Donald Barthelme's Syllabus

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This is a list of 81 books that the writer Donald Barthelme would give to his students as suggested reading material. It's an interesting list whether you are a fan of Barthelme or not. It was reprinted in The Believer magazine, but I haven't found it anywhere on the web. Thought it might be worth sharing. (How many have you read? I'm actually reading the Leonard Michaels book right now! I picked it up at the thrift store yesterday, not even remembering that it was on here.)

1. At Swim Two Birds - Flann O'Brien
2. The Third Policeman - Flann O'Brien
3. Collected Short Stories - Isaac Babel
4. Labyrinths - Borges
5. Other Inquisitions - Borges
6. One Hundred Years Of Solitude - Garcia Marquez
7. Correction - Thomas Bernhard
8. Nog - Rudy Wurlitzer
9. Gimpel The Fool - Isaac B. Singer
10. The Assistant - Bernard Malamud
11. The Magic Barrel - Bernard Malamud
12. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
13. Under The Volcano - Malcom Lowry
14. Entire - Samuel Beckett (In other words, everything!)
15. Hunger - Knut Hamsun
16. I'm Not Stiller - Max Frisch
17. Man In The Holocene - Max Frisch
18. Seven Gothic Tales - Dineson
19. Gogol's Wife - Tommaso Landolfi
20. V - Thomas Pynchon
21. The Lime Twig - John Hawkes
22. Blood Oranges - John Hawkes
23. Little Disturbances Of Man - Grace Paley
24. I, Etc., - Susan Sontag
25. Tell Me A Riddle - Tillie Olson
26. Hero With A Thousand Faces - Campbell
27. Henderson The Rain King - Bellow
28. The Coup - John Updike
29. Rabbit, Run - John Updike
30. The Paris Review Interviews - Various
31. How We Live - ed, Rust Hills
32. Superfiction - ed, Joe David Bellamy
33. Pushcart Prize Anthologies (no specific years given!)
34. The Writer On Her Work - ed, Sternburg
35. Manifestos Of Surrealism - Andre Breton
36. Documents Of Modern Art - ed, Motherwell
37. Against Interpretation - Susan Sontag
38. A Homemade World - Hugh Kenner
39. Letters - Flaubert
40. Sexual Perversity In Chicago - Mamet
41. The Changeling - Joy Williams
42. The New Fiction - ed, Joe David Bellamy
43. Going After Cacciato - Tim O'Brien
44. The Palm-Wine Drunkard - Amos Tutola
45. Searching For Caleb - Ann Tyler
46. Thank You - Kenneth Koch
47. Collected Poems - Frank O'Hara
48. Rivers And Mountains - John Ashbery
49. Tragic Magic - Wesley Brown
50. Mythologies - Roland Barthes
51. The Pleasure Of The Text - Barthes
52. For A New Novel - Robbe-Grillet
53. Falling In Place - Ann Beattie
54. In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country - William Gass
55. Fiction And The Figures Of Life - Gass
56. The World Within The Word - Gass
57. Advertisements For Myself - Mailer
58. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
59. Journey To The End Of The Night - Celine
60. The Box Man - Kobo Abe
61. Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
62. A Sorrow Beyond Dreams - Peter Handke
63. Kaspar And Other Plays - Peter Handke
64. Nadja - Andre Breton
65. Chimera - John Barth
66. Lost In The Funhouse - John Barth
67. The Moviegoer - Walker Percy
68. Black Tickets - Jayne Anne Phillips
69. Collected Stories - Peter Taylor
70. The Pure And The Impure - Colette
71. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please - Carver
72. Collected Stories - John Cheever
73. I Would Have Saved Them If I Could - Leonard Michaels
74. Collected Stories - Eudora Welty
75. The Oranging Of America - Max Apple
76. Collected Stories - Flannery O'Connor
77. Mumbo Jumbo - Ishmael Reed
78. Song Of Solomon - Toni Morrison
79. The Death Of Artemio Cruz - Carlos Fuentes
80. The Book Of Laughter And Forgetting - Milan Kundera
81. The Rhetoric Of Fiction - Wayne C. Booth

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 22 March 2004 15:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Nice work, Scott. I believe he also told his students to read "philosophy. All of it. And the complete history of literature."

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 22 March 2004 15:26 (seventeen years ago) link

thank you, scott!

cozen (Cozen), Monday, 22 March 2004 15:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Wow. I can scratch a whoppping 7 off that list.

