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Thread: What about villains

  1. #1
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    Question Villains in Lit. after 1800 ?

    Happy New Year,
    I am an eager beginner. I love Dickens. I'd like to ask those of you out there that are well read if you would recommend great writing (post 1800) where motives, mind and character of villainous types are thoroughly explored.
    Exceedingly grateful for any and all suggestions. If foreign language authors are recommended may I ask for info regarding quality translations. Nothing like a bad translation.
    Much thanks and all the best,
    enthusiast

  2. #2
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Oh, goodness, I'm sure there's lots. Here's a few off the top of my head:

    Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
    Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
    David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
    Tess of the D'Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy
    Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
    Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

    These are all very different novels with very different villains. In fact you may not consider some your typical villain.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Registered User Lady19thC's Avatar
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    Well, Dickens is the biggest name in this category:

    David Copperfield
    Oliver Twist
    Our Mutual Friend
    Great Expectations
    Old Curiosity Shop

    then...
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles
    Lorna Doone
    Jamaica Inn
    Wuthering Heights
    Dracula
    Tenant of Wildfell Hall
    Woman in White
    The Moonstone
    Daniel Deronda

    And there are probably tons of them in the novels by Trollope!

  4. #4
    Add Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment to the list - Possibly the best portrait of a man driven to madness by conscience ever written - and an excellent, wry detective to boot.

  5. #5
    Metamorphosing Pensive's Avatar
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    A Tale Of Two Cities

    Wuthering Heights

    Pride and Prejudice

    The Mill On The Floss
    I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew.

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    I'd agree with "Crime and Punishment" and encourage almost anything by Dostoevsky. You're on the right track with your other post by wanting to start "The Brothers Karamazov". I'd also suggest "Notes From Underground". For all of those books I read the Peaver/Volokhonsky translations and thought they were very good.

  7. #7
    No need to repeat what's been said:

    Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
    Wasp Factory by Ian Banks
    Perfume by Patrick Suskind
    Strange Evil by Jane Gaskel
    Grendel by John Gardner
    Les Chants de Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont
    American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
    Priest, The : A Gothic Romance by Thomas Disch
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt

  8. #8
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay T
    No need to repeat what's been said:

    Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
    Wasp Factory by Ian Banks
    Perfume by Patrick Suskind
    Strange Evil by Jane Gaskel
    Grendel by John Gardner
    Les Chants de Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont
    American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
    Priest, The : A Gothic Romance by Thomas Disch
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    Jay T- Have you read John Gardner's Grendel? I have John Gardner's books on writing and love them. I highly recommend, The Art of Fiction to anyone who wants to understand the craft of writing stories. A long time ago I started reading one of his novels, I forget the name (Nickelson's Ghost?), I think it was his last. But I didn't care for it too much, so I never finished it. Given that I had so much respect for him as someone who understood the craft of writing, I was surprised with my reaction. The work he is best known for is Grendel, and I wanted to get somebody's opinion on it. What did you think?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Jay T- Have you read John Gardner's Grendel? I have John Gardner's books on writing and love them. I highly recommend, The Art of Fiction to anyone who wants to understand the craft of writing stories. A long time ago I started reading one of his novels, I forget the name (Nickelson's Ghost?), I think it was his last. But I didn't care for it too much, so I never finished it. Given that I had so much respect for him as someone who understood the craft of writing, I was surprised with my reaction. The work he is best known for is Grendel, and I wanted to get somebody's opinion on it. What did you think?
    Yes, (for future reference I would never list a book I haven't read and frankly it's the only Gardner book (fiction) that I think is highly recomendable. I think Grendel is a unique combination of literary/fabulist retelling, and while I think it serves regarding the specific question asked in the thread, I think it's only 1 part of a larger theme Gardner makes a study of perception itself, each character representings something detailed in less than 200 pages should allow, each battling with identiy and how that perception exerts on their surrondings.

    That, said if you do read a Gardner novel, this is the one I would judge him on.

  10. #10

    Favourite villain according you

    Hope am posting at the right forum

    What according to you the best or i rather say the worst villain of all time in literature and why?Please be sure to provide the name of the book.plz do reply coz its needed in my project
    Last edited by mystic_beauty; 04-04-2006 at 12:00 AM.

  11. #11

    Talking

    i think the best/worst villain that i've come across is Arabella in the novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. she's not a typical villain, but the way that she entraps Jude in marriage is, to me, unforgivable. she ruined his life, basically. there are probably other villains, though, that have done deeds far worse. Arabella is just the first that came to my mind. good luck with your project!

  12. #12
    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    hummm what do you mean by best and worst?
    as in most effective and least?
    Well I cant really think about them in those terms at the moment but
    Iago has got to be in the list. Hes affective thats true and what he does is unforgivable but you just have to love him as a charcter.
    Mephestophilis from Marlowes Faustus is another very interesting charcter Hes he villian obviously hes the devil but hes such a reluctant one.
    humm who elseMadame d-whatsit from Tale of 2 cities.
    My problem Im useless at names.
    humm The Master in Pamela or virtue rewarded although frankly since he s converted does hecount as a villian at all?
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  13. #13
    Metamorphosing Pensive's Avatar
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    In Harry Potter series, I found Lord Voldemort a good villain. And in A Mayor Of Casterbridge, FATE was the perfect villain, gave the novel a new turn. (I think that fate is not a person but still, I consider it to be a villain in TMOC)
    I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew.

  14. #14
    The Yodfather Stanislaw's Avatar
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    I think Moriarti was the perfect villian, and quite possibly the worst villian would be peditro the assasin (lamest villian ever)

    The coolest villian...Macbeth.

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  15. #15
    Registered User Boris239's Avatar
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    I personally like Richard III. He is such a great guy and so evil. Managing to marry a woman whose husband you killed being a hunchback requires great skill. "Frailty thy name is women". He has a extremely strong personality. When he is killed in the end by Richmond it seems so unbelievable, partially because we don't know much about the guy.

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