Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
T. S. Eliot
Four Quartets
Briunt Norton

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Education Is the Sense That Certain Questions Must Be Answered by Hegel Not Oprah

Martin Seymour-Smith's List of the 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written

At the time of his death in 1998 the New York Times described Martin Seymour-Smith as, "a British literary critic, biographer, editor and poet whose more than 40 books ranged from an annotated compilation of Shakespeare's ''Sonnets'' in the original spelling to stylish, opinionated biographies of Rudyard Kipling, Robert Graves and Thomas Hardy."
His list is at this link.It is a good guide. The inclusion of Beauvoir and Mao demonstrate that such lists inevitably suffer from the temporal provincialism that no human can escape. Except for the inclusion of the Koran the Muslim world is mostly left out. That world is given much attention by Aquinas and Gibbon and maybe that world is too exclusive and monomaniacal to create much of value in science, history or political philosophy. But I suspect that there are many hidden treasures of poetry and fiction there. I would recommend Naguib Mafouz's Cairo Trilogy to anyone desiring a peek into the world of Islam. Mafouz knows the Western tradition but is always Egyptian to the core and is not ashamed of his Muslim roots.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Conservative Novels?

The site Hey Miller is in the process of compiling a list of conservative novels. The comments would be of interest to book lovers. I am going to reproduce my comment here in hopes of spurring some discussion.

"I am intrigued by the category being considered at all. Why do we read novels? To experience beauty? To learn more about the human condition? For entertainment and to pass the time? I think that it tends to be a mixture of all of these. If I am reading mainly for entertainment, sure, I don't want a bunch of leftie foolishness invading my free time. But some of those lefties write very well and can be entertaining, e. g., Norman Mailer can deliver on occasion and Ken Kesey can be good. And I am secure enough in my world view that I think Sholokhov is not going to turn me into a commie.
"If I am reading to experience beauty I don't think conservative values are in jeopardy. Since truth is an element of beauty conservatism will tend to win out. Or the mind automatically makes adjustments to neutralize the lies. My favorite example would be James Joyce. He was an atheist and a socialist but still a great artist who wrote beautiful and entertaining books. His characters are interesting and and frighteningly real. And he does us the favor of not pushing his politics on us (though I think that there tends to be a bleakness, emptiness and depression near the core of his works that has been brought on by his atheism). And Joyce's work reinforces conservative values because it is so self-aware of its place in the Western tradition that the reading of his works forces the reader to think about and investigate further so many ideas and books that most nonconservatives ignore or attempt to sabotage.
"But if we are looking for overtly conservative novels I think The Devils by Dostoevsky has to be near the top of the list. It is an all out attack on socialism and progressivism. It shows that these ideologies are all merely fronts for atheism and displays where they inevitably lead.
"I'm surprised no one mentioned The Screwtape letters or Orwell's 1984.
"Waugh is always worth reading. The works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are beautiful and an entertaining journey into another world.
"Heinlein's Starship Troopers and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress bring up issues that conservatives will always think and write about. But if you look at Heinlein's whole body of work the over all judgement would have to fall in the area of weidorama.
"I don't imagine that Faulkner was self-consciously a conservative. But many of his novels delve deeply into the issue of race in America that we have not begun to see the end of. And he looks at the questions from many perspectives and never falls into the useless left wing class consciousness formulas."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

List of Important Nonfiction from the 20th Century

I ran across this list at And So It Goes in Shreveport. It is part of a fascinating post about what books she has on hand to read next and some of the ways she relates to books. For book lovers it is well worth following the link for a peek into the mind of a serious book lover.

************THE LIST**********************

1. The Second World War, Winston S. Churchill
Brookhiser: "The big story of the century, told by its major hero."
Vol. 1, The Gathering Storm
Vol. 2, Their Finest Hour
Vol. 3, The Grand Alliance
Vol. 4, The Hinge of Fate
Vol. 5, Closing the Ring
Vol. 6, Triumph and Tragedy

2. The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Neuhaus: "Marked the absolute final turning point beyond which nobody could deny the evil of the Evil Empire."

3. Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
Herman: "Orwell's masterpiece-far superior to Animal Farm and 1984. No education in the meaning of the 20th century is complete without it."

4. The Road to Serfdom, F. A. von Hayek
Helprin: "Shatters the myth that the totalitarianisms 'of the Left' and 'of the Right' stem from differing impulses."

