Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1933

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Man's Fate by André Malraux 4
Imitation Of Life by Fannie Hurst 1
Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome 1
Divorce by Lao She 1
From A View To A Death by Anthony Powell 1
Frost In May by Antonia White 1
Heavy Weather by P.G. Wodehouse 1
Hordubal by Karel Čapek 1
In the Alastalo Parlor by Volter Kilpi 0
Der Junge Joseph by Thomas Mann 0
Women by Mihail Sebastian 0
I Was Jack Mortimer by Alexander Lernet-Holenia 0
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel 0
Fontmara by Ignazio Silone 0
Florian: The Emperor's Stallion by Felix Salten 0
Bàrnabo Of The Mountains by Dino Buzzati 0
Cacau by Jorge Amado 0
The Road Leads On by Knut Hamsun 0
The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes by Vincent Starrett 0
Omenuko by Pita Nwana 0
The Night Club by Georges Simenon 0
Midnight: A Romance Of China by Mao Dun 0
Metro by Vladimir Varankin 0
Kaytek The Wizard by Janusz Korczak 0
Gloomy River by Vyacheslav Shishkov 0
Monsieur Hire's Engagement by Georges Simenon 0
The Right To Kill by Raúl Barón Biza 0
The Flying Classroom by Erich Kastner 0
The Punch Bowl by Heinrich Spoerl 0
To A God Unknown by John Steinbeck 0
Pity Is Not Enough by Josephine Herbst 0
The Man Of Bronze by Kenneth Robeson 0
God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell 0
The Disinherited by Jack Conroy 0
Better Angel by Forman Brown 0
Ultramarine by Malcolm Lowry 0
Lamb In His Bosom by Caroline Miller 0
If Fortune Does Not Favour by Selasih 0
The Werewolf Of Paris by Guy Endore 0
When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer 0
The Green Mare by Marcel Aymé 0
Spartacus by Lewis Grassic Gibbon 0
The Shape Of Things To Come by H.G. Wells 0
The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis 0
The Green Round by Arthur Machen 0
Flush: A Biography by Virgina Woolf 0
England, Their England by A.G. Macdonell 0
The Curse Of The Wise Woman by Lord Dunsany 0
Pageant by G.B. Lancaster 0
The Forbbiden Territory by Dennis Wheatley 0


Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 14 January 2021 13:01 (five months ago) link

Difficult establishing exactly when the different parts of Joseph And His Brothers were published, even reading German wikipedia.

Simenon as prolific in his roman durs as he was as a crime writer, I included two but have no idea if they're the most rated.

Since this year seems to have nothing approaching a canonical choice, let me lobby for Flush: A Biography (no I haven't read it) :

Flush: A Biography, an imaginative biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel, is a cross-genre blend of fiction and nonfiction by Virginia Woolf published in 1933.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 14 January 2021 13:09 (five months ago) link

La Condition humaine, I suppose.

Women is half-novel, half-short story collection – a structuring device I've always been fond of – but I haven't read it yet.

pomenitul, Thursday, 14 January 2021 14:08 (five months ago) link

I'm voting Malraux as well ('Man's Fate' or 'La Condition Humaine'), it's the only book here that I've read tbf

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 14 January 2021 14:14 (five months ago) link

Daniel - are you going including Musil in these? Or are you going to wait till '43?

I've only read Fontamara and it's ok. Not going to vote for it.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:56 (five months ago) link

No idea why the translator went with Man's Fate when The Human Condition is available.

xp

pomenitul, Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:58 (five months ago) link

Women is half-novel, half-short story collection – a structuring device I've always been fond of – but I haven't read it yet.

Ah, this is good to know, as I was wondering if Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass would be included in these lists or if it was too much like separate stories. You've also sent me down a rabbit-hole of reading about Mihail Sebastian's life now. After all that, just blammoed by a truck at the end of the war.

emil.y, Thursday, 14 January 2021 16:13 (five months ago) link

> Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass

is that what the film's based on?

ha, yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hourglass_Sanatorium

koogs, Thursday, 14 January 2021 16:22 (five months ago) link

The sheer amount of brilliant Jewish Romanian writers who had to flee the country or who were murdered by the regime or its allies during that period is unspeakably depressing. In a weird way, the manner of Sebastian's death is almost comfortingly normal.

pomenitul, Thursday, 14 January 2021 16:22 (five months ago) link

xyzz, waiting until 1943. I mostly try to go with date of publication, though I'm sure there's counter-examples in previous polls.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 14 January 2021 16:27 (five months ago) link

I read Hordubal as the first part of Capek's book Three Novels, which I think is absolutely brilliant. Of the three novellas in it, Hordubal is probably the one I like least, but I think I'll vote for it anyway because it's an essential part of a masterpiece.

I also love Winter Holiday, though.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 14 January 2021 17:10 (five months ago) link

I'm blank on this one. Will endeavour to read the winner this year.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 14 January 2021 17:26 (five months ago) link

Voted for Man's Fate: read it long ago, but was pulled into narrative momentum x bits of seemingly shrewd socio-economic incl. financial real talk x narrative momentum.

dow, Thursday, 14 January 2021 17:40 (five months ago) link

yeah this is Malraux

When Worlds Collide and The Man of Bronze both influenced Siegel and Shuster's creation of Superman a few years later

Brad C., Thursday, 14 January 2021 17:51 (five months ago) link

The Werewolf Of Paris by Guy Endore

I just started reading this. My initial impression is "heavily indebted to J.-K. Huysmans."

