Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reading Lists

For some of you, this post will be the most boring thing you could possibly read. So if you read the title and thought, "Gross, I thought I was done with those," then please do yourself a favor and skip it! My feelings won't be hurt!

Others of you, however, have indicated interest in learning what I've been assigned to read in my various classes. So without further ado, here are my reading lists. (I've also included links to anything I've reviewed, so you can check those out if you want.)

*Only reading parts of the work, sometimes very small selections

American Literature 1914-1960

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Short stories: 
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
The Ice Palace
"The Sensible Thing"
Two Wrongs
"What a Handsome Pair!"
The Swimmers
Babylon Revisited
A New Leaf
Echoes of the Jazz Age
Early Success

Langston Hughes
The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain (read alongside George Schuyler's "The Negro-Art Hokum")
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
Poem [1]
The White Ones
Lament for Dark Peoples
I, Too
Danse Africaine
The Weary Blues
Harlem Night Club
poems by Nicolas Guillen: 
Last Night Somebody Called Me Darky
Chop it with the Cane Knife!
Little Ode
Song of the Cuban Drum
Ballad of the Two Grandfathers
play by Federico Garcia Lorca: 
Blood Wedding (Boda de sangre)

Nella Larsen
Passing (novel)
(we also read a few contemporary reviews of Passing and some of Larsen's personal correspondence, but I don't know which ones)

William Faulkner
Absalom, Absalom!
Other works: 
Nobel Prize "Banquet Speech"
A Letter to the North

Katherine Anne Porter
Maria Concepcion
Flowering Judas
The Martyr
Noon Wine
The Jilting of Granny Weatherall
The Grave
Other works:
Why I Write About Mexico
Blasco Ibanez on "Mexico In Revolution"

Americo Paredes
George Washington Gomez
A Texas-Mexican Cancionero*

Flannery O'Connor
Good Country People
A Good Man is Hard to Find
The River
The Lame Shall Enter First
The Displaced Person
The Comforts of Home
Everything That Rises Must Converge
Other works: 
Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction
The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Masterpiece of World Literature 2 (Renaissance to the present)

Michel de Montaigne
Essays (translated by M.A. Screech):
That it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities
On the Cannibals
On cruelty
We reach the same ends by discrepant means
On idleness
On punishing cowardice
On fear
To philosophize is to learn how to die
On educating children

William Shakespeare
King Lear



William Wordsworth
Intimations of Immortality
Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey
The World is Too Much With Us

William Blake
Poems (from Songs of Innocence):
The Lamb
The Little Black Boy
Holy Thursday
The Chimney Sweeper
(from Songs of Experience):
Earth's Answer
The Tyger
The Sick Rose
The Chimney Sweeper
Mock On, Mock On, Voltaire, Rousseau
And Did Those Feet

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla Khan
Dejection: An Ode

John Keats
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Ode to a Nightingale
Ode on Melancholy

Heinrich Heine
Poems (translated by Hal Draper): 
[A Pine Is Standing Lonely]
[A Young Man Loves a Maiden]
[Ah, Death Is Like the Long Cool Night]
The Silesian Weavers

Giacomo Leopardi
Poems (translated by Ottavio M. Casale): 
The Infinite
To Himself
To Sylvia
The Village Saturday

Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
Poems (translated by Bruce Phenix):
[I Know a Strange, Gigantic Hymn]
[Nameless Spirit]

Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary*

Fyodor Dostoevsky
"The Grand Inquisitor"

Charles Darwin
The Origin of Species*
The Descent of Man*

Karl Marx
Manifesto of the Communist Party*

T.S. Eliot
The Waste Land

Jorge Luis Borges
Selected fictions (I don't know yet what those will be)

So, that's it! The other classes I'm taking are Physical Science, Writing and Tutoring, and World Religions, so the readings aren't worth listing here (I know World Religions sounds like it might be interesting, but all the reading is out of textbooks). Somebody asked for reading lists from past semesters as well. Last semester, I offered up two of my reading lists in a comment on a blog post, so if you're interested, I've just copied and pasted the lists from that post. (They're not nearly as organized or as detailed as the lists I've given from this semester.) I also had a 19th-century British literature class that I didn't write a comment for, but unfortunately I don't have the reading list for that anymore.