5. Collected Essays, George Orwell
King: "Every conservative's favorite liberal and every liberal's favorite conservative. This book has no enemies."

6. The Open Society and Its Enemies, Karl Popper
Herman: "The best work on political philosophy in the 20th century. Exposes totalitarianism's roots in Plato, Hegel, and Marx."

7. The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis
Brookhiser: "How modern philosophies drain meaning and the sacred from our lives."

8. Revolt of the Masses, José Ortega y Gasset
Gilder: "Prophesied the 20th century's debauchery of democracy and science, the barbarism of the specialist, and the inevitable fatuity of public opinion. Explained the genius of capitalist elites."

9. The Constitution of Liberty, F. A. von Hayek
O'Sullivan: "A great re-statement for this century of classical liberalism by its greatest modern exponent."

10. Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman

11. Modern Times, Paul Johnson
Herman: "Huge impact outside the academy, dreaded and ignored inside it."

12. Rationalism in Politics, Michael Oakeshott
Herman: "Oakeshott is the 20th century's Edmund Burke."

13. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Joseph A. Schumpeter
Caldwell: "Locus classicus for the observation that democratic capitalism undermines itself through its very success."

14. Economy and Society, Max Weber
Lind: "Weber made permanent contributions to the understanding of society with his discussions of comparative religion, bureaucracy, charisma, and the distinctions among status, class, and party."

15. The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt
Caldwell: "Through Nazism and Stalinism, looks at almost every pernicious trend in the last century's politics with stunning subtlety."

16. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Rebecca West
Kelly: "For its writing, not for its historical accuracy."

17. Sociobiology, Edward O. Wilson
Lind: "Darwin put humanity in its proper place in the animal kingdom. Wilson put human society there, too."

18. Centissimus Annus, Pope John Paul II

19. The Pursuit of the Millennium, Norman Cohn
Neuhaus: "The authoritative refutation of utopianism of the left, right, and points undetermined."

20. The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
Helprin: "An innocent's account of the greatest evil imaginable. The most powerful book of the century. Others may not agree. No matter, I cast my lot with this child."
Caldwell: "If one didn't know her fate, one might read it as the reflections of any girl. That one does know her fate makes this as close to a holy book as the century produced."

21. The Great Terror, Robert Conquest
Herman: "Documented for the first time the real record of Stalinism in the Soviet Union. A genuine monument of historical research and reconstruction, a true epic of evil."

22. Chronicles of Wasted Time, Malcolm Muggeridge
Gilder: "The best autobiography, Christian confession, and historic meditation of the century."

23. Relativity, Albert Einstein
Lind: "The most important physicist since Newton."

24. Witness, Whittaker Chambers
Caldwell: "Confession, history, potboiler-by a man who writes like the literary giant we would know him as, had not Communism got him first."

25. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn

26. Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
Neuhaus: "The most influential book of the most influential Christian apologist of the century."

27. The Quest for Community, Robert Nisbet

28. Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed.
Helprin: "The infinite riches of the world, presented with elegance, confidence, and economy."

29. Up in the Old Hotel, Joseph Mitchell

30. The Everlasting Man, G. K. Chesterton
Lukacs: "A great carillonade of Christian verities."

31. Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton
O'Sullivan: "How to look at the Christian tradition with fresh eyes."

32. The Liberal Imagination, Lionel Trilling
Hart: "The popular form of liberalism tends to simplify and caricature when it attempts moral aspiration-that is, it tends to 'Stalinism.'"

33. The Double Helix, James D. Watson
Herman: "Deeply hated by feminists because Watson dares to suggest that the male-female distinction originated in nature, in the DNA code itself."

34. The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Richard Phillips Feynman
Gelernter: "Outside of art (or maybe not), physics is mankind's most beautiful achievement; these three volumes are probably the most beautiful ever written about physics."

35. Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, Tom Wolfe
O'Sullivan: "Wolfe is our Juvenal."

36. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays, Albert Camus

37. The Unheavenly City, Edward C. Banfield
Neuhaus: "The volume that began the debunking of New Deal socialism and its public-policy consequences."

38. The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud

39. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs

40. The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama

41. Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker

42. The Age of Reform, Richard Hofstadter
Herman: "The single best book on American history in this century, bar none."

43. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes
Hart: "Influential in suggesting that the business cycle can be modified by government investment and manipulation of tax rates."

