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Topic: Should we consider the second draft our list?

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Subject: Should we consider the second draft our list?
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Unless someone else suggests a change in the next day or two, I move that we consider the second draft as our Classics Challenge list for 2011. I'd like to start compiling my reading list!

                                                                                                                  Rose

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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It's fine with me. 

I'd like to start compiling too. 

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 249
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Perhaps "contemporary classics" should be allowed. These could include prestigious award-winners (Booker, Pulitzer, National Book Award)...? That would open up the "women"/non-"dead white male" category (which I'd personally like to see as separate categories) a bit more to include, for example, authors like Toni Morrison & Ralph Ellison...which also would facilitate the aim of "seeing the world from alternate points of view" (compared to the traditional canon) -- thank you for articulating that, Diane. On top of MP G's additions to the "female writers" category: Jane Austen, George Eliot, the Bronte sisters, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, and the somewhat lesser-known Elizabeth Gaskell. I am not a Faulkner fan either but am willing to push through one of his novels if that's what everyone ends up agreeing to. Another personal preference: combine short story & play (or add poetry to one of these).

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
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I vote to accept the 2nd draft list as is. We could tinker with it endlessly I guess. I want to start compiling as well.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 249
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Good point! Works for me.

I'd love to hear what people are considering for categories 2, 4, 5 & 7 (author's first; family conflicts; belle epoque; frontier/pioneer/western).

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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About that "Author's First" category---I don't know yet what my personal choice would be for it, but I want to urge a book on those of you who are beginning to compile your programs.  It's Zadie Smith's first novel, entitled White Teeth.   It;'s about the way various ethnic groups who have migrated there from many parts of "the old British Empire" are now living together in North London, commingling, clashing, cooperating, and making the old city into a real "melting pot".  I believe most of you would enjoy this book.  (Zadie Smith herself hails from Jamaica, originally, I think.)

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 2:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I don't want to quibble, Bonnie, but Zadie Smith is so contemporary (as opposed to classic).

Kristin K. offered a lot of suggestions, so I believe I will try a third draft (which I'll post later today).

                                                                                                                    Rose

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I understand, Rose.  You're right, of course----a few years doesn't suffice to see if a book will "stand the test of Time".

But that category of "first book by an author" could prove tricky for some of us.  I hope the more learned readers will guide us with suggestions of titles that qualify for this category.

Cleaning up the garage this afternoon, I discovered two books in my TBR "overflow" out there that I can use in making out my list.   One will be a "sea story" by a 'classic' author, Joseph Conrad (I am readily heeding Prof's (John W.'s) opinion here), and the second will be Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs, for a work by a female writer.   When I found it, I got to wondering about some other 'regional' writers (female), and thinking about literary ladies such as Edna Ferber, Bess Streeter Aldrich, Loula Grace Erdman, Helen Hunt Jackson, and a sizeable group of "Southern belles" . . . .  I liked Show Boat a lot, but I have douibts about its ranking as "literature" of the first order.

I almost think another list should be worked on, gradually, here.  My nomination for what to call it would be, in the words of Miss Jean Brodie (of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark)  "La creme de la creme"----or,  as my grandkids might call it "the GOOD stuff".   



Last Edited on: 11/8/10 6:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/8/2010 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
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I almost think another list should be worked on, gradually, here.

Last year I watched the contemporary fiction forum hoping for a literary fiction challenge, but to no avail. I know you're probably thinking about older works though. 

I loved The Country of the Pointed Firs, although I read it quite a while ago.

Diane

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,512
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I will accept whatever you ladies decide upon, but in my never humble judgment, what is going on with the tinkering is various attempts to include a bunch of stuff that meets no criteria for "classic" other than "I liked it."  I would rate Zadie Smith as the very best young writer working today. In another 20 years, she will be 50 years old. Will she be recognized as a great writer then? I truly hope so, but for that to happen, she will need to write at least ten more first-rate books. Charlotte Perkins Gilmore wrote one brilliant short story. True, she also wrote a large body of feminist non-fiction tracts, but "classic?"  Absurd.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 2:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I love Zadie Smith. However, I consider her work as contemporary. She won't need to write more books to be considered "great," however.

And where, John W., are you reading criteria for "classic" that include "I liked it"? I believe most people contributing to this forum consider classic works to be older writings that have endured.

Now I'd better get busy on that third draft. . .

                                                                                                                      Rose

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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Diane,  I actually have no dog in this fight since, after doing (and completing, I might add) this year's challenge, I am opting out of the new one.  But, you said that you watched the Contemporary Fiction Forum last year for a challenge.  Let me say to you what I said to my friend Rose (obsessed reader) on a totally different venue, initiate one yourself!  Look how much Rose is doing after a little nudge! 

Go for it, Diane.  I'll be checking the Cotemporary Fiction Forum to see if you will!

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Diane, I would love to do a Contemporary Fiction challenge! Please line up some ideas in that forum.

                                                                                                               Rose

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 249
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I'd consider it as well!
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
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initiate one yourself

Well, I would probably consider it except for the fact that I just initiated a Nonfiction Challenge, since I didn't see one of those last year either!  smiley

(It ended up in the Biographies & Memoirs Forum since there is no dedicated nonfiction forum.  It was thought wise to avoid the extremely busy Games Forum where the general reading challenge is kept.)

But I would love to see someone else at least make a post in the Contemporary Fiction Forum to see if anyone else is interested. 

Diane

Subject: contemp lit challenge
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 249
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Done. :-)   (See "Contemporary.")