284266, RE: Create a new literary canon (1900-2007).|
Posted by Walleye, Tue May-22-07 11:44 AM
1. "Ulysses" by James Joyce
-When I was a senior in high school we spent three months of everyday work on Hamlet. Three months. Obviously, people can spend a lifetime on Hamlet but 3 months is a long time for a highschool student to deal with a work that's entirely dialogue and stage directions and probably comes in under 200 pages. "Ulysses" is also above the vast majority of high school students, but at least it's long enough to work through for that period of time. If we're compiling a new canon, "Ulysses" is my new "Hamlet".
2. "The Long Goodbye" by Raymond Chandler
-It took Michael Chabon to make me realize that genre fiction deserves a seat at the literary table, so to speak. The hardboiled detective novel is part of American culture like... a bunch of things that are part of American culture. Baseball, maybe? Whatever. And it's really good.
3. "Three" by Flannery O'Connor
-I realize that this is a compilation, and of the two editions of it I prefer the one with "Everything that Rises Must Converge" because I like that story better than "A Good Man is Hard to Find". But because her individual works are shorter a good compilation is important.
4. "The Power and the Glory" by Graham Greene
-Yeah, another Catholic.
5. "Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie
-"Midnight's Children" is better, but not so much better that this choice is silly. Plus, how often does a novel make history? I think the answer is "not often" though I'm willing to be corrected.
6. "Blonde" by Joyce Carol Oates
-I like it. That's my only defense.
And I agree with most of the other stuff named that I've actually read. Though I think there's several Faulkner pieces I'd pick before "As I Lay Dying".