44. God & Man at Yale, William F. Buckley Jr.
Gilder: "Still correct and prophetic. It defines the conservative revolt against socialism and atheism on campus and in the culture, and reconciles the alleged conflict between capitalist and religious conservatives."

45. Selected Essays, T. S. Eliot
Hart: "Shaped the literary taste of the mid-century."

46. Ideas Have Consequences, Richard M. Weaver

47. The Economy of Cities, Jane Jacobs

48. The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom

49. Ethnic America, Thomas Sowell

50. An American Dilemma, Gunnar Myrdal
An American Dilemma, Vol. 1
An American Dilemma, Vol. 2

51. Three Case Histories, Sigmund Freud
Gelernter: "Beyond question Freud is history's most important philosopher of the mind, and he ranks alongside Eliot as the century's greatest literary critic. Modern intellectual life (left, right, and in-between) would be unthinkable without him."

52. The Struggle for Europe, Chester Wilmot

53. Main Currents in American Thought, Vernon Louis Parrington
King: "An immensely readable history of ideas and men. (Skip the fragmentary third volume-he died before finishing it.)"

54. The Waning of the Middle Ages, Johann Huzinga
Lukacs: "Probably the finest historian who lived in this century. "

55. Systematic Theology, Wolfhart Pannenberg
Neuhaus: "The best summary and reflection on Christianity's encounter with the Enlightenment project."
Systematic Theology, Vol. 1
Systematic Theology, Vol. 2
Systematic Theology, Vol. 3

56. The Campaign of the Marne, Sewell Tyng
Keegan: "A forgotten American's masterly account of the First World War in the West."

57. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein
Hart: "A terse summation of the analytic method of the analytic school in philosophy, and a heroic leap beyond it."

58. Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, Bernard Lonergan
Glendon: "The Thomas Aquinas of the 20th century."

59. Being and Time, Martin Heidegger
Hart: "A seminal thinker, notwithstanding his disgraceful error of equating National Socialism with the experience of 'Being.'"

60. Disraeli, Robert Blake
Keegan: "Political biography as it should be written."

61. Democracy and Leadership, Irving Babbitt
King: "A conservative literary critic describes what happens when humanitarianism over takes humanism."

62. The Elements of Style, William Strunk & E. B. White
A. Thernstrom: "If only every writer would remember just one of Strunk & White's wonderful injunctions: 'Omit needless words.' Omit needless words."

63. The Machiavellians, James Burnham
O'Sullivan: "Burnham is the greatest political analyst of our century and this is his best book."

64. Reflections of a Russian Statesman, Konstantin P. Pobedonostsev
King: "The 'culture war' as seen by the tutor to the last two czars. A Russian Pat Buchanan."

65. The Hedgehog and the Fox, Isaiah Berlin

66. Roll, Jordan, Roll, Eugene D. Genovese
Neuhaus: "The best account of American slavery and the moral and cultural forces that undid it."

67. The ABC of Reading, Ezra Pound
Brookhiser: "An epitome of the aging aesthetic movement that will be forever known as modernism."

68. The Second World War, John Keegan
Hart: "A masterly history in a single volume."

69. The Making of Homeric Verse, Milman Parry
Lind: "Genuine discoveries in literary study are rare. Parry's discovery of the oral formulaic basis of the Homeric epics, the founding texts of Western literature, was one of them."

70. The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling, Angus Wilson
Keegan: "A life of a great author told through the transmutation of his experience into fictional form."

71. Scrutiny, F. R. Leavis
Hart: "Enormously important in education, especially in England. Leavis understood what one kind of 'living English' is."

72. The Edge of the Sword, Charles de Gaulle
Brookhiser: "A lesser figure than Churchill, but more philosophical (and hence, more problematic)."

73. R. E. Lee, Douglas Southall Freeman
Conquest: "The finest work on the Civil War."

74. Bureaucracy, Ludwig von Mises

75. The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
Neuhaus: "A classic conversion story of a modern urban sophisticate."

76. Balzac, Stefan Zweig
King: "On the joys of working one's self to death. The chapter 'Black Coffee' is a masterpiece of imaginative reconstruction."

77. The Good Society, Walter Lippmann
Gilder: "Written during the Great Depression. A corruscating defense of the morality of capitalism."

78. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
Lind: "For all the excesses of the environmental movement, the realization that human technology can permanently damage the earth's environment marked a great advance in civilization. Carson's book, more than any other, publicized this message."

