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Thread: Literature Olympics

  1. #1
    Registered User nothingman87's Avatar
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    Literature Olympics

    In the spirit of this summer's games in Athens, I propose a Literature Olympics. We will debate and vote for a country who we believe has the best literary offerings in each particular category. (Feel free to vote for a country that does not appear below, I can't remember everybody.) And they are:

    In the category of pre-20th century novels we have:

    The Isles (GB&IRE) : The works of Austen, Dickens, Hardy, the Brontes, et al.

    France: The works of Dumas, Hugo, Voltaire, Flaubert, et al.

    Russia: The works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, et al.

    U.S.: The works of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, James, et al.

    Spain: The works of Cervantes, et al.

    In the category of 20th century novels we have:

    The Isles (GB&IRE): The works of Joyce, Conrad, Greene, et al.

    France: The works of Proust, et al.

    U.S.: The works of Steinbeck, Crane, Faulkner, Kesey, London, Sinclair, et al.

    In the category of best short stories/novellas we have:

    The Isles: The works of Joyce, Hardy, Greene, Wells, et al.

    France: The works of Maupussant, Balzac, et al.

    Russia: The works of Chekov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, et al.

    U.S.: The works of Irving, Bierce, James, Poe, O. Henry, London, et al.

    In the category of best plays we have:

    The Isles: The works of Shaw, Wilde, Shakespeare, et al.

    France: The works of Moliere, Racine, et al.

    Russia: The works of Chekov, et al.

    Norway: The works of Ibsen, et al.

    U.S.: The works of Miller, O'Neill, et al.

    In the category of best poetry we have:

    The Isles:The works of Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, Shakespeare, et al.

    France: The works of Villon, Hugo, Baudelaire, et al.

    Italy: The works of Dante, et al.

    Russia: The works of Ivanova, Pushkin, et al.

    U.S.: The works of Whitman, Emerson, Poe, Longfellow, Dickinson, et al.


    List who you believe wins in each category (even if your choice isn't listed).

    If possible, try to expound on your selections too.

    I'll keep a tally and the overall winner(s) will be announced at the end of the summer games.

    Let the debating commence.
    "When unto these sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up a remembrance of things past."

  2. #2
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    Cool I like this thread!!!

    My choices might be a bit monotonous I feel, but I'll try...
    Can we make a podium? 3 choices in order? (I'll do it, if you dont want it just keep the first choice)
    I'd include in major literatures also Italian and German, from my European point of view... I wish I knew more literatures...

    pre-20th century novels:
    1) RUSSIA all the way!!!!!!! I love those heaaaaavy novels, even when they're hard to go through I enjoy and respect that depth of thoughts...
    2) UK&co I'm not overexcited about English lit., but Dickens probably deserves this...
    3) Italy uhm just for a couple of works I guess, but certainly better than French stuff... (I wish I knew more Spanish lit. or others to have a wider choice)

    20th century novels:
    1) South America - Garcia Marquez rules, and every South American author I've read has such an involving style...
    2) France...thinking of Camus... + Belgium, I've been reading Simenon and liked it ... Not sure it's another cathegory cos the language is the same and literature is grouped more by language than by country...
    3) Italy... loved Svevo and others.

    Short stories
    I don't generally like short stories...
    I vote for Russia cos I've happened to read many only of that country.

    Plays
    I don't like to read plays, not sure I'd like to see them played, never actually tried... so I can't choose...might be back on this.

    Poetry
    Hard hard one...
    1) Russia again, because of Achmatova and the early 1900s period mostly
    2) France - we can't leave Baudelaire out of this And others whose names I'm too lazy to think of
    3) Italy...NOT because of Dante, but for later stuff (Leopardi for example)
    Even if I find modern poetry to be very different from more ancient one... I can't think of Dante in common with stuff from more recent times...
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  3. #3
    Daydream Believer Kiwi Shelf's Avatar
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    Is this like the nomination period or something?
    "Hear and you forget; see and you remember; do and you understand."

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    Registered User nothingman87's Avatar
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    No, it's not a nomination period. Everyone just selects which country wins in each category (you can give a silver and bronze if you desire too), and at the end of the summer games I will determine which country won in each category.
    "When unto these sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up a remembrance of things past."

  5. #5
    Daydream Believer Kiwi Shelf's Avatar
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    Oh, I understand, I will vote after I get off work. Too sleepy right now.
    "Hear and you forget; see and you remember; do and you understand."

  6. #6
    Registered User nothingman87's Avatar
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    I guess that I'll go ahead and submit my own winners to try and spark this thread.

    Pre-20th century novels:
    Winner: The Isles...I have such an affinity for any English literature.

    20th century novels:
    Winner: The Isles...I can't ignore Joyce and Greene, even as much as I admire the Americans Salinger and Kesey.

    Short Stories/Novellas:
    Winner: America...It's very hard to ignore Chekov, but I think that America actually does win this category. Going all the way back to Washington Irving on to Edgar Allan Poe through to Steinbeck, London, Bierce, and Faulkner.

    Plays:
    Winner: Russia...hands down this award goes to Chekov alone.

