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What would you say are the must-reads of literature? posted 29 July 2004 in Literature DiscussionWhat would you say are the must-reads of literature? by Aldarion, Sorcerer-of-Rank

Loaded question. In one sense, I'd say nothing is for everyone, but that many things are for many people. But if you were to ask for books that were meaningful for individual people here, I might reply as follows:

For religious/cultural purposes, works like the Bible and commentaries on it and other religious texts.

Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, even if I disagree with most of Freud's conclusions. The idea of a Thanatos/Eros duality is interesting.

Modris Eksteins, The Rites of Spring, if only to see the outrage that causes among many historians <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish - this is my favorite of the many works of his I've read

Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms, fascinating microhistory that presages the current battles in cultural history today.

Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre - sometimes "reality" is stranger than fiction.

E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class; Customs in Common - THE founder of modern social history, if any can claim that title.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto - look for an annotated edition and do not read Stalinism into it, as it's a totally different creature. I'm often sympathetic to Marxism, especially neo-cultural Marxism, so that's a bit of bias to consider (imagine me admitting this elsewhere <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->)

And those are a few of the non-fictional texts. I probably can and should name at least a couple hundred of those before even attempting the fictional (damn those categories of writing!). view post


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