (Greece, 1946) (on 4 lists)
– Nikos Kazantzakis (fiction: novel)

Titus Groan (UK, 1946) (on 4 lists)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)

The Palm-Wine Drinkard (Nigeria, 1946) (on 4 lists)
– Amos Tutola (fiction: novel)

📘 Hiroshima (US, 1946) (on 3 lists)
– John Hersey (non-fiction: journalism)


📙 Under the Volcano (UK, 1947) (on 8 lists)
– Malcolm Lowry (fiction: novel)


📙 The Plague (Algeria/France, 1947) (on 6 lists)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)


📙 Doctor Faustus (Germany, 1947) (on 4 lists)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)


📙 Snow Country (Japan, 1948) (on 5 lists)
– Yasunari Kawabata (fiction: novel)


📙 Cry, the Beloved Country (South Africa, 1948) (on 5 lists)
– Alan Paton (fiction: novel)

The Heart of the Matter (UK, 1948) (on 4 lists)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

The Naked and the Dead (US, 1948) (on 4 lists)
– Norman Mailer (fiction: novel)

The Makioka Sisters (Japan, 1948) (on 3 lists)
– Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (fiction: novel)

Nineteen Eighty-Four (UK, 1949) (on 15 lists)
– George Orwell (fiction: novel)

📘 The Second Sex (France, 1949) (on 8 lists)
– Simone de Beauvoir (non-fiction: sociology)


📙 The Aleph and Other Stories (Argentina, 1949) (on 7 lists)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories)

Death of a Salesman (US, 1949) (on 6 lists)
– Arthur Miller (drama)

The Cocktail Party (US/UK, 1949) (on 3 lists)
– T.S. Eliot (drama)

The Kingdom of This World (Cuba, 1949) (on 3 lists)
– Alejo Carpentier (fiction: novel)

The Man with the Golden Arm (US, 1949) (on 3 lists)
– Nelson Algren (fiction: novel)

The Sheltering Sky (US, 1949) (on 3 lists)
– Paul Bowles (fiction: novel)


📙 The Bald Soprano (Romania/France, 1950) (on 4 lists)
– Eugène Ionesco (drama)


📙 Gormenghast (UK, 1950) (on 4 lists)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)


📙 Canto General (Chile, 1938-1950) (on 3 lists)
– Pablo Neruda (Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto) (poetry: lyric)


📙 The Catcher in the Rye (US, 1951) (on 10 lists)
– J.D. Salinger (fiction: novel)


📙 Memoirs of Hadrian (France, 1951) (on 5 lists)
– Marguerite Yourcenar (fiction: novel)


📙 Day of the Triffids (UK, 1951) (on 4 lists)
– John Wyndham (fiction: novel)


📙 The Opposing Shore (France, 1951) (on 3 lists)
– Julien Gracq (fiction: novel)


📙 From Here to Eternity (US, 1951) (on 3 lists)
– James Jones (fiction: novel)


📙 Invisible Man (US, 1952) (on 12 lists)
– Ralph Ellison (fiction: novel)


📙 The Old Man and the Sea
(US, 1952) (on 10 lists)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novella)


📙 The Crucible
(US, 1952) (on 3 lists)
– Arthur Miller (drama)


📙 The Adventures of Augie March
(US, 1953) (on 6 lists)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)


📙 Molloy; Molone Dies; The Unnameable (three novels) (Ireland/France, 1951-1953) (on 5 lists)
– Samuel Beckett (fiction: novels)


📙 Go Tell It on the Mountain
(US, 1953) (on 4 lists)
– James Baldwin (fiction: novel)


📙 Lucky Jim
(UK, 1953) (on 3 lists)
– Kingsley Amis (fiction: novel)


📙 Lord of the Flies
(UK, 1954) (on 5 lists)
– William Golding (fiction: novel)


📙 I’m Not Stiller
(Switzerland, 1954) (on 4 lists)
– Max Frisch (fiction: novel)


📙 Under the Net
(UK, 1954) (on 3 lists)
– Iris Murdoch (fiction: novel)


📙 Lolita
(USSR/US, 1955) (on 12 lists)
– Vladimir Nabokov (fiction: novel)


📙 The Quiet American (UK, 1955) (on 3 lists)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)


📙 The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (Brazil, 1956) (on 4 lists)
– João Guimarães Rosa (fiction: novel)


📙 Palace Walk (Cairo Trilogy, Vol. 1) (Egypt, 1956) (on 4 lists)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)


📙 The Fall (France, 1956) (on 3 lists)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)


📙 Seize the Day (US, 1956) (on 3 lists)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)