79. The Christian Tradition, Jaroslav Pelikan
Neuhaus: "The century's most comprehensive account of Christian teaching from the second century on."

80. Strange Defeat, Marc Bloch
Herman: "A great historian's personal account of the fall of France in 1940."

81. Looking Back, Norman Douglas
Conquest: "Fascinating memoirs of a remarkable writer."

82. Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres, Henry Adams

83. Poetry and the Age, Randall Jarrell
Caldwell: "The book for showing how 20th- century poets think, what their poetry does, and why it matters."

84. Love in the Western World, Denis de Rougemont
Brookhiser: "What has become of eros over the last seven centuries."

85. The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk

86. Wealth and Poverty, George Gilder

87. Battle Cry of Freedom, James M. McPherson

88. Henry James, Leon Edel
King: "All the James you want without having to read him."

89. Essays of E. B. White, E. B. White
Gelernter: "White is the apotheosis of the American liberal now spurned and detested by the Left (and the cultural mainstream). His mesmerized devotion to the objects of his affection-his family, the female sex, his farm, the English language, Manhattan, the sea, America, Maine, and freedom, in descending order-is movingly absolute."

90. Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov

91. The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe

92. Darwin's Black Box, Michael J. Behe
Gilder: "Overthrows Darwin at the end of the 20th century in the same way that quantum theory overthrew Newton at the beginning."

93. The Civil War, Shelby Foote

94. The Way the World Works, Jude Wanniski
Gilder: "The best book on economics. Shows fatuity of still-dominant demand-side model, with its silly preoccupation with accounting trivia, like the federal budget and trade balance and savings rates, in an economy with $40 trillion or so in assets that rise and fall weekly by trillions."

95. To the Finland Station, Edmund Wilson
Herman: "The best single book on Karl Marx and Marx's place in modern history."

96. Civilisation, Kenneth Clark

97. The Russian Revolution, Richard Pipes

98. The Idea of History, R. G. Collingwood

99. The Last Lion, William Manchester
Last Lion: William Spencer Churchill: Vol. 1 Visions of Glory, 1874-1932
Last Lion: William Spencer Churchill: Vol. 2 Alone, 1932-1940

100. The Starr Report, Kenneth W. Starr
Hart: "A study in human depravity."

This list comes from this link where the names of the editors that made this selection can be found.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Books List from Wikipedia

