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The 100 greatest novels of all time
Thread poster: Roomy Naqvy

Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:49
English to Hindi
+ ...
Oct 14, 2003

[This post was written by Gianfranco Manca http://www.proz.com/pro/12340 but posted erroneously elsewhere. ]

From my newspaper website, a list of 100 novels.

If these are not the greatest (very subjective matter) surely most of them are worth reading.
See: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1061037,00.html
with handy links to Amazon, where synopsis and readers' comments are available.

Scanning the titles, I discovered the following:
I've read 28 of them
5 I did not finish,
8 I would like to read again
3 I have read already more than once.

It seems that we need 3 lives to go through the most "essential" reading...

Gianfranco

[Edited at 2003-10-14 18:44]


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Gayle Wallimann  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:19
Member (2001)
French to English
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The link does not work for me Oct 14, 2003

Sorry Roomy, but the link doesn't work for me.

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A.Đapo  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 23:19
Partial member (2007)
English to Serbo-Croat
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sorry but the link does not work Oct 14, 2003

please check it for us.

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Sherey Gould  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
German to English
copy-and-paste the whole link Oct 14, 2003

use copy-and-paste to get the whole link - the highlighted part is only the first half.

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Gabriela Tenenbaum  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 18:19
English to Spanish
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Roomy & Gianfranco: Oct 14, 2003

I agree with most of the items in the list and perhaps would add some more. Do you?

Undoubtedly, scanning at those titles makes me smile and remember how many beautiful moments I've spent reading them...

Hugs,
Gaby.


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Subhamay Ray  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
English to Bengali
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Best novels? Oct 15, 2003

The heading of this list should have been The 100 Greatest Novels of All Times written predominantly in English and only incidentally in French, Russian, Spanish and Italian. Never mind the other languages of the world!

Please let me quote from a man who figures in this list: " An unpleasant and unpatriotic truth has here to be faced. No English novelist is as great as Tolstoy—that is to say, has given so complete a picture of man's life, both on its domestic and heroic side. No English novelist has explored man's soul as deeply as Dostoyevsky. And no novelist anywhere has analysed the modern consciousness as successfully as Marcel Proust. Before these triumphs we must pause. English poetry fears no one – excels in quality as well as quantity. But English fiction is less triumphant: it does not contain the best stuff yet written, and if we deny this we become guilty of provincialism." (Aspects of the Novel; E.M. Forster; Penguin Books; 1982 reprint; p. 26)


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:19
English to Polish
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Take 100 human beings and they will provide 101 "best of" lists Oct 15, 2003

The Observer makes some observations at the bottom of the list, but here are some quickie calculations:

On the list

77 books were written in English
84 were written by men

If someone has 5 minutes to spare, they can count how many were written in the 20th century, how many are American and how many British etc. etc.

Then again, this is a list of _novels_, so Shakespeare and a bunch of antique guys obviously doesn't make the list...

And then yet again - nothing like a subjective list to get a discussion going.

How many have I read? Well, at least most of them are on my shelves!


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:19
Member (2001)
English to Italian
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It's a list of the 100 best loved books in Britain Oct 15, 2003

Subhamay Ray wrote:
The heading of this list should have been The 100 Greatest Novels of All Times written predominantly in English and only incidentally in French, Russian, Spanish and Italian. Never mind the other languages of the world!


It's a list of the 100 best, or some of the 100 best loved books "in Britain".
No wonder is predominantly about English speaking authors.
Anyway, it is not a scientific and rigorous research, it is probably a feature by a journalist, but I found it interesting to see how many of these books I had read (or attempted to read) and to explore new territories, perhaps inspired by some of the books mentioned there.

There is no need to say that every keen reader has got different opinions based on personal taste, culture and, of course, on the inevitable lack of time...

Gianfranco



[Edited at 2003-10-15 16:49]


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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:19
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
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I agree with you completely.... Oct 15, 2003

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

Subhamay Ray wrote:
The heading of this list should have been The 100 Greatest Novels of All Times written predominantly in English and only incidentally in French, Russian, Spanish and Italian. Never mind the other languages of the world!