Masterpieces of World Literature 1 (Ancient times through the Renaissance)--(most of these are not the full text, so I've noted which ones are)

Creation stories (from Egypt, the Bible, etc.--I don't remember exactly which ones)
The Book of Genesis
The Book of Job
The Epic of Gilgamesh (full text)
Oedipus the King (Sophocles--full text)
Aesop's Fables
The Aeneid (Virgil)
The Bhagavad-gita
Classic of Poetry and Analects (Confucius)
The Daodejing
The New Testament
Confessions (Augustine)
Inferno (Dante)
The Qur'an
Song of Roland
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (full text)
The Thousand and One Nights
The Tale of Genji (Shikibu)
Don Quixote
Orlando Furioso (Ariosto)

Restoration and 18th-century British Literature (I read the full text of all the following. Except for Pamela and Evelina, they are all plays)

All for Love (Dryden)
The Country Wife (Wycherley)
The Man of Mode (Etherege)
The Rover (Behn)
The Conscious Lovers (Steele)
She Stoops to Conquer
Pamela (novel)
Evelina (novel)

All the reading lists from semesters before last fall are long gone by now. However, I did write blog posts for many of the major works I read for my classes. Here are a few of those: 

Well, you asked for it! There's my obscenely long post about my school reading. I hope it was interesting for at least some of you. Feel free to comment if you have questions about authors, translations, or anything else. Or, if you're at all interested in seeing my opinions on any of the smaller works (poems, short stories, etc.), let me know! I can't post about all of them, so I would be happy to know what might actually be of interest to someone. I do my level best to read every single one of my readings in its entirety. 


  1. Both these courses sound really interesting! I particularly like the world literature course. My university never offered anything like that, and I always wished they had. :)

    1. It's actually offered as a GE option at my university. I was hoping there would be more non-Western literature, but alas, non-Western doesn't seem to be considered GE-worthy. :P

  2. Good stuff! Thanks for doing that; I know it's a pain but many of us are interested...

  3. Oh, how amazing! Thanks a lot for posting it! I'm bookmarking it to have a good look in the evening without having to run to work :)

    1. Finally got to read it properly! Most of world masterpieces are no surprise and are already on some of my lists or are already read (yes, including full text The Thousand and One Nights and The Tale of Genji... I can't read not full texts), but the Americans are totally new to me. I even haven't heard about some of the writers! But I guess I'll start with Fizgerald's short stories, they seem to be accessible. Thanks again for putting it together!

    2. I wanted to read the full text of some of them, but I just didn't have time. (I actually tried to read all of Don Quixote, but it will just have to wait until "someday.") I really love Fitzgerald; he's one of my favorite American writers. I hope you like him. Some of the stories (like maybe "The Ice Palace") might be a little weird or confusing if you don't know a lot about American culture, but I've never approached them from another culture, so I really don't know! (Part of it might just be that I've been discussing them against the backdrop of American Modernism in general.) I'd love to hear what you think.

  4. Fitzgerald! I'm just starting his first collection of short stories, many of which are on your list here.

    Langston Hughes is one of my absolute favorite poets.

    And I love Eliot's "The Waste Land."

    1. I love Fitzgerald and Hughes too. :) I've never actually read The Waste Land the whole way through, so I'm looking forward to diving into it.

    2. Was it you who reviewed "F. Scott Fitzgerald On Writing" a while back? If so -- I just found a used copy and got it, and am savoring it ever-so-slowly. Such a treat! I think I like it equally well as the Hemingway On Writing book collected by the same author.

      And now I want to go reread The Waste Land. And "The Hollow Men," which is my favorite Eliot poem.

    3. Yep, it was me! I'm glad you like it! I wish I had been able to own it.

  5. I think I've read the full Bhagavad-gita. I really liked it too! I had a very good world religions professor at BYU. One of the Gita's lessons that I liked went something like this: "Don't try to control who you are or the direction of your life; just let go of that, and then you will respond to individual decisions with precision and peace of mind." It's kind of tricky to grasp for us coming from a western mindset. Another way of saying it could be, "Let God handle the big stuff, and you just take each small thing as it comes, and act naturally (be yourself)." I really enjoy some of the things we get from um, ... was it India?

    Love you Emily, you're such a brilliant reader!

    1. That's neat! I would like to read the whole thing someday. Who was your world religions professor? I would love to take that advice...it's really, really hard though! Unfortunately, I've fully embraced the Western ideal of "take control of every detail of your life and throw a fit if you can't." :) And yes, it's India. :) Love you too!