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Thread: What American classiques should I read to help me get my bacaulaurea? :idea:

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    Lightbulb What American classiques should I read to help me get my bacaulaurea? :idea:

    Im taking my bacaulaurea by the end of the school year and I was wonderiing If any one here knows any classique american authors or books that I should read and that could help me!?

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    Registered User aeroport's Avatar
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    Well, uh... maybe, say, HENRY JAMES! Also, maybe a bit of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain perhaps. Plus, I think Washington Irving is considered the "first American man of letters" or something to that effect. He seems rather significant. Or am I just a loser who does not understand that "classique" means something different from "classic"?

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    precious... subterranean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesian View Post
    Well, uh... maybe, say, HENRY JAMES!
    The "hidden" interest


    If any one here knows any classique american authors or books that I should read and that could help me!
    Hi, miss!

    You're talking about quite a long list there. You have any specific themes/genre that you're interested in? It'd be easier and useful if you make some kind of specification (genre themes, etc) rather than randomly pick any recommended books. Some names that I can recommend are James Fenimore Cooper (historical romance), Edgar Alan Poe (mystery and fantasy), and William Cuthbert Faulkner


    "there are people in the world so hungry that God can not appear to them except in the form of bread"

    Mahatma Gandhi

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    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    Read Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis for the social studies part of your literature reading. Imagine Homer Simpson as Babbitt and it might be tolerable.

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    Mad Hatter Mark F.'s Avatar
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    Poetry by Dickinson, Pole and Whitman.
    "And the worms, they will climb
    The rugged ladder of your spine"

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    Quote Originally Posted by miss_07 View Post
    Im taking my bacaulaurea by the end of the school year and I was wonderiing If any one here knows any classique american authors or books that I should read and that could help me!?
    The titles and authors mentioned may be helpful, but you might see if there is a recomended syllabus for the program that has authors and titles. Another riyte is to be sure to have read everything in the Norton Anthology, see www.wwnorton.com . They have a catalog and lists of contents.
    The Norton anthology of American Literature
    http://www.wwnorton.com/college/titles/english/naal6/

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    Everyone had some excellent recommendations, and I want to add the following: Ernest Hemingway, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Steinbeck, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Louisa May Alcott, Ambrose Bierce, O. Henry, Robert Frost, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
    Of course, I would not promote reading all of them in the span of the time before earning your degree (that sounds like a lot of reading), but merely pick and choose a few authors that sound interesting.
    Good luck!

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    I would highly recommend reading Benjamin Franklins autobiography. It is surely a great read full of the musings and experiences of a good and intelligent person.

    Another author that I hardly ever see recommended is Charles Brockden Brown. I would recommend “Edgar Huntley or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker”. This is a murder mystery that is written very well and is full of “American Gothic”, Brown was also highly critical of the gothic literature that came out of Europe during his time. He often condemns it to mere cliche and recycling of dog eared ideas. The juxtaposition he presents between original gothic and American gothic is very noticeable in “Edgar Huntley”. It is also worth noting that Brown was one of Percy Shelly’s favorite authors and the latter based a major poem off of a character in Brown’s “Edgar Huntley” (Queen Mab).

    Washington Irving is also a very important writer for early American lit. Perhaps his best known work is his “The Sketch Book”. This contains such classics as “Rip Van Winkle”, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, and “The Specter Bridegroom”. It also has lesser known but equally great stories such as “The Mutability of Literature”, “The Angler”,”The Art of Bookmaking”, and one can never forget his musings on Christmas (which is spread over 5 chapters.

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    Registered User aeroport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
    The "hidden" interest
    Yes indeed: in keeping with the practice of The Master himself, I like to keep such things private and unspoken, revealing them with only the most refined subtlety.

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    Well, I taught American Lit for one year in high school and I really wished I was allowed to do world lit but I was restricted to American books - what did we read.

    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
    Fahrenheit 451 - Bradbury (also some of Martian Chronicles - you MUST read Usher II if you've ever read Poe's Fall of the House of Usher)
    Fall of the House of Usher - The Cask of Amontillado - Poe
    The Grapes of Wrath - Steinbeck
    The Scarlet Letter - Hawthorne
    The Call of the Wild - Jack London
    Puddin Head Wilson - Mark Twain
    (we read 1984 but that's not american)
    We read some Herman Mellville
    We almost read The Catcher in the Rye by - JD Salinger

    I love dystopia books and generally think the stuff that kids read in high school in the US is a good idea to read - but I didn't have enough time and enough interest from them to be able to do Henry James much - we read short storys by F Scott Fitzgerald - you gotta read A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'connor - we even read The Yellow Wallpaper by Gillman. We read some Kurt Vonnegut (mostly just Harrison Burgeron) - darn, I can't think of the rest - some Washington Irving, we read Paste by Henry James - so hey, we did do some Henry James. We never read any Hemmingway but that would be good to read.

    Also, for well roundedness you should read Of Plymouth Plantation and Pilgrims Progress to truly understand America's roots and why there is such a puritanical thread in early lit here.

    I don't know there is a lot of fun stuff too just to read for the heck of it - A Clockwork Orange - A Separate Peace is more for kids but I liked it enough to recommend it for adults. I don't know - what are you going for - modern or a good sampling of all American lit to help you understand American culture/lit?
    Last edited by Montag; 09-15-2006 at 11:53 AM.

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    For the 19th century: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry James, Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser, Stephen Crane, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe...

    For the 20th century: Edith Wharton, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Gore Vidal, Jack Kerouac, Robert Frost, Ray Bradbury...maybe even H.P.Lovecraft who, despite all his purple prose, has had a tremendous effect on so many authors that came after him...
    Last edited by Mary Sue; 09-15-2006 at 12:58 PM. Reason: spacing

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