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Thread: 20th century European fiction

  1. #16
    stamper
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    a real pleasant surprise was
    germinal by emile zola.
    loved it

    but the very best is
    in search of lost time by proust
    if you have a couple of spare months.

    sorry just realized germinal was a late 19th century work--still great though
    Last edited by tscherff; 05-03-2012 at 07:14 PM. Reason: mistake in date written

  2. #17
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    I've been fortunate enough to read the below. there are many others, of course.

    Master and Margarita
    The Trial
    On The Edge of Reason by Miroslav Kreleza is a gem almost equivalent to The Trial
    Another in the same mode All The Names by Jose Saramago.
    To The Light House was interesting. Maybe a cut below or anything by Herman Hesse.

  3. #18
    Registered User hawthorns's Avatar
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    I'd second The Trial. Haven't read it yet, but I understand The Castle is also great (Kafka).

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander III View Post
    For a great book about Youth, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, is grand. I damn fine novel, and a must read any young man looking before the world, and preparing himself to truley live and not settle for mere existance.
    I agree! This is a must. Others:

    The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
    The Book of Disquiet Fernando Pessoa
    Nausea Jean Paul Sartre
    1984 by George Orwell
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    Blindness Jose Saramago
    Cosmicomics Italo Calvino
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being Kundera

  5. #20
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    I would recommend Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler, not only as an interesting read but as an informative book for anyone who might be inclined to put idealistic wishful thinking before reality.

    Here is the publisher's description:

    Darkness At Noon stands as an unequaled fictional portrayal of the nightmare politics of our time. Its hero is an aging revolutionary, imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the Party to which he has dedicated his life. As the pressure to confess preposterous crimes increases, he re-lives a career that embodies the terrible ironies and human betrayals of a totalitarian movement masking itself as an instrument of deliverance. Almost unbearably vivid in its depiction of one man's solitary agony, Darkness At Noon asks questions about ends and means that have relevance not only for the past but for the perilous present. It is—as the Times Literary Supplement has declared—"A remarkable book, a grimly fascinating interpretation of the logic of the Russian Revolution, indeed of all revolutionary dictatorships, and at the same time a tense and subtly intellectualized drama..."
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  6. #21
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    Reckon if Orvell tried reading through the list Mortal gave him he might be half way through by now or perhaps the pile of books fell on him and crushed him. It was a few writers short ha ha eon and Tournier for example.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ennison View Post
    Reckon if Orvell tried reading through the list Mortal gave him he might be half way through by now or perhaps the pile of books fell on him and crushed him. It was a few writers short ha ha eon and Tournier for example.
    I'll try to keep my recommendations short :lol . How about...

    The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati
    Crock of Gold by James Stephens
    The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
    Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
    The Story of O by Anne Desclos
    Penguin Island by Anatole France
    The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin by Maurice Leblanc (the short story collection not the play of the same name)
    Good Soldier Svejk by Hasek Jaroslav

  8. #23
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    D H Lawrence: Women In Love Many critics consider this the greatest novel written in English in the 20th-century, second only to Ulysses.

    George Orwell: 1984 You have to read it. No excuses. Orwell's great attack on totalitarianism. It should be compulsory reading in every school.

    P G Wodehouse: Right Ho Jeeves Sublimely beautiful language and arguably the funniest novel in English.

    Aldous Huxley: Crome Yellow I'm going to chuck this in as it's a personal favorite.

    Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha

    I know you asked for novels, but can I just recommend two works of non-fiction that read almost like novels. Primo Levi's The Truce, about his journey home to Italy from Auschwitz, and Goodbye to All That, by Robert Graves, about his experiences as a British officer in WW.1
    Last edited by WICKES; 05-30-2019 at 01:46 PM.

  9. #24
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    Two suggestions

    A lot of nice recommendations on this thread. I'd like to suggest the following:

    1. Thomas the Obscure by Maurice Blanchot (a very demanding work, but it really pushed the novel form to new highs and limits)
    2. The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi (a realist novel to keep the scales even)
    Last edited by laugher; 06-04-2019 at 01:20 AM. Reason: added more info.

  10. #25
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    Gonna skip the obvious titles...

    Herman Broch - The Spell
    Georges Simenon - The Man Who Watched Trains Go By
    Klaus Mann - Mephisto
    Patrick Hamilton - The Slaves of Solitude
    Hermann Hesse - Narcissus and Goldmund
    Michel Tournier - The Ogre
    D.H. Lawrence - The Plumed Serpent
    Michel Houellebecq - The Possibility of an Island
    Alfred Doblin - Tales of a Long Night
    Aldous Huxley - Eyeless in Gaza
    George Orwell - Keep the Aspidistra Flying

    Ok, can't recommend enough, Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekimhtims View Post
    Gonna skip the obvious titles...

    Herman Broch - The Spell
    Georges Simenon - The Man Who Watched Trains Go By
    Klaus Mann - Mephisto
    Patrick Hamilton - The Slaves of Solitude
    Hermann Hesse - Narcissus and Goldmund
    Michel Tournier - The Ogre
    D.H. Lawrence - The Plumed Serpent
    Michel Houellebecq - The Possibility of an Island
    Alfred Doblin - Tales of a Long Night
    Aldous Huxley - Eyeless in Gaza
    George Orwell - Keep the Aspidistra Flying

    Ok, can't recommend enough, Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.
    I love this list

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