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Thread: Which COUNTRY has produced the greatest literature?

  1. #16
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Greece rules! Homer, after all, is the father of modern literature. Sappho practically invented modern poetry. Greek plays are still performed today.

    Unfortunately (for me) I know next to nothing about modern Greek literature. But the English, Russians, French, Germans, Italians, and the rest of the West are surely indebted to Greek literature. Also, wasn’t the New Testament written in Greek?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris239 View Post
    I can also easily name 5 terrible Russian writers. In fact, if we look only at the 20th century, there is an enormous number of Soviet authors who were published only because they supported the communist party and wrote the "right" thing


    That's true, a lot of the writers in the post--revolutionary period were published because they supported the Communist party, but not all of them were bad writers. For example, Alexei Tolstoy was a good writer with his own style. I find that his " Road to Calvary ", although in support of the regime is still an interesting book, and I wouldn't say that it smacks that much of the communist propaganda : it's actually rather objective.

    There were also a lot of good writers who wrote satires, making fun of the new lifestyle and the new types of people that evolved after the revolutionary/Civil War period ( although not the regime ), but were still published :e. g. Ilf and Petrov ( " The Golden Calf " , "The Twelve Chairs ", etc. )

    Also, Fadeev's " The Young Guard ", although definitely in support of the regime, is still a good book, ( even if just for young readers ) and, besides, it was about important and tragic events from a human perspective, and so cannot be viewed as just propaganda.
    Last edited by olichka; 01-31-2007 at 05:57 PM.

  3. #18
    True, true, modern literature had it's foundings in the classic Roman and Greek literature. But then, and I might seem nieve, while Greece has done lots for literature, would you say it brought literature to a whole new level that later ages feeded off or did it add to current literature at the time and give later ages the step up to take literature to the next level? Sorry, a bit of a mouthful. The New Testament was written in Arabmic by all except perhaps Luke, who was Greek and wrote for a Greek audience about Jesus healing. A few others may also have done, but the majority wrote Arabmic. I also agree with the Russian statement, quite true.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan Madley View Post
    I also agree with the Russian statement, quite true.
    Brendan, what exactly do you mean by that ? With which statement re Russian lit. do you actually agree ? I'm curious to know !

  5. #20
    Registered User Boris239's Avatar
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    Ancient Greek authors without any doubts have heavily influenced modern literature. The modern Greeks have little in common with the Greeks from the times of Homer or Pericles- even the language is completely different.

    Quote Originally Posted by olichka View Post
    [/I][/B]

    That's true, a lot of the writers in the post--revolutionary period were published because they supported the Communist party, but not all of them were bad writers. For example, Alexei Tolstoy was a good writer with his own style. I find that his " Road to Calvary ", although in support of the regime is still an interesting book, and I wouldn't say that it smacks that much of the communist propaganda : it's actually rather objective.

    There were also a lot of good writers who wrote satires, making fun of the new lifestyle and the new types of people that evolved after the revolutionary/Civil War period ( although not the regime ), but were still published :e. g. Ilf and Petrov ( " The Golden Calf " , "The Twelve Chairs ", etc. )

    Also, Fadeev's " The Young Guard ", although definitely in support of the regime, is still a good book, ( even if just for young readers ) and, besides, it was about important and tragic events from a human perspective, and so cannot be viewed as just propaganda.
    I'm not saying that all of the Soviet authors are worthless. In fact I did enjoy "The Young Guard", although Fadeev changed a lot in the real events to emphasize the role of the Party.

    But some of the novels that were considered great are pure torture for me. I haven't read anything worth than Gorky's "Mother" with the possible exception of Chernyshevsky's "What to do".

  6. #21
    What I mean was that quite a number of Russian authors were heralded as great during the Soviet era, just due to them supporting the Communist cause. That is not to say there were no good Russian authors at the time.

  7. #22
    I have studied in my Faculty almost all good works written by both american an english writers .I enjoyed a lot.But have you read Mircea Eliade ,Cioran,Or Sadoveanu?Good literature is a concept which was made by readers and critics alike.When you have read all -it is impossible,of course-teories about how to produce poetry and write the best paper about a given subject then ,you are allowed to have your own oppinion about literature
    You know what is said-Only the uncultivated people think they have the knowledge of all.
    Rebreanu` S quote-""yOU have to embrace your nature,to dedicate entirely in the moment of creation"

  8. #23
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    By Britain do you mean England? I mean, I don't know about you, but I can't think of any particularly great or heroic Welsh, Northern Irish or even Scottish novelists.
    Yowch! By Britain, generally it is meant England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Scotland has certainly produced some excellent writers, Iain Banks immediately sprang to mind for me, what about Irvine Welsh?