Phastbuck, Monday, 22 March 2004 16:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Haha - predictably, perhaps, I have read 29 books on that list.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 22 March 2004 16:39 (seventeen years ago) link

I got 11!

cozen (Cozen), Monday, 22 March 2004 19:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Durr, me so stoopit. Own-lee read wun book on list: The Moviegoer.

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Monday, 22 March 2004 19:29 (seventeen years ago) link

I wonder if he's read 'the correction'.

cozen (Cozen), Monday, 22 March 2004 19:38 (seventeen years ago) link

I've read 14 and i'll finish the Leonard Michaels book today, so that makes 15! And there is a bunch of stuff on there that i'm curious about/want to read/have been meaning to read. That's probably my least favorite Joy Williams book on his list, by the way. Although, I can definitely see why he would choose that one. It's her most experimental/daring/poetic work (maybe). All her other books from the 80's, Taking Care, Breaking & Entering, and State Of Grace would be on any best-of list of mine.

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 22 March 2004 19:43 (seventeen years ago) link

have you read 'the correction' scott? I mean, paragraph breaks please! haha OK I know that's a juvenile complaint but it did severely hamper my reading the book. it's like that irritating 'melancholy of resistance' book with its 200-word sentences.

cozen (Cozen), Monday, 22 March 2004 19:51 (seventeen years ago) link

No, I've never read the correction. looking at that list reminded me that a couple weeks ago i picked up a paperback at the thrift store that collects Beckett's Molloy/Malone Dies/The Unnameable together and even though I bought it I can remember thinking at home: "When are you EVER gonna read that thing?" I'm a little scared of it.

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 22 March 2004 20:12 (seventeen years ago) link

I've read 11. There are a few writers whose other works I have read, but not those chosen by the maestro. I keep meaning to read Bernhard, highly recommended by friends, etc... and never do. What's up with that?

Michael White (Hereward), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 00:55 (seventeen years ago) link

Scott, Molloy's pretty funny, believe it or not. But it's disturbing, too. I couldn't bring myself to read the other two.

otto, Tuesday, 23 March 2004 03:28 (seventeen years ago) link

There's an interesting list like that (except it's not in a tidy list form) in an interview with Paul West. (Funny I should care since I mostly don't read fiction and haven't read any books by him.)

I've read 8 or 9. (I can't remember if I actually read one of the Frisch books, but I think I might have.)

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 05:02 (seventeen years ago) link

He doesn't give many titles though.

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 05:04 (seventeen years ago) link

49. Tragic Magic - Wesley Brown

-- who knew the dodgy Man U defender was such a renaissance man?

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 09:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Interesting list. Shame British people don't write, though.

Bunged Out (Jake Proudlock), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 09:46 (seventeen years ago) link

Good that Barthelme recognises Singer, an inexplicably neglected writer considering that he won the Nobel prize in the seventies. I had to get my last three Singer books second hand.

Bunged Out (Jake Proudlock), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 09:49 (seventeen years ago) link

OK, let's see

1. Check.
2. Check! Hey, this is gonna be easy!
3. No, but then everyone's bound to miss one or two.
4. Read half of it without getting too much of it, but hey, check it!
5 onwards, no, no, uhhhhm, no, what's that? always meant to read THAT one, no, nope, never heard of it, till, at last,
20. Yay!!!!
then, many, too many no's to count later,
80. Yes, but so what?

Feeling utterly and functionally illiterate PuzzleMonkey swings over to the bar thread. Good God! Too late, too late! he eeped. This list has made its wicked way over there as well. Think I'll just pull out a copy of Jose Cuervo's latest bodice ripper and work through that.

PuzzleMonkey (PuzzleMonkey), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 19:46 (seventeen years ago) link

Finally, having read The Oranging of America pays off!

nabiscothingy, Tuesday, 23 March 2004 20:52 (seventeen years ago) link

I quite like the first two.

the blissfox, Tuesday, 23 March 2004 22:19 (seventeen years ago) link

I, too, have read The Orangeing of America.

I am not quite sure whether I finished it.

Believe it or not, when I was 16 I found it depressingly sexist.

the bluefox, Tuesday, 23 March 2004 22:20 (seventeen years ago) link

I have read about 6 of the books.