Wiki's choices are not too bad. I suspect a Christian would want to supplement, i.e., many on this list will not age as well as C. S. Lewis.
Homer: The Iliad, The Odyssey
The Old Testament
Aeschylus: Tragedies
Sophocles: Tragedies
Herodotus: Histories
Euripides: Tragedies
Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War
Hippocrates: Medical Writings
Aristophanes: Comedies
Plato: Dialogues
Aristotle: Works
Epicurus: "Letter to Herodotus", "Letter to Menoecus"
Euclid: The Elements
Archimedes: Works
Apollonius: The Conic Sections
Cicero: Works
Lucretius: On the Nature of Things
Virgil: Works
Horace: Works
Livy: The History of Rome
Ovid: Works
Plutarch: Parallel Lives; Moralia
Tacitus: Histories; Annals; Agricola; Germania
Nicomachus of Gerasa: Introduction to Arithmetic
Epictetus: Discourses; Enchiridion
Ptolemy: Almagest
Lucian: Works
Marcus Aurelius: Meditations
Galen: On the Natural Faculties
The New Testament
Plotinus: The Enneads
St. Augustine: "On the Teacher"; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
The Song of Roland
The Nibelungenlied
The Saga of Burnt Njál
St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica
Dante Alighieri: The New Life (La Vita Nuova); "On Monarchy"; The Divine Comedy
Geoffrey Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales
Leonardo da Vinci: Notebooks
Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
Desiderius Erasmus: The Praise of Folly
Nicolaus Copernicus: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
Thomas More: Utopia
Martin Luther: Table Talk; Three Treatises
Francois Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel
John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion
Michel de Montaigne: Essays
William Gilbert: On the Lodestone and Magnetic Bodies
Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote
Edmund Spenser: Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
Francis Bacon: Essays; The Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum; The New Atlantis
William Shakespeare: Poetry and Plays
Galileo Galilei: Starry Messenger; Two New Sciences
Johannes Kepler: The Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Harmonices Mundi
William Harvey: On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals
Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan
René Descartes: Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy
John Milton: Works
Molière: Comedies
Blaise Pascal: The Provincial Letters; Pensées; Scientific Treatises
Christiaan Huygens: Treatise on Light
Benedict de Spinoza: Ethics
John Locke: A Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Some Thoughts Concerning Education
Jean Baptiste Racine: Tragedies
Isaac Newton: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Opticks
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz: Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding; "Monadology"
Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
Jonathan Swift: "A Tale of a Tub"; A Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; "A Modest Proposal"
William Congreve: The Way of the World
George Berkeley: Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
Alexander Pope: "Essay on Criticism"; "The Rape of the Lock"; "Essay on Man"
Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu: Persian Letters, Spirit of the Laws
Voltaire: Letters on the English, Candide, Philosophical Dictionary
Henry Fielding: Joseph Andrews, Tom Jones
Samuel Johnson: "The Vanity of Human Wishes", Dictionary, Rasselas, Lives of the Poets
David Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature, Essays Moral and Political, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, On Political Economy, Emile, The Social Contract
Laurence Sterne: Tristram Shandy, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy
Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments, The Wealth of Nations
Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace
Edward Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Autobiography
James Boswell: Journal; The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier: Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry)
Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison: The Federalist Papers
Jeremy Bentham: Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions
Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust; Poetry and Truth
Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier: Analytical Theory of Heat
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit; The Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History
William Wordsworth: Poems
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Poems; Biographia Literaria
Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice; Emma
Carl von Clausewitz: On War
Stendhal: The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love
Lord Byron: Don Juan
Arthur Schopenhauer: Studies in Pessimism
Michael Faraday: The Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity
Charles Lyell: Principles of Geology
Auguste Comte: The Positive Philosophy
Honoré de Balzac: Le Père Goriot; Eugenie Grandet
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Representative Men, Essays, Journal
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America
John Stuart Mill: A System of Logic; On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women; Autobiography
Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography
Charles Dickens: The Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Hard Times
Claude Bernard: Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine
Henry David Thoreau: "Civil Disobedience"; Walden
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Capital; The Communist Manifesto
George Eliot: Adam Bede; Middlemarch
Herman Melville: Moby-Dick; Billy Budd
Fyodor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov
Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary; Three Stories
Henrik Ibsen: Plays
Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace; Anna Karenina; What is Art?; Twenty-Three Tales
Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger
William James: The Principles of Psychology; The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; Essays in Radical Empiricism
Henry James: The American; The Ambassadors
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Genealogy of Morals; The Will to Power
Jules Henri Poincaré: Science and Hypothesis; Science and Method
Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams; Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
George Bernard Shaw: Plays and Prefaces
Max Planck: Origin and Development of the Quantum Theory; Where Is Science Going?; Scientific Autobiography
Henri Bergson: Time and Free Will; Matter and Memory; Creative Evolution; The Two Sources of Morality and Religion
John Dewey: How We Think; Democracy and Education; Experience and Nature; Logic: The Theory of Inquiry
Alfred North Whitehead: An Introduction to Mathematics; Science and the Modern World; The Aims of Education and Other Essays; Adventures of Ideas
George Santayana: The Life of Reason; Skepticism and Animal Faith; Persons and Places
Lenin: The State and Revolution
Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past (the revised translation is In Search of Lost Time; the original French title is À la recherche du temps perdu)
Bertrand Russell: The Problems of Philosophy; The Analysis of Mind; An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth; Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits
Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain; Joseph and His Brothers
Albert Einstein: The Meaning of Relativity; On the Method of Theoretical Physics; The Evolution of Physics
James Joyce: "The Dead" in Dubliners; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ulysses
Jacques Maritain: Art and Scholasticism; The Degrees of Knowledge; The Rights of Man and Natural Law; True Humanism
Franz Kafka: The Trial; The Castle
Arnold J. Toynbee: A Study of History; Civilization on Trial
Jean-Paul Sartre: Nausea; No Exit; Being and Nothingness
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The First Circle; Cancer Ward

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Long, Very Inclusive Great Books List from East and West

A good list.