    For consistency of great literature, it's hard to beat Russia. (Quick, name five lousy Russian authors. See?)
    Name five Russian authors.........?

    I think it is difficult to give an answer to the question raised on this thread as I think in any country you only see the "best" produced from other countries so you only get a small sample. Personally I think the Japanese have a lot to add (not necessarily saying they are the best) but have only read a very small sample of Japanese produced fiction - Kazuo Ishiguro (yes I accept lives in Britain!) is excellent and Haruki Murakami produces some of the most fascinating modern literature around.

  9. #24
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    Now that would be telling it, wouldnt it?
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    Sott was scottish wasnt he?
    so was George Macdonald,
    love thier work hummmmm wow Barrie as well, actually I knew that now he is authour of my all time FAVOURITE play.
    and werent Byron and keats Irish? I think Shelly was too.
    But nowadays modern english 'literary' novels just tend to be extremely wierd, and Ill take a candian writer over any other most days of the week, Australians for teenage literature though they are the best.
    Good sci-fi fantasty tends to be americans though doesnt it? with a few notable exceptions... oh wait a minute what rubbish, I think countries and literature are pretty difficult to tie together now , becasue surley great minds are not stuck in a country so much as a culture and a country can have many cultrues and many countries can share a culture?
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  10. #25
    Registered User Woland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris239 View Post
    I'm not saying that all of the Soviet authors are worthless. In fact I did enjoy "The Young Guard", although Fadeev changed a lot in the real events to emphasize the role of the Party.

    But some of the novels that were considered great are pure torture for me. I haven't read anything worth than Gorky's "Mother" with the possible exception of Chernyshevsky's "What to do".
    What to do doesnt sound like a very promising title.

    Ive never read any Gorky but Ive heard some good things.
    "Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents."

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  11. #26
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    Pakistan, obviously.

  12. #27
    Metamorphosing Pensive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EAP View Post
    Pakistan, obviously.
    I read Overcoat a few months ago and after reading it, I feel like agreeing with you. And Khol Do by Munto was also a deeply moving read. Some friends are recommending me Dastak Na Do as well. They say it's a really good book. I will try to get my hands on it.

    Ishtayaq Ahmad's novels are interesting too. Very good, if he would stop being a preacher in Inspector Jamshaid series.

    What a pity that there are no good translation of the works. And even if there would be translations, I think the books would be losing quite a lot in translated versions.
    Last edited by Pensive; 02-03-2007 at 12:13 PM.
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  13. #28
    Memsahib Madhuri's Avatar
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    There are English writers of Pakistani origin too. Have you read anything by Bapsi Sidhwa? You can try 'The Crow Eaters,' its a nicely written book, on the life of a Parsi family. I dont think she resides in Pakistan anymore, but most of her books are about India and Pakistan, people and their lives, some even have the setting of partition time.
    Last edited by Madhuri; 02-03-2007 at 02:47 PM.
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhuri View Post
    There are English writers of Pakistani origin too. Have you read anything by Bapsi Sidhwa? You can try 'The Crow Eaters,' its a nicely written book, on the life of a Parsi family. I dont think she resides in Pakistan anymore, but most of her books are about India and Pakistan, people and their lives, some even have the setting of partition time.
    Bapsi Sidhwa? The one who wrote God of Small Things? I have got this book, was thinking of trying it once I finish the book I am reading now a days.
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  15. #30
    Memsahib Madhuri's Avatar
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    No. 'God of Small Things,' is written by Arundhati Roy. She is an Indian writer.

    Bapsi, is a writer of Pakistani origin. See here and here.

    Do you remember a movie named 'Earth'? It was also made based on her novel Ice Candy Man (Cracking India), this movie and novel have the setting of the partition time.

    I have read only one book of her so far 'The Crow Eaters' and saw the movie 'Earth,' and I liked both, I dont know, if you'll like these, but I think you'll find her books interesting.
    Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.

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