Some others I have dipped into - such as the surprise Kenner inclusion, the Flaubert, the whole of Beckett (what a silly request).

I am not reading the rest until Barthelme agrees to read all of my list.

the bluefox, Tuesday, 23 March 2004 22:22 (seventeen years ago) link

I think that would make for a great thread, by the way. If we could get Vermont Girl out of the ILB bar i would love to see her syllabus. And yours, Pinefox. Everyone's list!

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 22:42 (seventeen years ago) link


Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 23:04 (seventeen years ago) link


Tragic Magic - Wesley Brown
-- who knew the dodgy Man U defender was such a renaissance man?

And that he could get his stream-of-consciousness tale of his 3/14/04 game against Man U out to the academics so fast. If he could that pace back on the pitch, it would be a definite improvement.

Michael White (Hereward), Tuesday, 23 March 2004 23:10 (seventeen years ago) link

Is this where I reprise my "Sling and arrows of outrageous Fortune (Quentin)" gag?

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 24 March 2004 00:09 (seventeen years ago) link

i'm in at 21, probably be 41 if i'd finish the books i've started. and #44 is maybe my favorite book many times.

Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 24 March 2004 03:50 (seventeen years ago) link

two months pass...
I love this list.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 5 June 2004 15:29 (seventeen years ago) link

They sure are a bunch of literary books, all right.

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 5 June 2004 16:04 (seventeen years ago) link

I know what the opposite of flirting is.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 5 June 2004 16:57 (seventeen years ago) link

Where did flirting ever get me?

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 5 June 2004 19:43 (seventeen years ago) link

I'd love it if you'd compile a similarly styled 81-book syllabus of your own, for me.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 5 June 2004 19:46 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm nosy like that.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 5 June 2004 19:46 (seventeen years ago) link

Or: What's interesting about Barthelme is that he adds all this other stuff to the literary mix, non- or para-literary items, and they seem oddly absent from that list of very literary works. Perhaps it's just a matter of context, but I'd be interested in reading the non-literary works he'd recommend to people. As well as the literary.

I mean, maybe the handful of books there that I don't recognize are paraliterary in some way, and if so I take it back.

Or: The last thing I'd suggest to budding writers (and I assume that's what this list is for) is that their reading habits be primarily (or totally!) of literary works.

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 5 June 2004 19:49 (seventeen years ago) link

(That was an xpost; I'll see what I can do.)

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 5 June 2004 19:49 (seventeen years ago) link

I would agree with your last sentence, your second last sentence, and the first four I'll think about.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 5 June 2004 19:57 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm more fun in real life.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 5 June 2004 19:59 (seventeen years ago) link

really?! ;-)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 5 June 2004 20:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I hope not, Cozen.

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 5 June 2004 20:38 (seventeen years ago) link

For the record, I think I've read four or five of these books.

Casuistry (Chris P), Monday, 7 June 2004 23:48 (seventeen years ago) link

I believe I have read 31 of that list => it's a pretty good list.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 14:56 (seventeen years ago) link

I've read only eight of these. I feel stupid :(

Mog, Wednesday, 9 June 2004 16:09 (seventeen years ago) link

Urgh. I've finished four and read at least half of four others.

NA (Nick A.), Wednesday, 9 June 2004 18:53 (seventeen years ago) link

four months pass...
I're read all or part of around 8 of these books (i.e. part of everything by Beckett and Part of Cheever's collection) but am just about to start Bartheleme's "Sixty Stories" after giving up on Eugenides' "Middlesex" cos it was shit.

jed_ (jed), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:18 (sixteen years ago) link


I have still never read any barthelme and don't intend to because I know I'd love him.

cºzen (Cozen), Thursday, 4 November 2004 23:45 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh. Really. .

the bellefox, Friday, 5 November 2004 16:38 (sixteen years ago) link

three stories in i KNOW you would, cozen. I feel like i'm getting what i have been looking for for a looooong time. Beatiful and Baffling. more soon, no doubt.

jed_ (jed), Friday, 5 November 2004 18:47 (sixteen years ago) link

23 counting the "partials" (i.e. maybe 3/4 of beckett's work) as .5 points.

I've liked 'em all pretty much without exception, so yeah I'd want to read more from this list.