The Ancient Era

2000 BCE - 8BCE

Unknown, Sumer, ca. 2000 BCE. The Epic of Gilgamesh.
Unknown, Egypt, ca. 1000 BCE. Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Homer, Greece, ca. 800 BCE. The Iliad, The Odyssey.
Hesiod, Greece, ca. 700 BCE. Theogony.
Unknown, Israel, ca. 800-200 BCE.Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Job.
Unknown, India, ca. 800 BCE. The Rig Veda.
Unknown, India, ca. 600 BCE. The Upanishads.
Confucius, China, 551-479 BCE. The Analects.
Lao Tzu, China, ca. 550 BCE. The Tao Te Ching.
Sappho, Greece, ca. 600 BCE. Hymn to Aphrodite.
Aeschylus, Greece, 525-455 BCE. Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides.
Sophocles, Greece, 496-406 BCE. Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone.
Herodotus, Greece, 484-425 BCE. The Histories.
Euripides, Greece, 484-406 BCE. Medea, Electra.
Thucydides, Greece, 470-400 BCE. The Peloponnesian War.
Aristophanes, Greece, 448-338 BCE. The Birds, Lysistrata.
Plato, Greece, 428-348 BCE. The Apology of Socrates, The Republic
Aristotle, Greece, 332 BCE. The Nicomachean Ethics.
Sun-Tzu, China, ca. 500 BCE. The Art of War.
Mencius, China, ca.320 BCE. The Mengzi.
Various, India, ca. 400 BCE. The Teachings of The Buddha.
Chuang Tzu, ca. 300 BCE. The Chuang Tzu.
Valmiki, India, ca. 300 BCE. The Ramayana.
Vyasa, ca. India, 200 BCE. The Mahabharata.
Unknown, ca India, 200 BCE. The Bhagavad Gita.
Lucretius, Rome, 60 BCE. Of the Nature of Things.
Julius Caesar, Rome, 50 BCE. Commentaries on the Gallic War.
Cicero, Rome, 45 BCE. On the Nature of the Gods.
Virgil, Rome, 19 BCE. The Aeneid.
Ovid, Rome, 8 BCE. Metamorphoses.

The Middle Era

6 AD - 1485

Petronius Arbiter, Rome, 61. The Satyricon.
Seneca, Rome 49. On the Shortness of Life.
Luke, John, Paul. Israel, ca. 60-80. The Gospel, The Acts, Epistles, Romans.
Plutarch, Greece, 100. Life of Alexander, Life of Cato.
Suetonius, Rome, 119. The Twelve Caesars.
Marcus Aurelius, Rome, 180. Meditations.
Apuleius, Numidia, 160. The Golden Ass.
Augustine of Hippo, Rome, 410. The City of God.
Kalidasa, India, ca. 410. The Cloud Messenger.
Unknown, Japan, 630. The Kojiki
Muhammad of Medina, Arabia, 632. The Koran.
Hui-Neng, China, ca 700. The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
Sei Shonagon,Japan, 990.The Pillow Book.
Murasaki Shikubu, Japan, ca. 990.The Tale of Genji.
Unknown, Baghdad, 950. The Thousand and One Nights
Ben Hasan Firdawsi, Persia, ca 1000. Shah Nameh.
Omar Khayyam, Persia, ca 1100. The Rubaiyat.
Unknown, England, ca. 1000. Beowulf.
Unknown, Wales, ca. 1150. The Mabinogion.
Snori Sturluson, Iceland, 1220. The Prose Edda.
Unknown, Austria, ca 1210. Niebelungenlied.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Italy, 1273. Summa Theologica.
Dante Alighieri, Italy, 1321. The Divine Comedy.
Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, 1352. The Decameron.
Ibn Khaldun, Tunis, 1375. Muqaddimah.
Luo Kuan-chung, China, ca. 1380. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Shin Nai-an, China, 1390. The Water Margin.
Geoffrey Chaucer, England, 1395. The Canterbury Tales.
Unknown, England, ca 1400. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Thomas Malory, England, 1485. Le Morte D’Arthur.