📙 Things of This World (US, 1956) (on 3 lists)
– Richard Wilbur (poetry: lyric)


📙 Doctor Zhivago (USSR, 1957) (on 8 lists)
– Boris Pasternak (fiction: novel)


📙 On the Road (US, 1957) (on 6 lists)
– Jack Kerouac (fiction: novel)


📙 Endgame
(Ireland/France, 1957) (on 5 lists)
– Samuel Beckett (drama)


📙 Voss (Australia, 1957) (on 4 lists)
– Patrick White (fiction: novel)


📙 Jealousy
(France, 1957) (on 4 lists)
– Alain Robbe-Grillet (fiction: novel)


📙 Palace of Desire
(Cairo Trilogy, Vol. 2) (Egypt, 1957) (on 3 lists)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)


📙 The Wapshot Chronicle
(US, 1957) (on 3 lists)
– John Cheever (fiction: novel)


📙 Things Fall Apart
(Nigeria, 1958) (on 14 lists)
– Chinua Achebe (fiction: novel)


📙 The Leopard
(Italy, 1958) (on 6 lists)
– Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (fiction: novel)


📙 The Once and Future King
(UK, 1958) (on 3 lists)
– T.H. White (fiction: novel)


📙 The Tin Drum
(Germany, 1959) (on 8 lists)
– Günter Grass (fiction: novel)


📙 Henderson the Rain King
(US, 1959) (on 4 lists)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)


📙 Naked Lunch
(US, 1959) (on 3 lists)
– William Burroughs (fiction: novel)


📙 Rabbit, Run
(US, 1960) (on 7 lists)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)


📙 To Kill a Mockingbird
(US, 1960) (on 6 lists)
– Harper Lee (fiction: novel)


📙 Catch-22
(US, 1961) (on 6 lists)
– Joseph Heller (fiction: novel)


📙 A House for Mr. Biswas
(Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1961) (on 4 lists)
– V. S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)


📘 Labyrinths
(Argentina, 1962) (on 11 lists)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories/poetry/non-fiction: essays)

Jorge Luis Borges is frequently cited as a source of inspiration by other authors associated with “magic realism.” The term magic realism, originally applied in the 1920s to a school of painters, is used to describe the prose fiction of Jorge Luis Borges in Argentina, as well as the work of writers such as Gabriel García Márquez in Colombia [and many other Latin American writers], Gunter Grass in Germany, and John Fowles in England. These writers interweave, in an ever-shifting pattern, a sharply etched realism in representing ordinary events and descriptive details together with fantastic and dreamlike elements, as well as with materials derived from myth and fairy tales. Robert Scholes has popularized metafiction as an overall term for the large and growing class of novels which depart drastically from the traditional categories either of realism or romance, and also the term fabulation for the current mode of free-wheeling narrative invention. These novels violate, in various ways, standard novelistic expectations by drastic — and sometimes highly effective — experiments with subject matter, form, style, temporal sequence, and fusions of the everyday, the fantastic, the mythical, and the nightmarish, in renderings that blur traditional distinctions between what is serious or trivial, horrible or ludicrous, tragic or comic.


📙 Pale Fire
(USSR/US, 1962) (on 6 lists)
– Vladimir Nabokov (fiction: novel)

Pale Fire is a 1962 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is presented as a 999-line poem titled “Pale Fire”, written by the fictional poet John Shade, with a foreword, lengthy commentary and index written by Shade’s neighbor and academic colleague, Charles Kinbote. Together these elements form a narrative in which both fictional authors are central characters. The Nabokov authority Brian Boyd has called it “Nabokov’s most perfect novel”,[2] and the critic Harold Bloom called it “the surest demonstration of his own genius … that remarkable tour de force”.[3] It was ranked 53rd on the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels and 1st on the American literary critic Larry McCaffery’s 20th Century’s Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction.


📙 The Golden Notebook
(Zimbabwe/UK, 1962) (on 6 lists)
– Doris Lessing (fiction: novel)


📙 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
(USSR, 1962) (on 6 lists)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)


📙 A Clockwork Orange
(UK, 1962) (on 5 lists)
– Anthony Burgess (fiction: novel)


📘 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
(US, 1962) (on 5 lists)
– Thomas Kuhn (non-fiction: science)


📙 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
(US, 1962) (on 4 lists)
– Ken Kesey (fiction: novel)


📘 The Labyrinth of Solitude
(Mexico, 1963) (on 4 lists)
– Octavio Paz (non-fiction: essays)