I can totally see how they're all barthelmeesqe too, or at least fit with his ethos.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Friday, 5 November 2004 20:36 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
this is the first result for google on "barthelme syllabus"!

the third is the listing for reading it i started on!

tom west (thomp), Friday, 12 May 2006 20:14 (fifteen years ago) link

n.b. after i finish it or reach an impasse i am going to read chris's list. i could add that one on 43things and see if people start on it too. "read the chris piuma syllabus". it could catch on.

tom west (thomp), Friday, 12 May 2006 20:21 (fifteen years ago) link

That was a syllabus for Cozen!

A syllabus for you would be slightly different.

Also perhaps you should read one from column A and then one from column B?

Casuistry (Chris P), Friday, 12 May 2006 22:18 (fifteen years ago) link

well feel free to make me a syllabus, you know. if you do that i will totally do the column A - column B thing.

tom west (thomp), Friday, 12 May 2006 22:26 (fifteen years ago) link

One day, we'll all have our own Piuma syllabus. I can't wait!

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Friday, 12 May 2006 23:05 (fifteen years ago) link

Tom, how many of the books mentioned here have you read?

Casuistry (Chris P), Friday, 12 May 2006 23:26 (fifteen years ago) link

and that will be a great day.

chris: uh: the john cage lecture, 'the tennis court oath', 'pcoet' and that's it.

tom west (thomp), Friday, 12 May 2006 23:55 (fifteen years ago) link

WTF. I told you to explore that Eclipse site (where PCOET is), didn't I?

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 13 May 2006 00:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Also I'm going to use this thread to test out a new (temporary) nickname.

¯\(º_o)/¯ (Chris Piuma), Saturday, 13 May 2006 00:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow, that little icon is sweet. How dedja doit?

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Saturday, 13 May 2006 00:49 (fifteen years ago) link

sorry, sir, must try harder

tom west (thomp), Saturday, 13 May 2006 00:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Read Like A Piuma

Sons Of The Redd Desert (Ken L), Saturday, 13 May 2006 01:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Blame Tracer Hand for the emoticon.

¯\(º_o)/¯ (Chris Piuma), Saturday, 13 May 2006 02:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Dear ILB: Please googleproof my name, even though it is perhaps a futile task. Thanks.

¯\(º_o)/¯ (Chris Piuma), Saturday, 13 May 2006 03:44 (fifteen years ago) link

(I changed the name of the, uh, touching category with my name in it as well.)

¯\(º_o)/¯ (Chris Piuma), Saturday, 13 May 2006 03:45 (fifteen years ago) link

For some reason that icon is reminding me of Mr. Peanut.

Sons Of The Redd Desert (Ken L), Saturday, 13 May 2006 16:19 (fifteen years ago) link

If not his sozzled bizzaro Wacky Package brother who flacked for Plastered Peanuts.

Sons Of The Redd Desert (Ken L), Saturday, 13 May 2006 16:21 (fifteen years ago) link

"25. Tell Me A Riddle - Tillie Olson"

i started reading this about a month ago - again, not remembering that it was on this list - and had absolutely no interest in finishing it. and it's not long at all! i dunno, maybe i'll try again sometime. it just seemed so dated and obvious. nothing revolutionary or even very entertaining. apparently, she is big with writing teachers.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 13 May 2006 16:24 (fifteen years ago) link

it would have made more sense if toby olson had been on the list. he's crazy.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 13 May 2006 16:25 (fifteen years ago) link


anthony easton (anthony), Saturday, 13 May 2006 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Correction, not The Correction, I believe.

Hemoglobin Hummingbird (HemoHum), Friday, 19 May 2006 23:04 (fifteen years ago) link

i wish i had a syllabus of my own written by me that i could use to focus my reading-development.

Josh (Josh), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 06:29 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Did a bit wikiing around w/this. Of the writers I do not know a thing about I'd be v interested in Max Frisch and Kobo Abe? Anyone read 'em? ('Woman of the Dunes' the fillum is a favourite for me)

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 3 May 2008 13:53 (thirteen years ago) link

as far as abe i remember liking secret rendezvous and disliking the kangaroo notebook - its pretty far out shifting stream of consciousness action - kinda a way way less disciplined calvino

jhøshea, Saturday, 3 May 2008 14:27 (thirteen years ago) link


s1ocki, Saturday, 3 May 2008 16:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Max Frisch's 'Homo Faber' is a specious bit of nonsense.
Abe's 'Woman in the Dunes' is, frankly, pretty daft, but quite a lot of fun anyway.

