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Posts Tagged ‘Musil

My Top Ten novels

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I made a list eight years ago. Some later reading experiences crave for admission!

The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian, I read it in Swedish though. The novel that has all you need, violent love, tender love, crime, religious debate, ridiculous scenes, doubtful business dealings, all of it. And a rather ambiguous message: the title person gets into catastrophe, but I feel that in the heart of it, he is the only sane person and all the others sick.

Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften – Robert Musil, in German. The Man Without Qualities. A counterpart to the above: a very thick unfinished novel with thin contents, but intellectually fascinating and partly very funny.

War And Peace – Lev Tolstoy, Russian. Read in Swedish, alas. A huge painting of Russia in wartime with all kinds of people running into and out of it, with Emperor Napoleon in an important role.

Le Rouge et le Noir – Stendhal, French. The Red and the Black. Youthful passion crushed by corrupt society. Also a harsh criticism of the Catholic Church.

NEW: Our Mutual Friend  –  Charles Dickens. The fates of some families of different social ranks, who at times get entangled with each other. Some disasters and some survivals among them, and at least one happy end. Almost a Dostoevsky of London!

Fröknarna von Pahlen – Agnes von Krusenstjerna, Swedish. The Misses von Pahlen, a series of seven novels about social life in the early 20th century, focusing on a girl who is raised by her unmarried aunt because both parents are dead. Not outspokenly feminist, but still a pioneer in writing about women and men as women see them.

For Whom The Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway. Spanish Civil War through the fate of an American volunteer who goes there because he loves the country, not really liking to fight.

Das Glasperlenspiel – Hermann Hesse, in German. The Glass Bead Game. The end of civilisation, and mysterious beginnings of a new one.

Villette – Charlotte Brontë. Of all characters in all novels I know, the one that is most like me is the main character of this one – a woman!

NEW: The Alexandria Quartet  –  Lawrence Durrell. It took me a long time to read all four, not that they should be hard to read, but because the whole has a meditative mood which all along evokes new thoughts in the reader’s mind. The life of a limited circle of people who all know each other more or less, during a few years when they all live in the same city. Even though the narrator is an “I”, all of them on occasions step forward, taking the lead. There are even lots of quotations from an earlier novel which was never really written, because its author himself is a fictional character!

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My Top Ten novels

leave a comment »

The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian, I read it in Swedish though.The novel that has all you need, violent love, tender love, crime, religious debate, ridiculous scenes, doubtful business dealings, all of it. And a rather ambiguous message: the title figure gets into catastrophe, but I feel that in the heart of it, he is the only sane person and all the others sick.

Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften – Robert Musil, in German. The Man Without Qualities. A counterpart to the above: a very thick unfinished novel with thin contents, but intellectually fascinating and partly very funny.

War And Peace – Lev Tolstoy, Russian. A huge painting of Russia in wartime with all kinds of people running into and out of it, with Emperor Napoleon in an important role.

Le Rouge et le Noir – Stendhal, French. The Red and the Black. Youthful passion crushed by corrupt society. Also a harsh criticism of the Catholic Church.

Brothers Karamazov – F. Dostoevsky. Much like The Idiot, but with a plot of murder as an important issue. I read it twice but still I am not sure whether Dimitri gets convicted for killing his father, or not.

Fröknarna von Pahlen – Agnes von Krusenstjerna, Swedish. The Misses von Pahlen, a series of seven novels about social life in the early 20th century, focusing on a girl who is raised by her unmarried aunt because both parents are dead. Not outspokenly feminist, but still a pioneer in writing about women and men as women see them.

For Whom The Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway. Spanish Civil War through the fate of an American volunteer who goes there because he loves the country, not really liking to fight.

Das Glasperlenspiel – Hermann Hesse, in German. The Glass Bead Game. The end of civilisation, and mysterious beginnings of a new one.

Villette – Charlotte Brontë. Of all characters in all novels I know, the one that is most like me is the main character of this one – a woman!

Mansfield Park – Jane Austen. As usual in Austen, a young girl who wants to be married, but this one also tells about her childhood in a poor family, and about some complicated affairs of another family that takes care of her.n – Fjodor Dostojevskij

Written by svensays

January 5, 2009 at 16:44