📙 The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
(US, 1963) (on 3 lists)
– John Le Carré (fiction: novel)


📙 The Bell Jar
(US, 1963) (on 3 lists)
Sylvia Plath (fiction: novel)


📙 Herzog
(US, 1964) (on 5 lists)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)


📘 In Cold Blood
(US, 1966) (on 7 lists)
– Truman Capote (non-fiction: journalism)


📙 Wide Sargasso Sea
(Dominica/UK, 1966) (on 4 lists)
– Jean Rhys (fiction: novel)


📙 The Fixer
(US, 1966) (on 4 lists)
– Bernard Malamud (fiction: novel)


📙 Cancer Ward
(USSR, 1966) (on 4 lists)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)


📙 One Hundred Years of Solitude
(Colombia, 1967) (on 19 lists)
Gabriel García Márquez (fiction: novel)


📘 ** The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel/The Novel as History (US, 1968) (on 3 lists)
– Norman Mailer (non-fiction: journalism)


📙 Myra Breckenridge
(US, 1968) (on 3 lists)
– Gore Vidal (fiction: novel)


📘 The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
(US, 1968) (on 3 lists)
– Tom Wolfe (non-fiction: journalism/memoir)


📙 Slaughterhouse-five
(US, 1969) (on 5 lists)
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (fiction: novel)


📙 Them
(US, 1969) (on 4 lists)
– Joyce Carol Oates (fiction: novel)


📙 The Complete Stories (US, 1971) (on 8 lists)
– Flannery O’Connor (fiction: stories)


📙 Humboldt’s Gift
(US, 1975) (on 3 lists)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)


📙 Song of Solomon
(US, 1977) (on 8 lists)
– Toni Morrison (fiction: novel)


📙 The Stories of John Cheever
(US, 1978) (on 8 lists)
– John Cheever (fiction: stories)


📙 The World According to Garp
(US, 1978) (on 6 lists)
– John Irving (fiction: novel)


📙 The Sea, the Sea
(UK, 1978) (on 3 lists)
– Iris Murdoch (fiction: novel)


📘 Orientalism
(Palestine/US, 1978) (on 3 lists)
Edward Saïd (non-fiction: cultural studies)


📙 Sophie’s Choice
(US, 1979) (on 6 lists)
– William Styron (fiction: novel)


📙 If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
(Italy, 1979) (on 5 lists)
– Italo Calvino (fiction: novel)


📙 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
(UK, 1979) (on 5 lists)
– Douglas Adams (fiction: novel)


📙 A Bend in the River
(Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1979) (on 4 lists)
— V. S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)


📙 The Executioner’s Song
(US, 1980) (on 3 lists)
– Norman Mailer (fiction: novel/non-fiction: biography)


📙 Midnight’s Children
(India/UK, 1981) (on 15 lists)
📙 The Satanic Verses
— Fiction / novel / on 3 grand meta-lists
Salman Rushdie (fiction: novel)


📙 Rabbit Is Rich
(US, 1981) (on 6 lists)
John Updike (fiction: novel)


📙 The House of the Spirits
(Chile, 1982) (on 5 lists)
– Isabel Allende (fiction: novel)


📙 The Color Purple
(US, 1982) (on 3 lists)
– Alice Walker (fiction: novel)


📙 Ironweed
(US, 1983) (on 5 lists)
– William Kennedy (fiction: novel)


📙 The Unbearable Lightness of Being
(Czechoslovakia, 1984) (on 5 lists)
– Milan Kundera (fiction: novel)


📙 Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez (1985)
— Fiction / novel / on 10 grand meta-lists


📙 White Noise
— Don DeLillo (1985)
— Fiction / novel / on 6 grand meta-lists


📙 The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood (1985)
— Fiction / novel / on 5 grand meta-lists


📙 Beloved
Toni Morrison (1987)
— Fiction / novel / on 7 grand meta-lists


📙 The Remains of the Day
— Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
— Fiction / novel / on 3 grand meta-lists