James Morrison, Monday, 5 May 2008 00:10 (thirteen years ago) link

There's a surprising amount of stuff on that list with plot and characters, not what I would have expected Barthelme to be a fan of (don't get me wrong, I like Barthelme; I just like polot and characters too).

James Morrison, Monday, 5 May 2008 00:12 (thirteen years ago) link

Wayne C. Booth! This reminds me when I was still in the habit of reading the readings my sister got assigned for her lit classes. She always had the better teachers.

youn, Monday, 5 May 2008 01:23 (thirteen years ago) link

15 -- almost all read just-post-college in my early/mid 20s. was this list drawn in the early 80s?

Henderson The Rain King - Bellow
28. The Coup - John Updike

these are weird, atypical, really perverse choices from these guys. and both these books would be decried as racist if they were published today.

m coleman, Monday, 5 May 2008 01:30 (thirteen years ago) link

"Abe's 'Woman in the Dunes' is, frankly, pretty daft, but quite a lot of fun anyway."

i didn't think it was fun! i thought it was scary! (i liked it a bunch too)

i'm a big bellow fan and henderson is easily my least favorite novel.

scott seward, Monday, 5 May 2008 02:46 (thirteen years ago) link

I have read only six, and parts of two others. Love the look of this list, though. It gives me things to look for during my next library/bookstore visit that I'd never have thought of before (Sexual Perversity in Chicago...and some mischievous part of me wants to read the Collected Stories of John Cheever, Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor concurrently).

Z S, Monday, 5 May 2008 04:41 (thirteen years ago) link

"Fun" I guess I meant in the sense that it's an intriguing idea well done--just that it's also quite daft when you step back and think about it. But I really did like it. I've got Abe's 'Face of Another' which I haven't yet read. The blurb makes it sound as though the story was nicked for that Mel Gibson movie about (Man Without a Face or something like that), but with added Frankensteinisms.

James Morrison, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 01:01 (thirteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

1. Stories by Julio Cortázar (not sure if this refers to Hopscotch, Blow-Up and Other Stories, or neither)
2. & 3. The Apocryphal Gospels
4. Amerika and The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka
5. The Blue Cross: A Father Brown Mystery by G.K. Chesterton
6. & 7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
8. The Intelligence of Flowers by Maurice Maeterlinck
9. The Desert of the Tartars by Dino Buzzati
10. Peer Gynt and Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
11. The Mandarin: And Other Stories by Eça de Queirós
12. The Jesuit Empire by Leopoldo Lugones
13. The Counterfeiters by André Gide
14. The Time Machine and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
15. The Greek Myths by Robert Graves
16. & 17. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
18. Mathematics and the Imagination by Edward Kasner
19. The Great God Brown and Other Plays, Strange Interlude, and Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill
20. Tales of Ise by Ariwara no Narihara
21. Benito Cereno, Billy Budd, and Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville
22. The Tragic Everyday, The Blind Pilot, and Words and Blood by Giovanni Papini
23. The Three Impostors
24. Songs of Songs tr. by Fray Luis de León
25. An Explanation of the Book of Job tr. by Fray Luis de León
26. The End of the Tether and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
27. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
28. Essays & Dialogues by Oscar Wilde
29. Barbarian in Asia by Henri Michaux
30. The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
31. Buried Alive by Arnold Bennett
32. On the Nature of Animals by Claudius Elianus
33. The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen
34. The Temptation of St. Antony by Gustave Flaubert
35. Travels by Marco Polo
36. Imaginary Lives by Marcel Schwob
37. Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara, and Candide by George Bernard Shaw
38. Macus Brutus and The Hour of All by Francisco de Quevedo
39. The Red Redmaynes by Eden Phillpotts
40. Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard
41. The Golem by Gustav Meyrink
42. The Lesson of the Master, The Figure in the Carpet, and The Private Life by Henry James
43. & 44. The Nine Books of the History of Herodotus by Herodotus
45. Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo
46. Tales by Rudyard Kipling
47. Vathek by William Beckford
48. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
49. The Professional Secret & Other Texts by Jean Cocteau
50. The Last Days of Emmanuel Kant and Other Stories by Thomas de Quincey
51. Prologue to the Work of Silverio Lanza by Ramon Gomez de la Serna
52. The Thousand and One Nights
53. New Arabian Nights and Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson
54. Salvation of the Jews, The Blood of the Poor, and In the Darkness by Léon Bloy
55. The Bhagavad Gita and The Epic of Gilgamesh
56. Fantastic Stories by Juan José Arreola
57. Lady into Fox, A Man in the Zoo, and The Sailor’s Return by David Garnett
58. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
59. Literary Criticism by Paul Groussac
60. The Idols by Manuel Mujica Láinez
61. The Book of Good Love by Juan Ruiz
62. Complete Poetry by William Blake
63. Above the Dark Circus by Hugh Walpole
64. Poetical Works by Ezequiel Martinez Estrada
65. Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
66. The Aeneid by Virgil
67. Stories by Voltaire
68. An Experiment with Time by J.W. Dunne
69. An Essay on Orlando Furioso by Atilio Momigliano
70. & 71. The Varieties of Religious Experience and The Study of Human Nature by William James
72. Egil’s Saga by Snorri Sturluson
73. The Book of the Dead
74. & 75. The Problem of Time by J. Alexander Gunn

