Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1922

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guys I had to ignore so many edgar wallace books to get this down to 50

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Ulysses by James Joyce 22
The Prisoner by Marcel Proust 3
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams 1
Siddharta by Herman Hesse 1
Forest Of The Hanged by Liviu Rebreanu 1
Lady Into Fox by David Garnett 1
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim 1
The Call Of The Race by Lionel Groulx 0
The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison 0
The Long Journey by Johannes V. Jensen 0
The Bachelor Girl by Victor Margueritte 0
The Voyage Of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting 0
The Virgin Of The Sun by H. Rider Haggard 0
Siegfried Et Le Limousin by Jean Giraudoux 0
The Islands Of Wisdom by Alexander Moszkowski 0
Slaves In Their Bonds by Konstantinos Theotokis 0
Odin Grows Up by Olav Duun 0
Miss Mapp by E.F. Benson 0
Kõrboja peremees by A. H. Tammsaare 0
King Matt The First by Janusz Korczak 0
The Wren by Reşat Nuri Güntekin 0
The Absolute At Large by Karel Capek 0
The Red Rider by Franz Xaver Kappus 0
The City Without Jews by Hugo Bettauer 0
Velkovýroba ctnosti by Jiří Haussmann 0
Tell England by Ernest Raymond 0
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie 0
Aaron's Rod by D.H. Lawrence 0
The Boss O' Yedden by Arthur Wright 0
Salome Of The Tenements by Anzia Yezierska 0
Merton Of The Movies by Harry Leon Wilson 0
The Glimpses Of The Moon by Edith Wharton 0
Further Adventures Of Lad by Albert Payson Terhune 0
The Beautiful And Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald 0
The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings 0
Diary Of A Drug Fiend by Aleister Crowley 0
The Adventures Of Sally by P.G. Wodehouse 0
The Black Gang by Sapper 0
Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini 0
The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne 0
Pilgrim's Rest by Francis Brett Young 0
Nicolette by Baroness Orczy 0
Life And Death Of Harriet Frean by May Sinclair 0
Kai Lung's Golden Hours by Edgar Wallace 0
Jacob's Room by Virgina Woolfe 0
Huntingtower by John Buchan 0
The Haunted Woman by David Linsday 0
Don Rodriguez by Lord Dunsany 0
Alma by Oswaldo de Andrade 0


Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 3 December 2020 13:48 (one month ago) link

hard to look beyond Diary of a Drug Fiend

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 3 December 2020 13:54 (one month ago) link

I've not read Ulysses :( Not read Siddharta either but Hesse seems a bit suss.

I remember two things about Jacob's Room: a drunken soiree where an older man points out that silence doesn't exist, and the devastating ending.

Voting for the Von Arnim, which is a lovely story about English people losing their inhibitions, very Forsteresque.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 3 December 2020 13:55 (one month ago) link

Merton Of The Movies by Harry Leon Wilson
Salome Of The Tenements by Anzia Yezierska

The two genders.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 3 December 2020 13:56 (one month ago) link

The Call Of The Race by Lionel Groulx

lol I did not expect to see this here. Even Rebreanu came as less of a surprise (I'm voting for him btw, for the sake of variety, knowing full well that the obvious pick is the correct answer by a country mile).

pomenitul, Thursday, 3 December 2020 13:57 (one month ago) link

I clicked on that one as the title was quite alarming, but knowing little of Candian politics decided it was probably ok?

Also clicked on The City Without Jews, author was killed by the nazis for opposing anti-semitism.

Is Rebreanu good then, pom? I was quite happy that there seemed to be a larger variety of non-English-language books on this list.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:00 (one month ago) link

I haven't read it, Groulx was an anti-Semite, but I don't know if that's evident in the book

rob, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:04 (one month ago) link

I live near the Metro station named after Groulx, and this summer there was an unsuccessful push to rename it after Oscar Peterson.

I haven't read the big one either. I might actually vote for Hesse as I loved that book when I was 14 (probably the right time to read it)

rob, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:05 (one month ago) link

It's maybe *the* classic post-Dostoevskyan psychological WW1 novel in Romanian. I'd say it's pretty good, although clearly no Ulysses!

As for Lionel Groulx, the best thing I can say about that title is that the word 'race' didn't mean quite the same thing in French at the time, with the proviso that what it did mean was bad enough: the 'French Canadian race' vs the 'English Canadian race' (which should never mix through marriage, obv.).

2xp

pomenitul, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:09 (one month ago) link

Nice varied list, Duun still chugging along nicely. I'm intrigued by the Rebreanu!

