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  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVEAqd7WVQM Wow,...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVEAqd7WVQM
    Wow, did you misread that book! The point is the double standard, the difference between what happens to women committing adultery versus what happens to...
  2. Wow, did you misread that book! The point is the...

    Wow, did you misread that book! The point is the double standard, the difference between what happens to women committing adultery versus what happens to men. This couldn't be more clear since Anna's...
  3. Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris, aka The...

    Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris, aka The Hunchback, is a good candidate. Nearly every major character in the novel, drawn from all social classes sacred and secular, appears in the opening scene at...
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    I heard summaries of the Black Panther movie on...

    I heard summaries of the Black Panther movie on NPR a couple days ago. It amused me to find that its setting in a hidden utopia powered by an inexhaustible energy source mirrors the capitalist utopia...
  5. The Modern Library Classics edition of Victor...

    The Modern Library Classics edition of Victor Hugo's The Toilers of the Sea (trans. James Hogarth) contains five drawings by Hugo.
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    Some people get pissed with Rand because of the...

    Some people get pissed with Rand because of the writing: Atlas Shrugged is full of cardboard characters who all believe exactly the same thing and express it in the same way, all echoes of the same...
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    Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson collaborated...

    Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson collaborated on The Illuminatus!, the book (trilogy, in fact) that inspired Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. Every conspiracy theory ever spawned is woven into this...
  8. The collected edition, the trilogy under one...

    The collected edition, the trilogy under one cover from Overlook Press (Woodstock NY) contains the illustrations inset with the text. But anyone looking for high art is apt to be disappointed. The...
  9. Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast Trilogy, besides being...

    Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast Trilogy, besides being among the best works of fantasy fiction of the last century, contains illustrations of the major characters by the author. Peake worked as an...
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    Read Bakhtin and the Russian formalists and...

    Read Bakhtin and the Russian formalists and structuralists. It will restore your faith in the possibility of coherently expressing important ideas about literature and how it works.
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    I don't think BM is his best work. McCarthy has...

    I don't think BM is his best work. McCarthy has at least three completely different modes. I would try The Orchard Keeper or Suttree before you write him off.
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    I don't think BM is his best work. McCarthy has...

    I don't think BM is his best work. McCarthy has at least three completely different modes. I would try The Orchard Keeper or Suttree before you write him off.
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    I always thought the Judge was Manifest Destiny,...

    I always thought the Judge was Manifest Destiny, in a metaphorical sense, the driving force in Western "civilization" to control and tame all things human (and thus his mastery of the arts of war and...
  14. If you are looking for great long novels, put...

    If you are looking for great long novels, put William Gaddis's The Recognitions and Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate on the list — two of the best novels of the 20thc.
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    William Gaddis' JR is absurdly funny from start...

    William Gaddis' JR is absurdly funny from start to finish.
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    Neal Stephenson's Baroque Triology is full of...

    Neal Stephenson's Baroque Triology is full of historical characters, including Sir Isaac Newton, Edmund Halley, Leibniz and countless others. The original three books were Quicksilver (2003), The...
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    I've read all of Conrad's novels and enjoyed...

    I've read all of Conrad's novels and enjoyed Nostromo and Under Western Eyes best of the lot. But The Secret Agent really is special for its unremitting gloom and moral squalor. Shudder.
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    Anyone who thinks one cannot learn from reading...

    Anyone who thinks one cannot learn from reading fiction has a limited concept of learning.
  19. The best example I know is Andrei Bely's...

    The best example I know is Andrei Bely's Petersburg (which Nabokov believed was among the top four novels of the 20thc) in its complete original form as translated by John Elsworth. Some of its...
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    This is intentional. My English translation is...

    This is intentional. My English translation is the same, so one must assume the Spanish edition is as well. Interesting issues for the typesetters, no?
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    I don't think Blood Meridian is even McCarthy's...

    I don't think Blood Meridian is even McCarthy's best novel set in the west, let alone his best work. I prefer The Crossing among the "westerns." Suttree, I believe, is much better, and even his first...
  23. Ah, but one must be very careful of so-called...

    Ah, but one must be very careful of so-called "translations" from this era, as some of them contain a good deal of rewriting. An anecdote will illustrate what I mean:

    When I was teaching a...
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    Beelzebub, Dick Cheney

    Beelzebub, Dick Cheney
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    Peaver is correct that in his novels, Dostoyevsky...

    Peaver is correct that in his novels, Dostoyevsky is careful to clarify that he, the author, is in no case the narrator. The voice of the narrator is a fictional construction purposely relieved of...
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