📙 Possession

— A. S. Byatt (1995)
— Fiction / novel / on 5 grand meta-lists


📙 American Pastoral

— Philip Roth (1995)
— Fiction / novel / on 5 grand meta-lists
American Pastoral is about Seymour “Swede” Levov, a successful Jewish American businessman and former high school star athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov’s happy and conventional upper middle class life is ruined by the domestic social and political turmoil of the 1960s during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, which in the novel is described as a manifestation of the “indigenous American berserk.” The framing device in American Pastoral is a 45th high school reunion attended by frequent Roth alter ego Nathan Zuckerman, who is the narrator. At the reunion, in 1995, Zuckerman meets former classmate Jerry Levov who describes to him the tragic derailment of the life of his recently deceased older brother, Seymour “Swede” Levov. After Seymour’s teenage daughter Merry, in 1968, set off a bomb in protest against American involvement in the Vietnam War, killing a bystander, and subsequently went into hiding, Seymour remained traumatized for the rest of his life. The rest of the novel consists of Zuckerman’s posthumous recreation of Seymour’s life, based on Jerry’s revelation, a few newspaper clippings, and Zuckerman’s own impressions after two brief run-ins with “the Swede,” in 1985 and shortly before Seymour’s death from prostate cancer, at age 68, in 1995. In these encounters, which take place early in the novel, Zuckerman learns that Seymour has remarried and has three young sons, but Seymour’s daughter Merry is never mentioned. In Zuckerman’s reimagining of Seymour’s life, this second marriage has no part; it ends in 1973 with Watergate unraveling on TV while the previous lives of the protagonists completely disintegrate. American Pastoral won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and was included in TIME’s List of the 100 Best Novels. In 2006, it was one of the runners-up to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, in the “What is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?” contest held by the New York Times Book Review.


📙 The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy (1997)
— Fiction / novel / on 5 grand meta-lists

— [ THE END ] —

 

— § —


NOTES

[1]Doomscrolling is the act of consuming an endless procession of negative online news. It has nout to do with the Notepad text editor.Notepad, a basic text-editing program, has been included in all versions of Microsoft Windows since Windows 1.0 was launched in 1985.

— § —

[2]    Theogony
— Noun: theogony; plural noun: theogonies.
— The genealogy of a group or system of gods.
— From theos ‘god’ + -gonia ‘-begetting.’
— “The Theogony” is also a poem by Hesiod describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 700 B.C.E.; think of the Hebrew Bible’s Genesis…

 


ENGLISH LIT.

The English language
“Elizabethan era” / “Love letters”
French in English / Latin in English
Anthology / Chronology / Terminology
Phrases & idioms (with their etymologies)
Literary criticism: analysing poetry & prose
Glossary of works, writers and literary devices:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
📙 Books       📕 Poets       📗 Thinkers       📘 Writers


READING LISTS ETC.

WRITERS POETS
PHILOSOPHERS PSYCHOLOGISTS

POLITICAL FIGURES


BOOKS OF FICTION NON-FICTION BOOKS .
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost
Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986) was a French writer, philosopher and political activist. She is known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.
The Second Sex
1984
1984
Delta of Venus
Delta of Venus
A Room of one's own
A Room of One’s Own
War and Peace is the 1869 novel by Russian author Leo Tolstoy. It is regarded as a classic of world literature. (The novel chronicles the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families.) Tolstoy said War and Peace is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle." Tolstoy regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel.
War and Peace
The Trial, by Franz Kafka (1914 [1925]) -- A terrifying psychological trip into the life of one Joseph K., an ordinary man who wakes up one day to find himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Once arrested, he is released, but must report to court on a regular basis--an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life--including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young woman who lives next door--becomes increasingly unpredictable. As K. tries to gain control, he succeeds only in accelerating his own excruciating downward spiral.
The Trial
Brave New World (1932) is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley. Set in a futuristic World State, whose citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story's protagonist (one Bernard Marx). In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World at number five on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th c.
Brave New World
Beloved is a 1987 novel by the late American writer Toni Morrison. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 and, in a survey of writers and literary critics compiled by The New York Times, it was ranked the best work of American fiction from 1981 to 2006. The work, set after the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865, was inspired by the life of Margaret Garner, an African American who escaped slavery by crossing the Ohio River to Ohio, a free state. Garner was subsequently captured and decided to kill her infant daughter rather than have her taken into slavery.
Beloved
Moby-Dick
The Grapes of Wrath

The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry fables written in English by the Lebanese-American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran. The Prophet has been translated into over 100 different languages, making it one of the most translated books in history. Moreover, it has never been out of print.The Prophet
“If you love somebody, let them go, if they don’t return, they were never yours.”
The Essential Rumi, by Rumi ~ e.g. ~ 'Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.'The Essential Rumi
“Lovers do not finally meet somewhere. They are in each other all along.”
Ways of Escape, a journey of sorts -- 'I was dead, deader than dead because, I was still alive.'Ways of Escape:
a journey of sorts

A short excerpt from the book: “I was dead, deader than dead because, I was still alive.”
The Significance of Literature, the podcast series.The Significance of
Literature

A podcast series that chronologically charts the key works of poetry and prose.