Stately, I'll prob be voting for the big one, as much as I enjoyed Hesse in high school.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:10 (one month ago) link

Shall we do a group ILX read of Further Adventures Of Lad? I'm also curious if Don Rodriguez takes place in the Bronx

rob, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:12 (one month ago) link

I would like to revisit Hesse as an adult too, but he made the elementary mistake of not putting Drug Fiend in his titles

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:17 (one month ago) link

surely it's implied

rob, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:18 (one month ago) link

Did Hesse single-handedly invent hippies avant la lettre?

pomenitul, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:19 (one month ago) link

Siddhartha rules btw.

pomenitul, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:20 (one month ago) link

I feel like the spiritual quest with Tibetan overtones had taken off in the Germanosphere before Hesse put it out there tbf

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:20 (one month ago) link

One of the few years where I've not just read multiple books, but multiple ones that I would consider voting for. I haven't been on holiday just to celebrate any of the other books, though. (The tradition of Lad's Day is one dear to my heart)

emil.y, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:24 (one month ago) link

He didn't single-handedly invent hippies, but it sure fell prey to the hippies from 40 years on.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:24 (one month ago) link

hard to look beyond Diary of a Drug Fiend

― Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 3 December 2020 13:54 bookmarkflaglink

lol i won a prize for english literature at school, and ordered this as my prize to be awarded on a big assembly evening with all presents there because *i yam such a rebel*. embarrassing obv, and the book is you will be surprised to know crap.

Fizzles, Thursday, 3 December 2020 14:26 (one month ago) link

The Prisoner gets to be pretty tiresome (basically a rehash of "Swann In Love," a long-ass rehash, esp. w The Fugitive) so I'll go w Ulysses, tho prob would have anyway. Those are the only two on here I've read.

dow, Thursday, 3 December 2020 18:34 (one month ago) link

Oh wait, I did read The Beautiful and Damned, but it's way behind Ulysses.

dow, Thursday, 3 December 2020 18:37 (one month ago) link

I have read:
The Adventures of Sally
Kai Lung's Golden Hours
The Secret Adversary
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Absolute at Large
Ulysses

Of those, Ulysses is the obvious winner, although Capek is one of my favorite writers and I'm sad that I'll have to wait a while before I can vote for him in one of these polls. (Since plays and short story collections aren't part of this.)

Lily Dale, Thursday, 3 December 2020 18:55 (one month ago) link

Yeah, the Capek is lots of fun--animists turn out to be right and so when the atom is split it releases raw GOD POWER which leaks out into the world and fucks everything up

Life And Death Of Harriet Frean by May Sinclair is quietly devastating and deeply excellent

The Mapp/Lucia books by EF Benson get raved about by people but I have never got on with them AT ALL

The Glimpses Of The Moon by Edith Wharton feels like Wharton not completely successfully trying to channel F Scott Fitzgerald

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 4 December 2020 01:32 (one month ago) link

First time for these in a while where I have read three of the books so will put in a vote for The Prisoner, it's pretty insane. I love Proust a lot more than Joyce, though I'd love to spend time in the Finnegans Wake universe.

Other one was the Hesse, which I don't remember much about or even feel like revisiting.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 4 December 2020 11:57 (one month ago) link

An aside - it was obviously never in contention for me, but if you're a fan of quaint English murder mysteries, you could do a lot worse than the A. A. Milne. I was certainly surprised by it when I discovered it (this is the second time in a week that I will confess to surprise at a children's author doing something other than writing for children, I really should learn to give them more credit).

emil.y, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:18 (one month ago) link

really? that’s interesting. will give it a go as i am a fan of qmms

Fizzles, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:27 (one month ago) link

I love Proust a lot more than Joyce

My man.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:27 (one month ago) link

I'll also vote for The Prisoner. Absolute misery, but it can't all be flowers and madeleines.

I've technically read Ulysses in that I've read all the words, but I feel like I don't know it well.

jmm, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:33 (one month ago) link

i'm concerned that Ulysses won't landslide this now

i mean it doesn't matter but still

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 15:35 (one month ago) link

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie. first christie book but not one that's well known or aged well i don't think. have any of the Tommy and Tuppence books had a life outside the books?

anyway, only one of the list i've read and i didn't enjoy it.

koogs, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:44 (one month ago) link

I don't think I would have ever finished Ulysses if I hadn't taken a class entirely devoted to it in my undergrad years. I'm glad I pulled through and it remains one of the most admirable literary monuments of all, but I don't *love* it and no doubt never will. There's just too much superhuman verbal virtuosity on display – even its flaws feel like they're not of this world, despite the deceptively mundane subject matter. Beckett, once past his early imitative phase, provided the perfect (because imperfect) corrective to the Joycean aesthetic.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:44 (one month ago) link

spoiler example christie quote

“This gentleman is a Russian Bolshevik. We don’t want to shoot him, but it may be necessary. You understand?”

koogs, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:47 (one month ago) link

First time I read Ulysses I allowed myself to kind of float along with it, read some of it drunk, not worry too much if I missed stuff. Then came the academic readings of it. I think that way was much more satisfying than starting with an academic view, though I treasure my studies on it too. I do love it and I will be very upset if it doesn't win.

