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  1. Replies
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    I love this list

    I love this list
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    D H Lawrence: Women In Love Many critics consider...

    D H Lawrence: Women In Love Many critics consider this the greatest novel written in English in the 20th-century, second only to Ulysses.

    George Orwell: 1984 You have to read it. No excuses....
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    Agreed. Jude the Obscure is also incredibly...

    Agreed. Jude the Obscure is also incredibly bleak. Oddly, though, I don't find Hardy depressing. Maybe it's because, though he did have a bleak view of life, he was himself relatively cheerful. Other...
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    Agreed. Jude the Obscure is also incredibly...

    Agreed. Jude the Obscure is also incredibly bleak. Oddly, though, I don't find Hardy depressing. Maybe it's because, though he did have a bleak view of existence he was himself relatively cheerful....
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    Chaucer: 'The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales'....

    Chaucer: 'The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales'. I re-read this every Spring, and it never fails to lift me. Chaucer writes with a glorious, joyful, life-affirming warmth. I have even taken him with...
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    the wor.

    the wor.
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    Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels might...

    Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels might qualify. The central character is a heroin addict who is cheated out of his inheritance and then wrecks his marriage. Personally, I think they are...
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    You mention essayists, yet don't include George...

    You mention essayists, yet don't include George Orwell! Some consider him the greatest essayist in the English language. And his literary criticism is superb. His essay on Dickens, for example, is a...
  9. He is an interesting and entertaining writer. But...

    He is an interesting and entertaining writer. But he also holds fairly conservative views, and many people love him for it. Bloom believes in, and defends, 'the canon'. Unfortunately, just because...
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    Right Ho Jeeves is a near perfect piece of comic...

    Right Ho Jeeves is a near perfect piece of comic writing.
  11. Has anyone read Alan Moore's new novel Jerusalem?

    I didn't even know it had been released until I saw it in my local bookstore this morning. I looked up a few reviews and they were generally positive. But it is a monster of a book longer than the...
  12. Is literary talent inborn or can it be learnt?

    I remember watching an interview with Christopher Hitchens once in which the interviewer said something about everyone having a novel inside them. Hitchens replied "yes, and in the vast majority of...
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    No, I think it is a boy's grammar school. Some...

    No, I think it is a boy's grammar school. Some people have called that chapter the single greatest piece of comic writing in the English language.
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    I can't think of specific passages, but it might...

    I can't think of specific passages, but it might be worth stressing the difference between London and rest of Victorian Britain. London was a dark, monstrous place by the middle of the 19th century ...
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    God, yes, that is hilarious (but not as hilarious...

    God, yes, that is hilarious (but not as hilarious as the actual biography!!)
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    Yes, that's a very good post. I agree. I have...

    Yes, that's a very good post. I agree.

    I have never been able to make up my mind about Tolkien. On the whole, I do think the Lord of the Rings are magnificent, though I never quite enjoy them as...
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    Try Walter Pater and John Ruskin. Both were...

    Try Walter Pater and John Ruskin. Both were revered in their day and, interestingly, both were professors at Oxford when Oscar Wilde was a student there. Wilde used to go on long walks with Ruskin...
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    Joyful/Uplifting/Life-affirming writing

    Is there any passage of writing that always cheers you up when you feel depressed? A paragraph/ chapter/ passage or even a single sentence/ line that is guaranteed to make you feel like life is worth...
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    It is a great novel. I can't remember where I...

    It is a great novel. I can't remember where I heard (or read) this, but I'm sure it has been called the most underrated novel of the 20th century.
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    I should think it depends on both the author and...

    I should think it depends on both the author and the book. Some writers find that one book almost writes itself, while the next is a hellish struggle. For some it comes naturally, others have to...
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    This is a great idea for a thread. Literature is...

    This is a great idea for a thread. Literature is a wonderful antidote to depression. When I feel my mood dropping I often read out loud from my favourite works.

    The following are my 'emergency...
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    'Right ho Jeeves' by PG Wodehouse, 'Decline and...

    'Right ho Jeeves' by PG Wodehouse, 'Decline and Fall' by Evelyn Waugh (the funniest writer in the English language imo), and 'Crome Yellow' by Aldous Huxley.
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    They were mostly by English-British writers:...

    They were mostly by English-British writers: Roald Dahl's 'BFG', Enid Blyton's 'Secret Seven', Treasure Island and 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. The happiest memories of my life are not...
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    'H is For Hawk' was my favourite book of 2015-...

    'H is For Hawk' was my favourite book of 2015- just beautiful.
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    1. Evelyn Waugh 2. Aldous Huxley 3. Anthony...

    1. Evelyn Waugh
    2. Aldous Huxley
    3. Anthony Burgess
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