reading list: the classics

Today is the first day of school for a lot of children. I’ve been out of school for a long time, but that doesn’t mean my education is anywhere close to finished. Especially since I can remember not finishing a lot of reading assignments. To that end, I’m going to give the classics and contemporary reading lists from my alma mater a go, and see how much I read before the end of the ’08-’09 school year. Wish me luck!

I don’t have a strategy at the moment — read in chronological order? Alphabetical? All plays first? Before I figure out how to proceed, below is the complete classics list (contemporary to be posted later). Titles of books I’ve read are in bold. Titles of books I’ve started but not finished are in italics.

Note: After going through this list and tagging, I understand that I have a shit-load of reading to do. Eek!

AN ENGLISH DEPARTMENT SELECTION OF LITERARY CLASSICS

Works are arranged chronologically by the date of either the author’s birth or the work.

ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND EAST

  • The Old Testament (King James Version)
  • Gilgamesh (Translation by David Ferry)
  • Confucius. Analects
  • Mahabharata

CLASSICAL GREECE AND ROME

  • Epics
    • Homer. The Iliad, The Odyssey
    • Virgil. The Aeneid
  • Plays
    • Aeschylus. The Oresteia
    • Sophocles. Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone
    • Euripides. The Bacchae, Medea, The Trojan Women, Hippolytus
    • Aristophanes. The Birds, The Clouds, Lysistrata, The Frogs
  • Poems
    • The Homeric Hymns
    • Hesiod. Works and Days, Theogony
    • Sappho. Poems
    • Pindar. Odes
    • Catullus. Poems
    • Lucretius. On the Nature of Things
    • Horace. Odes, Satires
    • Virgil. Eclogues, Georgics
    • Ovid. The Metamorphoses
    • Juvenal. Satires
  • Prose Works
    • Herodotus. The Histories
    • Thucydides. The Peloponnesian Wars
    • Plutarch. Lives of the Famous Greeks and Romans
    • Plato. The Republic, The Symposium
    • Aristotle. Poetics
    • Cicero. Orations
    • Josephus. The Jewish Wars
    • Apuleius. The Golden Ass
    • Marcus Aurelius. Meditations
    • The New Testament (King James Version)

THIRD THROUGH FIFTEENTH CENTURIES

  • St. Augustine. The Confessions, The City of God
  • The Koran
  • Beowulf (it’s really short)
  • Lady Murasaki. The Tale of Genji
  • The Song of Roland
  • Chretien de Troyes. Arthurian Romances
  • Marie de France. The Lais
  • Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. The Romance of the Rose
  • Dante. The Divine Comedy
  • Petrarch. Rime Sparse
  • Boccaccio. Decameron
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Langland. Piers Plowman
  • Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales
  • Malory. Le Morte d’Arthur
  • Everyman
  • The Wakefield and Chester cycles (medieval plays)

SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES

  • Plays
    • William Shakespeare. Plays
    • Christopher Marlowe. Dr. Faustus, Edward II
    • Ben Jonson. Volpone, Bartholomew Fair, The Alchemist
    • John Webster. The Duchess of Malfi, The White Devil
    • Moliere. Tartuffe
    • Racine. Phedre, Andromaque
    • Corneille. The Cid
  • Poems
    • Edmund Spenser. The Faerie Queen
    • William Shakespeare. Sonnets
    • John Donne. Poems
    • George Herbert. Poems
    • Andrew Marvell. Poems
    • John Milton. Paradise Lost, other poems
    • John Dryden. Poems
  • Novels and other prose works
    • Erasmus. In Praise of Folly
    • Machiavelli. The Prince
    • Castiglione. The Courtier
    • Rabelais. Gargantua and Pantagruel
    • Thomas More. Utopia
    • Montaigne. Essays
    • Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote
    • Sir Philip Sidney. The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, The Defense of Poetry
    • Francis Bacon. Essays
    • Robert Burton. Anatomy of Melancholy
    • Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan
    • John Bunyan. The Pilgrim’s Progress
    • Samuel Pepys. Diaries
    • Mme. de La Fayette. The Princess of Clèves

EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

  • Plays
    • William Congreve. The Way of the World, Love for Love
    • John Gay. The Beggar’s Opera
    • Oliver Goldsmith. She Stoops to Conquer
    • Richard Brinsley Sheridan. The Rivals, The School for Scandal
  • Poems
    • Alexander Pope. “The Rape of the Lock,” “Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot,” “Epistle to Burlington”
    • William Blake. Songs of Innocence and Experience
  • Novels
    • Henry Fielding. The History of Tom Jones, The Adventures of Joseph Andrews
    • Lawrence Sterne. Tristram Shandy
    • Tobias Smollett. The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker
    • Jonathan Swift. Gulliver’s Travels
    • Daniel Defoe. Moll Flanders, Robinson Crusoe
    • Samuel Richardson. Clarissa, Pamela
    • Voltaire. Candide
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Sorrows of Young Werther
    • Francis Burney. Evelina
  • Non-fiction
    • Daniel Defoe. Journal of the Plague Year
    • Mary Wortley Montagu. Travel Writing, Letters
    • Benjamin Franklin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Confessions
    • Edward Gibbon. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    • James Boswell. The Life of Samuel Johnson

NINETEENTH CENTURY

  • Plays
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Faust
    • Henrik Ibsen. Hedda Gabler, A Doll’s House, The Wild Duck, Ghosts, Peer Gynt
    • Oscar Wilde. The Importance of Being Earnest
    • George Buchner. Woyzeck
    • August Strindberg. Miss Julie, The Father, A Dream Play, The Ghost Sonata, The Dance of Death
  • Poems
    • William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Lyrical Ballads
    • Wordsworth. The Prelude
    • George Gordon, Lord Byron. Don Juan, other poems
    • John Keats. Poems
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley. Poems
    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Poems
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Poems
    • Robert Browning. Poems
    • Emily Bronte. Poems
    • Walt Whitman. Poems
    • Charles Baudelaire. Flowers of Evil
    • Christina Rossetti. Poems
    • Emily Dickinson. Poems
    • Thomas Hardy. Poems
    • Gerard Manley Hopkins. Poems
  • Novels and stories
    • Sir Walter Scott. Kenilworth, Old Mortality, Waverley
    • Jane Austen. Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility
    • Stendahl. The Charterhouse of Parma, The Red and the Black
    • The Brothers Grimm. Fairy Tales
    • James Fenimore Cooper. The Prairie
    • Mary Shelley. Frankenstein
    • Alexander Pushkin. Eugene Onegin, stories
    • Honoré de Balzac. Eugénie Grandet, Père Goriot, Cousin Bette
    • Victor Hugo. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Misérables
    • Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter, The Marble Faun, stories
    • Nikolai Gogol. Dead Souls
    • Elizabeth Gaskell. Cranford, North and South, Wives and Daughters
    • William Makepeace Thackeray. Vanity Fair
    • Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
    • Charles Dickens. David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities
    • Anthony Trollope. Novels
    • Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre, Villette
    • Emily Bronte. Wuthering Heights
    • Ivan Turgenev. Fathers and Sons, “First Love”
    • George Eliot. Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss
    • Herman Melville. Moby Dick, The Piazza Tales, Billy Budd
    • Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, Notes from Underground
    • Gustave Flaubert. Madame Bovary
    • Leo Tolstoy. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, “The Death of Ivan Ilych“
    • Thomas Hardy. The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure
    • Emile Zola. Germinal, Therèse Raquin, Nana
    • Henry James. The Portrait of a Lady, The American, The Wings of the Dove, “The Turn of the Screw”
    • Guy de Maupassant. Stories
  • Prose Works
    • Charles Lamb. Essays
    • William Hazlitt. Essays
    • John Keats. Letters
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson. Essays
    • Henry David Thoreau. Walden
    • Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
  • Poems
  • TWENTIETH CENTURY