The Era of Reformation and Renaissance

1418 - 1750

Thomas a Kempis, Germany, 1418. The Imitation of Christ.
Niccolo Macchiavelli, Italy, 1513. The Prince.
Thomas More, England, 1516. Utopia.
Francois Rabelais. France, 1532. Gargantua and Pantagruel.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, France, 1580. Essays.
Christopher Marlow, England, 1587. Tamburlaine.
Wu Cheng-en, China, 1590. The Journey to the West.
Francis Bacon, England, 1597. Essays.
Miguel de Cervantes, Spain, 1605. Don Quixote.
William Shakespeare, England, 1601-1613. Richard III, Hamlet, The Tempest.
John Donne, England, 1633. Poems.
Rene Descartes, France, 1637. Discourse on Method.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spain, 1636. Life is a Dream.
Thomas Hobbes, England, 1651. Leviathan.
John Milton, England, 1667. Paradise Lost.
Moliere, France, 1666. Tartuffe, Misanthrope.
Racine, France, 1667, Andromache.
John Bunyan, England, 1678. Pilgrim’s Progress.
Basho, Japan, 1702. The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Blaise Pascal, France, 1623-1662. Pensees.
John Locke, England, 1690. Second Treatise on Government.
Samuel Pepys, England, 1669. Diary.
Daniel Defoe, England, 1660-1731. Robinson Crusoe.
Bishop Berkley, Ireland, 1710. Principles of Human Knowledge.
Alexander Pope, England, 1714. The Rape of the Lock
Jonathan Swift, Ireland, 1735. Gulliver’s Travels.
Voltaire, France, 1759 Candide.
David Hume, Scotland, 1740. Concerning Human Understanding.
Henry Fielding, England, 1749. Tom Jones.
Ts’ao Hsueh-Chin, China, 1750. The Dream of the Red Chamber.

The Era of Romance and Revolution

1762 - 1859

Jean Jacques Rousseau, France, 1762. The Social Contract.
Adam Smith, Scotland, 1776. Concerning the Wealth of Nations.
Immanuel Kant, Germany, 1785. Groundwork on the Metaphysics of Morals
Hamilton, Madison and Jay, US, 1786. The Federalist Papers.
Edmund Burke, Ireland, 1790. Reflections on the French Revolution.
Thomas Paine, England, 1791. The Rights of Man.
Mary Wollstonecraft, England, 1792. Vindication on the Rights of Women.
James Boswell, England. 1791. The Life of Samuel Johnson.
William Blake, England, 1794. Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, 1808. Faust.
George Fredrick Hegel, Germany, 1807. Phenomenology of Mind.
Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats, England, 1812-1818. Poems.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, England, 1818. Frankenstein.
Stendhal, France, 1830. The Red and the Black.
Alexis de Tocqueville, France, 1835. Democracy in America.
Alexandre Pushkin, Russia, 1837. Eugene Onegin
Jane Austen, England, 1837. Pride and Prejudice.
Edgar Allen Poe, US, 1839. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.
Nikolai Gogol, Russia, 1842. Dead Souls.
Soren Kierkegaard, Denmark, 1843. Fear and Trembling.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, US. 1847. Poems.
Charlotte Bronte, England, 1847. Jane Eyre.
William Makepeace Thackeray, England, 1848. Vanity Fair.
Karl Marx, Frederick Engels. 1848. The Communist Manifesto.
Herman Melville, US, 1851. Moby Dick.
Walt Whitman, US, 1855. Leaves of Grass.
Henry David Thoreau, US, 1854. Walden.
Charles Baudelaire, France, 1857. Le Fleurs de Mal.
Gustave Flaubert, France 1856. Madam Bovary.
John Stuart Mill, England, 1859. On Liberty.

The Modern Era

1861 - 1929

Charles Dickens, England, 1861. Great Expectations.
Ivan Turgenev, Russia, 1862. Fathers and Sons.
Feodor Dostoevskii, Russia, 1866. Crime and Punishment.
George Eliot, England, 1871. Middlemarch.
Arthur Rimbaud, France, 1873, A Season in Hell.
Leo Tolstoi, Russia, 1877. Anna Karenina.
Frederick Nietzsche, Germany, 1880. Al Sprake Zarathustra.
Mark Twain, US. 1884. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Emil Zola, France, 1885. Germinal.
Henrik Ibsen, Norway, 1890. Hedda Gabler.
Emily Dickenson, US, 1890. Poems.
Thomas Hardy, England, 1895. Jude the Obscure.
Anton Chekhov, Russia, 1898. Uncle Vanya.
Joseph Conrad, England, 1902. Heart of Darkness.
William James, Us, 1902. Varieties of Religious Experience.
Max Weber, Germany, 1904. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
Marcel Proust, France, 1913. Swann’s Way.
DH Lawrence, England, 1913 Sons and Lovers.
Natsume Soseki, Japan, 1914. Kokoro.
WB Yeats, Ireland, 1917. The Swans at Coole.
Siegfried Sassoon, England, 1919. War Poems.
TS Eliot, US, 1921. The Waste Land.
James Joyce, Ireland, 1922. Ulysses.
Thomas Mann, Germany, 1924. The Magic Mountain.
F Scott FitzGerald, US, 1925. The Great Gatsby.
Franz Kafka, Czechoslovakia, 1925. The Trial.
Martin Heidegger, Germany, 1927. Being and Time.
Virginia Woolf, England, 1927. Mrs. Dalloway.
Berthold Brecht, Germany, 1928. The Threepenny Opera.
William Faulkner, US, 1929. The Sound and the Fury.