emil.y, Friday, 4 December 2020 15:52 (one month ago) link

Ulysses is a bit like getting a tattoo with me: I keep intending to read it next year but I'm probably a bit scared and haven't found the necessary impetus. Like too many things in my life, I need someone to bring the mountain to me.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 4 December 2020 16:38 (one month ago) link

the enormous room is pretty good, i think. siddhartha was a decent read in high school. even as an adult i find the velveteen rabbit almost too sad to think about.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 4 December 2020 18:17 (one month ago) link

i wonder, pom, if you have to go thru a work phase on Ulysses to break thru to the pleasure of ignoring its theory phase. not at all sure that's true but i guess it was partly my experience, tho i started reading first, then theoried up, then went back to the pleasure of the absorbing funny down to earthness of it, which it really is, i swear

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 18:31 (one month ago) link

i mean i'm pretty sure by 1918 JJ knew it was all too much on one level. but there's a lot of levels

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 18:32 (one month ago) link

It's not so much the theory as the confidence in language's purportedly epiphanic powers or whatever. I tend to prefer writers for whom writing is a struggle and whose works bear the brunt of that struggle. With Joyce, there's something quasi Paganini-esque about the spectacle he conjures up – too much bedazzlement for comfort, too much visible (and audible) success. This is a reductive view, of course, but it's what leaps out at me when I'm reading him, from Dubliners onward.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 December 2020 18:38 (one month ago) link

no i'd never argue with somebody else's relationship to a thing, but there's two things i feel confident about: that Joyce realised at some point that language was writing beyond him, and that even if you strip that away Ulysses is the pinnacle of social realism

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 18:44 (one month ago) link

i have no meaningful conclusions to draw from those two thoughts

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 18:45 (one month ago) link

language was writing beyond him

Perhaps, but language also writes against itself, and there are very few traces of that movement in Joyce's work.

Ulysses as 'the pinnacle of social realism', however? Sure.

Yet it's worth pointing out that underlying cultural factors inflect our respective readings as well. There are a few extra degrees of geographical and historical separation between me and the world of Ulysses, as it were.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 December 2020 19:06 (one month ago) link

as far as language writing beyond him i guess i'm thinking more of Finnegans, but i think Joyce used to joke about its predictive power whereas i think what he might've meant, consciously or not, was he stumbled across a machine for generating meaning, which i'd trace back to the earlier work

i mean this also comes into areas of intentionality that i don't much care about but for a long time after i first wrassled FW i questioned the value of meaning

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 19:36 (one month ago) link

and he certainly made jokes about readers generating meaning during the gestation/publication of Ulysses, the stuff about professors endlessly dissecting it etc. the book isn't on trial, it's the abyss lol

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 19:37 (one month ago) link

but to reduce this to a personal thing, moments of Ulysses intrude on my life every week in the same way that moments of The Simpsons do

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 19:38 (one month ago) link

but also one day i need to have a proper swim in Proust

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 December 2020 19:39 (one month ago) link

One day I'll reread Ulysses and will likely get far more out of it than I did at the ripe old age of 21.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 December 2020 20:53 (one month ago) link

Been a long time since I read it for a class---minus Bloomsday, also assigned, but I did alright on the test---I'd like to go back and try it with some commentaries now, but my take at the time was of X-Y axis: X being what vertical layers of classical reference and fluent phrasing brought to Y horizontal storyline, proceeding through day and night around town, axis itself the power of association, music and notation on a grid of how the mind works, mind of the author and characters, connective tissue: so, to me, it's multi-d social realism, proceeding from and via Dubliners and Portrait. Classical bits to an extent provided mainly an initial grid, points of departure, not really amounting to a major preoccupation. Not to say that commentaries couldn't point out something about this that I've missed---but if you have to have it pointed out to you, is it really part of the book, if you have to read something else to get it?? Well maybe, if it then settles into the way you re-read it, but see I wanted more of a cold reading, a blindfold test, always do.

dow, Friday, 4 December 2020 21:54 (one month ago) link

Also supposedly he contacted people still in Dublin, had them check details, even measure, to make sure he was putting it all in accurately. So even if he got carried away sometimes, "language writing beyond him," there was that kind of grounding attempted.

dow, Friday, 4 December 2020 22:00 (one month ago) link

So that was the appeal to young me: you can have it all! "Yes I will yes."

dow, Friday, 4 December 2020 22:01 (one month ago) link

I think I've just voted in one of these for the first time.

the pinefox, Saturday, 5 December 2020 11:41 (one month ago) link

Nailed on AA Milne vote there.

Fizzles, Saturday, 5 December 2020 19:29 (one month ago) link

fwiw i did vote ulysses because i think it's wonderful. it's one of those books which whenever i dip back into it i get *feels*... of place, language, thought, people, thinking and socialising, history. what a glorious exuberance of literature, thought and spirits.

Fizzles, Saturday, 5 December 2020 19:30 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 6 December 2020 00:01 (one month ago) link

Oh yes I read The Secret Adversary this year. It is quite a funny curio. The concept of Russian communism as basically a one man job that could be defeated. Thinking there must've been a ton of these red scare type books.

It is not better than The Prisoner or Ulysses though.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 6 December 2020 08:47 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 7 December 2020 00:01 (one month ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1923

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 7 December 2020 12:02 (one month ago) link


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