Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Better Reading List

Many of you, myself included, observed that the reading list put out by the BBC was lacking in depth. I, too, noticed this. Mostly, it seemed they had left out Classical literature (Classical, not be confused with Classic) and the list seemed to have several juvenile classics, which although they may provide good reading for children, it seems strange to see them on a supposed 'well read' persons list.

I am putting forth another list here which I think covers most of what the BBC list left out. I imagine that not many have read all of these. This is a compilation of several classical literature reading lists. I have read quite a few but not all, and I do hope to read them all eventually.

Classical reading List

The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Bible
The Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer
Aesop's Fables .
The Oresteia by Aeschylus
Euripidies, especially The Bacchae, Electra and Medea
The Theban Plays of Sophocles:
Oedipus the King/Oedipus at Colonus/Antigone

Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Plato's Republic and Other Works .
The Aeneid by Virgil
. Horace's Poetry
Ovid's Metamorphoses

Medieval Reading List

Beowulf
The Dream of the Rood
The Song of Roland

Chretien de Troyes's Arthurian Romances

The Romance of the Rose

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

William Langland's Piers Plowman
Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy
Boccaccio's Decameron

Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde

Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur


Renaissance Reading List

Thomas More's Utopia
Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel
Shakespeare's Collected Works, esp. Hamlet
Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen
Cervantes' Don Quixote

Milton's Paradise Lost


17th and 18th Centuries Reading List



Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

Marlowe's Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
Jonson's The Alchemist
Bacon's New Atlantis
Cavendish's The Blazing World
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress
Behn's Oroonoko

Swift's Gulliver's Travels
Stern's Tristram Shandy
Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho
Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther

I think this list is much better, although there is quite a lot of good history that should be read as well. So what do you think?

7 comments:

John_n_Tascha_Piatt said...

I cannot say that I have read a very good % of these titles, (outside of excerpts in Lit class) but it seems like a much better list than the other one!! Thanks, I plan to print this out and put it in my "to read" to-do list!

Findalis said...

I would add the Koran on that list too. If only to know your enemy better.

A good listing. I have read most of these too.

Now someone tell me why my generation is better read than todays? Why is it that we have read most of the classical literature and our children have not? Why is it that I had to hand many of these books to my girls so they would get an understanding of what good literature is.

Oh another author that should be on any list is James Joyce. He was required reading for me in High School. So was Pearl S. Buck.

commoncents said...

Great post - keep up the excellent work!

Steve
COMMON CENTS
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Now that is a REAL reading list. Of these, I have read:

Classical Reading List

The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Bible
The Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer
Aesop's Fables

Medieval Reading List

Beowulf
Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy
Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

Renaissance Reading List

Cervantes' Don Quixote
Milton's Paradise Lost

17th and 18th Centuries Reading List

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe
Marlowe's Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
Swift's Gulliver's Travels

FJ said...

Much better... :-)

Jungle Mom said...

FJ, that's a great site you linked to! Thanks for sharing!

Kathy said...

Well, I've only read a few of these, so I guess I'd better get busy! :) It's hard to put down the books I like to read though....