The Global Era


Mohandas Gandhi, India, 1928. My Experiments with Truth.
Aldous Huxley, England, 1932. Brave New World.
Kawabata Yusunari, Japan, 1934. Snow Country.
RK Narayan, India, 1935. The English Teacher.
Graham Greene, England, 1940. The Power and the Glory.
Arthur Koestler, Hungary, 1941. Darkness at Noon.
Eugene O’Neill, US, 1941. Long Days’ Journey into Night.
Junichio Tanizaki, Japan, 1943. The Makioka Sisters
Albert Camus, Algeria, 1943. The Stranger.
Jean Paul Sartre, France, 1943. Being and Nothingness.
Karl Popper, Austria, 1945. The Open Society and Its Enemies.
Simone De Beauviour, France, 1949. The Second Sex.
Ernest Hemmingway, US, 1953. The Old Man and the Sea.
George Orwell, England, 1948. Nineteen Eighty Four.
Ralph Ellison, US, 1952. The Invisible Man.
Samuel Becket, Ireland, 1952. Waiting for Godot.
Vladimir Nabokov, Russia, 1955. Lolita.
Allan Ginsburg, US, 1956. Howl.
Jack Kerouac, US, 1957. On the Road.
Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, 1958. Things Fall Apart.
Pablo Neruda, Chile, 1959. One Hundred Love Sonnets.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Columbia, 1967. One Hundred Years of Solitude
Ayn Rand, US, 1957. Atlas Shrugged.
Jorges Luis Borges, Argentina, 1964. Labyrinths.
Michel Foucault, France, 1966. The Order of Things.
Maya Angelou, US, 1969. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
VS Naipul, Trinidad, 1979. A Bend in the River.
Salman Rushdie, England, 1980. Midnight’s Children.
Margaret Atwood, Canada, 1985. The Handmaid’s Tale.
Toni Morrison, United States , 1987. Beloved.

The Great Books of Science

Aristotle, Greece, 220 BCE. Physics.
Euclid, Greece, 300 BCE. The Elements.
Ptolemy, Egypt, 147. Almagest.
Roger Bacon, England, 1267. Opus Majius.
Nicolaus Copernicus, Poland, 1543. Die Revolutionibus.
Andreas Vesalius, Belgium, 1543. De Corporis Fabrica.
Johannes Kepler, Germany, 1609. Astronomia Nova.
Francis Bacon, England, 1620. Novum Organum.
William Harvey, England, 1628. On the Circulation of the Blood.
Galileo Galilei, Italy, 1632. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
Robert Hooke, England 1665. Micrographia.
Isaac Newton, England 1687. Principia Mathamatica.
Giambatistta Vico, Italy, 1725. The New Science.
Carolus Linnaeus, Sweden, 1735. Systema Naturae.
Antoine Lavoisier, France 1789. Treatise on Chemistry.
Charles Darwin, England, 1859. The Origin of Species.
Sigmund Freud, Austria, 1899. The Interpretation of Dreams.
Albert Einstein, Germany 1916. Relativity: The Special and General Theory.
Max Planck, Germany, 1915. Eight Lectures on Theoretical Physics.
Jane Jacobs, US, 1961. The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
Karl Jung, Switzerland, 1961. Man and his Symbols.
Thomas Kuhn, US, 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Rachel Carson, US, 1962. Silent Spring.
George Gamelov, Ukraine, 1966. Thirty Years That Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory.
James Watson, James Crick US/England, 1968. The Double Helix.
Carl Sagan, US, 1973. The Cosmic Connection.
Richard Dawkins, England, 1976. The Selfish Gene.
Douglas Hofstadter, US, 1979. Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
Stephen Jay Gould, US, 1981. The Mismeasure of Man.
Richard Feynman, US, 1985. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
Oliver Sacks, England, 1985. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Stephen Hawking, England, 1988. Brief History of Time
Jared Diamond, US, 1999. Guns, Germs and Steel.