scott seward, Friday, 11 September 2015 19:12 (six years ago) link

now i'm trying to remember if i already posted this list somewhere else a million years ago...oh well...

scott seward, Friday, 11 September 2015 19:19 (six years ago) link

Heh timely revive, just the other day I was thinking to myself I wonder if there's any footage of Dapper Don extant, and discovered this on YouTube:

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Friday, 11 September 2015 19:19 (six years ago) link

I was amazed by how unTexan Don B sounds.

Stevie T, Friday, 11 September 2015 19:23 (six years ago) link

Borges' fav movie was west side story

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 11 September 2015 19:38 (six years ago) link

great choice!

scott seward, Friday, 11 September 2015 19:42 (six years ago) link

i wonder if he was a fan of The Warriors.

scott seward, Friday, 11 September 2015 19:43 (six years ago) link

42. The Lesson of the Master, The Figure in the Carpet, and The Private Life by Henry James

Love what Borges says in his Paris Review interview: "I think that the whole world of Kafka is to be found in a far more complex way in the stories of Henry James"

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Friday, 11 September 2015 20:02 (six years ago) link

I think I saw that list, or a very similar list, somewhere before, and along with it came someone's mention that there were zero women on the list, and that comment sparked a series of other comments that demonstrated that Borges didn't respect women at all. Probably common knowledge to most, but it was news to me, knocking him down from godlike genius to genius with terrible flaws.

1996 ball boy (Karl Malone), Saturday, 12 September 2015 02:21 (six years ago) link

He was a big promoter of his friend Silvina Ocampo, but perhaps she was the only one he liked? Or the fact they knew each other meant he couldnt ignore her.

as verbose and purple as a Peter Ustinov made of plums (James Morrison), Sunday, 13 September 2015 11:16 (six years ago) link

Googling "Borges Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz" doesn't bring anything unfortunately - would've thought Borges was into her poetry (they are similarly voracious readers/live in libraries etc)

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 13 September 2015 11:36 (six years ago) link

are there any syllabi of exclusively women's writing? can prob crowdsource one here, I guess wd contain at least 1 of didion, jean rhys, moore, spark, jansson, elizabeth bowen, highsmith, ferrante, le guin, munro, elizabeth bishop, mccullers, woolf, comyns, murdoch, o'connor, adler

hot doug stamper (||||||||), Sunday, 13 September 2015 12:20 (six years ago) link

i should read some woolf someday. probably. i should, right? i probably should.

scott seward, Sunday, 13 September 2015 17:02 (six years ago) link

i think i did read a room of one's own.

scott seward, Sunday, 13 September 2015 17:04 (six years ago) link

when all is said and done, i'm a pretty trad dad. katherine mansfield 4 lyfe.

scott seward, Sunday, 13 September 2015 17:05 (six years ago) link

btw scott, do I remember you like Thea Astley? If so, you might well like Elizabeth Harrower and Jessica Anderson, two other Australian writers of similar sensibility and style and sporadic bad-temperedness

as verbose and purple as a Peter Ustinov made of plums (James Morrison), Monday, 14 September 2015 01:39 (six years ago) link

are there any syllabi of exclusively women's writing?

yeah, i think i remembered where i first saw borges' list, which prompted this:

1996 ball boy (Karl Malone), Monday, 14 September 2015 02:12 (six years ago) link

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