    • Plays
      • George Bernard Shaw. Major Barbara, Man and Superman, Pygmalion, Saint Joan
      • Anton Chekhov. The Cherry Orchard, The Three Sisters, The Seagull
      • William Butler Yeats. Purgatory, The Cuchulain Cycle
      • J. M. Synge. The Playboy of the Western World, Riders to the Sea
      • Sean O’Casey. Juno and the Paycock, The Plough and the Stars
      • Eugene O’Neill. Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh
      • Bertolt Brecht. The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage, The Threepenny Opera
      • Federico García Lorca. Blood Wedding, The House of Bernarda Alba
      • Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot, Endgame
      • Eugene Ionesco. The Bald Soprano, Rhinoceros
      • Tennessee Williams. A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie
      • Arthur Miller. Death of a Salesman
    • Poems. “There are many fine modern poets. Some of them are listed here in no particular order.”
      • A.E. Housman
      • H. D. (Hilda Doolittle)
      • Countee Cullen
      • William Butler Yeats
      • Anthony Hecht
      • T. S. Eliot
      • Philip Larkin
      • Robert Frost
      • Richard Wilbur
      • Wallace Stevens
      • Langston Hughes
      • Robert Lowell
      • Osip Mandelstam
      • Elizabeth Bishop
      • Seamus Heaney
      • Dylan Thomas
      • Rita Dove
      • Sylvia Plath
      • Marianne Moore
      • Rainer Maria Rilke
      • Paul Celan
      • W. H. Auden
      • Constantine Cavafy
      • Anna Akhmatova
      • Hart Crane
      • Wilfred Owen
      • William Carlos Williams
      • Theodore Roethke
      • Allen Ginsberg
      • Robert Hayden
      • Edna St. Vincent Millay
      • Eugenio Montale
      • Adrienne Rich
      • Gwendolyn Brooks
    • Novels and short stories
      • Samuel Butler. The Way of All Flesh
      • Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Victory
      • Anton Chekhov. Stories
      • Edith Wharton. The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth
      • Rudyard Kipling. Kim
      • Andre Gide. The Counterfeiters
      • Theodore Dreiser. An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie
      • Willa Cather. My Ántonia, The Professor’s House
      • Marcel Proust. Swann’s Way (the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past)
      • Thomas Mann. Death in Venice, The Confessions of Felix Krull, Buddenbrooks
      • E. M. Forster. A Passage to India, Howards End
      • James Joyce. Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses
      • Virginia Woolf. Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse
      • Franz Kafka. The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle, stories
      • D. H. Lawrence. Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, stories
      • Junichiro Tanizaki. The Makioka Sisters
      • Isaac Babel. Red Cavalry (stories)
      • S. Y. Agnon. Twenty-One Stories
      • F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby
      • William Faulkner. The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, stories
      • Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises, stories
      • Vladimir Nabokov. Lolita
      • Jorge Luis Borges. Ficciones
      • Ignazio Silone. Bread and Wine
      • Samuel Beckett. Molloy
      • Henry Roth. Call it Sleep
      • Richard Wright. Native Son
      • Ralph Ellison. Invisible Man
      • Alexander Solzhenitsyn. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch
      • James Baldwin. Go tell it on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, stories
      • Flannery O’Connor. Collected Stories
      • Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart
      • Gabriel García Marquez. One Hundred Years of Solitude
      • Toni Morrison. Song of Solomon, Beloved
    • Other prose works
      • Sigmund Freud. The Interpretation of Dreams
      • Booker T. Washington. Up from Slavery
      • Maxim Gorky. My Childhood
      • W. E. B. Du Bois. The Souls of Black Folk
      • Lytton Strachey. Eminent Victorians
      • Virginia Woolf. The Common Reader, A Room of One’s Own, “A Sketch of the Past”
      • F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Crack-Up
      • Robert Graves. Goodbye to All That
      • Isak Dinesen. Out of Africa
      • George Orwell. Essays
      • Richard Wright. Black Boy
      • Primo Levi. Survival in Auschwitz
      • James Baldwin. Notes of a Native Son, The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948–1985
      • E. B. White. Essays
      • William Strunk and E. B. White. The Elements of Style
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    2 responses to “reading list: the classics

    1. Pingback: reading list: contemporary « news from the flip front

    2. Pingback: who’s reading who? 75 Books « news from the flip front

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