    Poetry:
    Winner: The Isles...this was probably the easiest category to choose a winner.
    Byron, Blake, Milton, Donne, Keats, Shelley, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Wilfred Owen

    It seems my predilection for English literature is apparent.
    "When unto these sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up a remembrance of things past."

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    Registered User nome1486's Avatar
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    I like this thread, but I guess I'm too intimidated by the number of works I haven't read to vote! But here's my limited span of experience and preference:

    Pre-20th Century Novels:
    The Isles win, with Jane Austen and George Eliot. I've only read one Russian novel; I love Les Miserables and maybe a couple American novels, but overall I think that English literature of this period is just more appealing

    20th Century Novels:
    U.S. wins: John Steinbeck and Jack London; To Kill a Mockingbird; if I can think of others which are currently at the edge of my memory, I'll post them. Like the last category, American literature of this period just appeals to me most.

    Short Stories:
    U.S. again, with O. Henry and Poe

    Plays:
    This one goes to the Isles, Shakespeare and what works I know of from Shaw and Wilde. America was close, but I think Shakespeare carries much more weight (and I must plead ignorance of Chekov's works--no excuse, I know)

    Poetry:
    At first I thought a tie between the Isles and U.S., but upon consideration I must go with the U.S. due to more exposure: Dickinson, Emerson, Poe, Longfellow, Langston Hughes, Frost, Thoreau, Cummings, and Edna St. Vincent Millay (the last two I think are American but could be wrong, forgive me if I am)

    Sorry I can't expound more on my choices, but I don't feel justified without more experience in reading. You can obviously tell I need to work on my foreign literature!
    Arnold Bros. (est. 1905) has spoken!

  8. #8
    fated loafer
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    For pre-20th century novels
    Winner: Russia
    Runnerup: France

    20th century novels
    Winner: The Isles
    Runnerup: US
    Contender: South America

    Short Stories
    Winner: US
    Runnerup: The Isles

    Plays
    Winner: The Isles
    Runnerup: France (for Moliere specifically)

    Poetry
    Winner: The Isles
    Runnerup: US (for freestyle)
    Contender: Japan

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    pre-20th century novels:

    1. Russia

    (so many to chose from, all of the usual suspects)

    20th century novels:

    1. USA/Canada TIE

    (Amazing masterpieces from the likes of: Brett Easton Ellis, William Gibson, Isaac Asimov, Phillip K. Dick, Farley Mowatt, Margret Atwood, Ernest Hemmingway, Jack Kerouac, etc. etc.) The list can go on and on.

    Short Stories

    1. USA

    (Edgar Allen Poe + HP Lovecraft defined a generation of horror + macabre)

    Plays:

    1. Britain

    (Shakespeare should be enough to end this one. I include Oscar Wilde.)

    Poetry:

    1. Britain

    (Shakespeare again)

  10. #10
    The Great Damn of Boston. JediFonger's Avatar
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    how about China? Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, etc? Anyone? They're pretty mythic.
    to the edge of eternity and depth of infinity, stupidity knows no bound.

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    precious... subterranean's Avatar
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    agreed..journey to the west is awesome...

    In the category of best short stories/novellas we have:
    must be Poe's (USA)..and 2nd winner is France (Maupassant)

    i'll decide my winners for other categoties latter...gotta go to work now

    cheers


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    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    I haven't read enough non-English literature to choose, really. From what I have read, my personal favorites are...
    "pre-20th c." and "novellas" -- Russia
    "plays" -- the Isles, because of Shakespeare and Marlowe.
    "poetry" -- gold for the Isles, silver for the US
    "20th century" -- gold for the US, because of the "Great American Novel" types (Falkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck...even though I don't like them) and the emergence of sci-fi (Beaumont, Vonnegut, Bradbury, Clark...), silver for the Isles (Maugham, Orwell...), bronze for Germany (Mann, Hesse...)

    I have to start reading books from warmer climates, I think...
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  13. #13
    fated loafer
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    At least some of the less rainy ones em.

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    Registered User nome1486's Avatar
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    So now that the Olympics are over, what's the verdict? I'd like to see how this turns out, since I sort of missed the entire last week of the actual Olympics.
    Arnold Bros. (est. 1905) has spoken!

  15. #15
    Registered User nothingman87's Avatar
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    And the winners are:

    Pre-20th Novels:
    Gold: Russia with 4 first place votes
    Silver: The Isles with 2 first place votes

    20th Novels:
    Gold: America with 3 first place votes
    Silver: The Isles with 2 first place votes
    Bronze: Tie between Canada and South America each with 1 vote

    Short stories/Novellas:
    Gold: America with 5 votes
    Silver: Russia with 1 vote

    Plays:
    Gold: The Isles with 4 votes
    Silver: Russia with 1 vote

    Poetry:
    Gold: The Isles with 4 votes
    Silver: Tie between Russia and America each with one vote

    The Final Medal Count
    1. The British Isles with 4 medals (2 gold, 2 silver)
    2. Russia with 4 medals (1 gold, 3 silver)
    3. America with 3 medals (2 gold, 1 silver)
    4. Tie between Canada and S.America (1 bronze)
    "When unto these sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up a remembrance of things past."

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