Inspired by this post, in which I lament how Dan Simmons has informed me (not personally, I should add) that I “have not read widely enough or well enough to consider becoming a writer” simply because I haven’t read A Fairwell To Arms (no matter how many other works of great or classic literature I may have read in my lifetime), and also inspired by the “what do you claim to have read” thread, I hereby ask:
What books haven’t you read that you feel you really ought to have read?
There was a great article about this in a newspaper a couple of years ago in which authors and literary critics such as David Lodge listed books they were ashamed to say that they had not read. In fact, David Lodge seems to have made a game of it, called “Humiliations”, in one of his novels.
So, I shall begin:
No Hemingway novels (I’ve read many of his short stories, just none of his longer works - tried The Sun Also Rises and it was just too robust and macho for my taste, sorry!)
War and Peace (even though I love Anna Karenina…)
Very little Dickens
No George Eliot
Don Quixote (read about a quarter of it years ago)
No Virginia Woolf
Hmm, I think they’re the main ones I feel I really should have read, though I’m probably missing a few.
Share your shame!
All the best,
P.S. There are some online articles along these lines, such as this one (much of which seems to be disguised showing off, sadly, with the several authors naming works that most readers won’t have heard of in the first place, thus actually showing off their knowledge of rare works rather than lack of intimacy with well-known works)