23 May 2008

1001 Books

The NYTimes has an article today reviewing 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die - which I've owned since it was published in 2006 (why the times has an article now I have no idea). You can see a picture of the copy I own because that's what Dante is sleeping on (down and to the left). I've always agreed with many of the detractors of 1001 Books. Yes, there are authors with numerous entries (Phillip Roth has seven, including The Breast) and a few of those entries could be cut back to allow room for Milton, Shakespeare, and CS Lewis. There's also a pretty heavy dose of post-WWII fiction; nearly half the list if I remember correctly.

According to the article, Boxall wanted to rekindle arguments about canonicity. Well, kudos to him, I think 1001 Books has sparked disagreements over what properly belongs on that list and what has everyone scratching their heads.

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