It's a list of the 100 best, or some of the 100 best loved books "in Britain".
No wonder is predominantly about English speaking authors.
Anyway, it is not a scientific rigorous research, it is probably a personal research by a journalist, but I found it interesting to see how many of these book I had read (or attempted to read) and probably to explore new territories, perhaps inspired by some of the books mentioned there.

There is no need to say that every keen reader has got different opinions based on personal taste, culture and, of course, on the inevitable lack of time...

Gianfranco



....the list is subjective and not all Brits would agree with it, however, the Observer did invite readers to share their opinions, especially if they do disagree, and there should be a link on the page that takes you to where you can air your views/read those of others!
But it's fair enough to say that the list is a great talking (and) point (to reflect on) all the same

Aisha


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danya
Local time: 00:19
English to Russian
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non-pc remarks Oct 15, 2003

OK, if the list is compiled by Englishmen and for Englishmen, why, change the title!
call it a "Handbook on John Bull's favourite books" or something.
But it (the title) reads as "the 100 greatest novels of all time"!!
though i should say that journalists all over the world are alike: they make up for their lack of knowledge with loud words


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:19
Member (2001)
English to Italian
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Let's add our choices Oct 15, 2003

danya wrote:
OK, if the list is compiled by Englishmen and for Englishmen, why, change the title!
call it a "Handbook on John Bull's favourite books" or something.
But it (the title) reads as "the 100 greatest novels of all time"!!
though i should say that journalists all over the world are alike: they make up for their lack of knowledge with loud words


Dear all,
the title of this thread reflected the original article on the newspaper.
I didn't expect to cause such a clamour about it.

By the way, as somebody said already, the article and the titles listed are not arrogant or imposing anything to anyone. Read the article and see...

I would like to attempt converting this discussion from criticism towards the journalist into an enriching exchange of experiences, where everybody can add whatever, in his opinion, is missing.


Gianfranco


[Edited at 2003-10-15 16:49]


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:49
English to Hindi
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TOPIC STARTER
I agree with Gianfranco Oct 15, 2003

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

I would like to attempt converting this discussion from criticism towards the journalist into an enriching exchange of experiences, where everybody can add whatever, in his opinion, is missing.


Gianfranco


I agree fully with Gianfranco. And there's no need to state that journalists etc are arrogant. But well, if we do not agree with the list, we can always suggest and/or add up names. I, for one, was looking for Miguel Angel Asturias's The President, which was not there.


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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:19
Member
English
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Battle of the Books Oct 16, 2003

Hi all,

for those of you who didn't know. This article is related to a great BBC programme currently on our Goggle Boxes called "The Battle of the Books" - Viewers and celebrities nominated their favourite books and the list got whittled down to these 100. Then, in a trial like atmosphere, these books get argued over in passionate public debate (two by two) in a televised show.

I've seens a few of them and they are fun.

"Catcher in the Rye" versus "On the Road" etc. The panel who choose the "winner" are a group of Univeristy Students who HAVEN'T yet read the books under discussion and have to decide from the speel of those advocating each book whether they would read it on the strength of the advocates' recommendation.

It is all harmless fun and another well intentioned attempt to encourage people to read - something we translators should applaud - eh?

So, don't take this as some great chauvinistic venture - it was meant to link to the programme - so taking it out of context is a bit mean.

BTW - in case you aren't aware - for those of you in Europe there is a real treat now available on your satellite dishes - The BBC has gone "Free to Air" - that means all of their broadcasts are now sent unscrambled via satelite (Astra 2 28º East) - You still need a "digi box" - but I got mine for 112 Euros. CBEEBIES (Kids Channel) has done wonders for my daughter's English!

You also get all the BBC Radio stations too!

Write me privately for more details,

Cheers,

Berni


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Abdul Mukhid  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:19
English to Indonesian
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The right link Oct 16, 2003

Gayle Wallimann wrote:

Sorry Roomy, but the link doesn't work for me.


For those who didn't get the link. Here is the right one: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1061037,00.html


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danya
Local time: 00:19
English to Russian
+ ...
one more title Oct 16, 2003

one more title flagrantly missing (may i put it like this?) - Bulgakov's "Master and Margarita"

those who have read it will agree, i guess, and those who have not are strongly advised to find and read it


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