Infanta Terrible (j.lu), Thursday, 14 January 2021 18:13 (five months ago) link

Ultramarine by Malcolm Lowry -- lesser Lowry, still good
Heavy Weather by P.G. Wodehouse -- Blandings books are my favourite Wodehouse, this is great
To A God Unknown by John Steinbeck -- overwrought early Steinbeck
When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer -- eh, it's OK, pulpy
Flush: A Biography by Virgina Woolf -- secretly one of my favourite Woolfs, even though it's a minor work
From A View To A Death by Anthony Powell -- fun satire, sort of a dry run for the style of A Dance to the Music of Time
Frost In May by Antonia White -- brilliant, probably gets my vote
The Shape Of Things To Come by H.G. Wells -- lots of good ideas, kind of a dull actual story as it's basically a guided tour
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel -- haven't read this yet, it's fucking huge, but I do won it
I Was Jack Mortimer by Alexander Lernet-Holenia -- thriller written in and set in falling-apart between-wars Vienna, how could I not love this?
Monsieur Hire's Engagement by Georges Simenon -- fantasic, also maybe gets my vote
Women by Mihail Sebastian -- wonderful, also maybe gets my vote

So basically can I have 3 votes please?

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 14 January 2021 23:48 (five months ago) link

Frost In May by Antonia White -- brilliant, probably gets my vote
Please tell all about this book!

dow, Friday, 15 January 2021 01:17 (five months ago) link

Trotsky wrote a glowing, but short and not particularly illuminating, review of Fontamara, had intended to read it on the back of that back in the 00s. Never followed up.

Silone tells a great story to add to the annals of stalinist fuckery: he and togliatti were summoned to Moscow and the comintern officials demanded they come out against an article by Trotsky about the disastrous comintern policy in China, the communists had aligned with the nationalists leading to a betrayal that lead to a massacre of thousands of communists and the destruction of the Chinese communists capacity for action (leading to the rise of Mao who had forged a more independent line and would only come to the fore after this huge setback), Silone and Togliatti stated that they hadn't read it so couldn't condemn the article, their interlocutors stated that they hadn't read it either,but nevertheless they must condemn it. Silone couldn't believe this and asked for confirmation by the translator. This ended in his rupture with the communist party

Fenners' Pen (jim in vancouver), Friday, 15 January 2021 02:00 (five months ago) link

Frost in May: it's the first in a series of 4 books, but stands on its own -- very autobiographical novel about a young girl kind of ruined by overbearing Catholicism and trying to break free and become an individual; beautifully written. Elizabeth Bowen was a big fan, if that helps. I think it was the first book ever resurrected as a Virago Modern Classic, and it's kind of a perfect example of that series at its best.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 15 January 2021 05:02 (five months ago) link

Good Backlisted episode on Frost in May: https://www.backlisted.fm/episodes/112-antonia-white-frost-in-may

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 15 January 2021 09:05 (five months ago) link

Thanks yall!

dow, Friday, 15 January 2021 19:24 (five months ago) link

From a View to a Death wonderful and tragic. interested in JM’s point about it being a dry run for ADTTMOT. i think i see these wary comic novels as being entirely separate to, and tbh in many respects much better than, dance. (esp this, venusberg, and agents and patients)

Fizzles, Friday, 15 January 2021 19:37 (five months ago) link

Another year where I haven't read anything.

wasdnuos (abanana), Friday, 15 January 2021 21:00 (five months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 17 January 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

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

System, Monday, 18 January 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1934

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 18 January 2021 16:38 (five months ago) link

I missed this thread, but I'd have voted for 'Frost In May' - my favourite novel by anyone.

Gravel Puzzleworth, Monday, 18 January 2021 16:41 (five months ago) link

It's so, so beautifully written. Like, look at this!

As a result of all this, Nanda developed a nice sense of piety. She really did begin to live all day long in the presence of the court of heaven. God the Father and God the Holy Ghost remained awe-inspiring conceptions, Presences who could only be addressed in set words and with one’s mind, as it were, properly gloved and veiled. But to Our Lady and the Holy Child and the saints she spoke as naturally as to her friends. She learnt to smooth a place on her pillow for her Guardian Angel to sit during the night, to promise St Anthony a creed or some pennies for his poor in return for finding her lost property, to jump out of bed at the first beat of the bell to help the Holy Souls in purgatory. She learnt, too, to recognise all round her the signs of heaven on earth. The donkey in the paddock reminded her that all donkeys have crosses on their backs since the day Our Lord rode into Jerusalem; the robin’s breast was red because one of his ancestors had splashed his feathers with the Precious Blood trying to peck away the crown of thorns. The clover and the shamrock were a symbol of the Blessed Trinity, the sunflower was a saint turning always towards God, the speedwell had been white till Our Lady’s blue mantle brushed it as she walked in the fields of Nazareth. When Nanda heard a cock crow, it cried: ‘Christus natus est‘; the cows lowed ‘Ubi? Ubi?‘ and the lambs down at the community farm bleated ‘Be-e-thlehem’.

Gravel Puzzleworth, Monday, 18 January 2021 16:43 (five months ago) link

But it's so smart, too, you really get a sense of the adult Antonia White too, watching with wry amusement the kind of child who cannot help being good

Gravel Puzzleworth, Monday, 18 January 2021 16:45 (five months ago) link


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