Johnan B. Peterson — 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos — Videos

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Absolutely

Jordan Peterson LIVE: 12 Rules for Life – An Antidote to Chaos

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A Critique of Jordan B. Peterson

ALEXANDER BLUM

Far from being a darling of the alt-right or secretly promoting fiendish racist ideology, the largest contradiction in Jordan B. Peterson’s sprawling intellectual enterprise is simply the notion that capitalist classical liberalism is the only game we can successfully play on Earth, even as it contradicts the depths of Christian symbols.

Now, this is not intended to be a hit-piece on Dr. Peterson. I have listened to him since the fall of 2016, and he has radically shaped the way I view the world. He is one of the only people on the North American continent I would consider to be a true intellectual. But in the dregs of hero worship, it is too tempting to simply nod along with all that he says. Why wouldn’t I? He is far older, far wiser. But he is also in the archetypal position of ‘dead father’. He represents the golden sphere of the knowledge of both the ancient past and an intellectual development amid the dynamics of the Cold War. In order to effectively embody the spirit of the son, who resurrects the archaic tradition and redeems the blindness of his father, I must pry where there are cracks and make known the fact that no human being is infallible. In fact, if we believe that any human being has secured the total truth on any subject, then every successive generation is an unnecessary appendage insofar as they seek to develop that subject. The son who is incapable of surpassing the father signals the death of humankind, the end of evolution. As such, I must now bring rhetorical wounds against a man who is simultaneously master, bulwark and gatekeeper.

I attended a New York City talk delivered by Dr. Peterson, where much of his worldview crystallized. He explained that the Soviet Union and the West were engaged in a spiritual war over which type of ‘game’ is tenable to play. He concluded that the system of Western capitalism, built upon Enlightenment and mythological foundations (we will return to the mythological) was objectively superior to the Marxist rejection of hierarchy and obsession with central planning. Human nature, so it goes, aligns with the liberal capitalist mode of production.

But Dr. Peterson has made one profound oversight. It is precisely this: capitalism and classical liberalism have destroyed myth. The technological revolution, and the transformation of communal, local bonds of people with shared values into rent-seekers, wage-searchers and otherwise atomized, separate individuals united only by the search for profit, has destroyed the original foundations of human wellbeing. Economics has completely seized and determined culture. Peterson’s notion that economic success equates to playing a good game, or otherwise participating in the good, ultimately leads to a world defined by Bezos, Zuckerberg, and Trump.

The dominance hierarchy is a point of massive spiritual contention. How can the dominance hierarchies of the West be competent when at the very point of Peterson’s peak fame, they are occupied by Trump, a sophist, a marketer, a chronic liar with no internal life, no self-reflection, who will hand over all his wealth to unremarkable, unspecial, mediocre children? The Trump children earned nothing but by virtue of birth, and yet they are in possession of the keys to the world in ways ordinary lowborn people will never experience. How is this not a fundamental, fatal corruption of hierarchy, existing at the pinnacle of the world’s power? Peterson avoids speaking about Trump for this reason: it would force him to admit that liberal capitalism dissolves, finally, into a kind of madness. Decrying left-right polarization, Peterson upholds a center: that center is capitalist realism. The theorist Mark Fisher wrote a whole book about ‘Capitalist Realism’, the notion that social contract capitalism is the final system of economic-political life, and that’s simply that. Except Fisher rejected it, because capitalism destroys community, tradition and culture. It monetizes all these things and produces economically workshopped monoculture. Is it truly heroic to live in a circle for all of existence, the economization of perpetual Star Wars films serving as the only permanent narrative link between us? That is what Nietzsche’s ‘time is a flat circle’ meant – and it is a kind of hell. A world defined by those who purchased it two generations ago is no treading ground for heroes. Of that, I am certain.

Jordan Peterson lives doing what he loves. He makes a fortune off of Patreon and his new book. There is nothing wrong with that – he played the right game. He lived a life of the mind and was paid for it. The upcoming generation will not know what that feels like. University tenure is a non-starter. Being paid to write means working full-time in retail or food service, and not just throughout one’s 20s. Perhaps for one’s entire life. Monetizing a life of the mind is extremely rare. At Peterson’s lecture, I was surrounded by intensely bright, thoughtful young people, mostly young men. But how many of them will get to live a satisfying life of the mind? How many will instead work in offices, and ultimately aspire toward a more fulfilling life than the conditions of an impersonal network of capital that we are supposed to believe is in any way mythically inspired? I suspect that a new generation of Cains will arise out of the low-wage workers who thought they were promised something better.

When we reach the Biblical stories, we reach deeper problems. Equating Earthly success to playing the right game and achieving the good is, in essence, no better than Oprah’s prosperity gospel. People succeed off of bad ideas all the time. Worse, there are bad ideas we don’t even understand are bad, and are structurally incapable of facing. Here’s one: Professor Peterson gave the example of a person buying land, building a factory, and employing others as a total net good. But what if the factory creates irresolvable climate change over the course of 250+ years and sabotages future generations? What if the factory multiplies and creates a monoculture, stifling all new voices and claiming the globe, as Amazon and Google seek to do? When James Damore was fired by Google, Dr. Peterson was rightfully upset. But this is the consequence of prioritizing economics above culture and spirit – economic entities can slaughter free expression. That is entirely left out of a capitalist’s worldview. In fact, by merely writing controversial material, one can be rightfully denied a job by property owners. Fans of Peterson know as well as I do the deep taboos that linger in science. The subject of IQ alone will ruin lives – if intelligence is the predicate of a good life, and only a minority of us will have high IQs, what is to become of the bulk of us? Well, we will merely be followers, members of a herd. That, again, is no hero’s journey.

I always feel put-off by audiences. I felt frankly alienated, when Dr. Peterson said that rule-breaking, criminal children, if not addressed by the ages of 3 or 4, will be rule-breakers for their entire lives and ultimately end up in jail. Peterson’s words didn’t disgust me, but rather, the audience’s reaction did – it was laughter. We are talking about the doom and mass incarceration of millions of lives. We are talking about fate inscribed in biology – and the audience finds pause to laugh it off as just ‘unruly children are funny’? Perhaps they’re not taking this seriously. Perhaps the depths of this problem aren’t fully understood.

Peterson simultaneously argues for self-improvement in the game of atomized profit-seeking, but also that one’s genes largely determine intelligence and the qualities of success, i.e., disagreeableness, conscientiousness, and so on. Monetizing one’s creativity is largely an expression of personality – intelligence plus conscientiousness, with disagreeableness tossed in to ensure you keep coming out on top of negotiations. If you are born without that cocktail, you must work against your own brain where others have a smooth ride. The same is ultimately true in relation to identity. You can tell black people to pull up their bootstraps all you want – but ultimately, if you don’t understand that black people today bear the culture and last names of their former slave owners, and according to certain insane IQ studies, have a lower IQ on average than whites (a claim that debunks meritocracy and individualism in one swoop), you must prepare for the consequences. You must prepare for moral rebellion. What would you do in their situation? Every anxiety compounded by identity-wounds? It would be a hell that young white men do not face. And imagine being transgender and dealing with the world! Peterson is right to say that you must face the world, no matter what – but also wrong to defend the free market and suggest that pulling up your bootstraps is the only mode of life in which responsibility may properly manifest in individuals. The conservative desire for a totally brutal, independent society for ordinary citizens, while enabling state subsidies and legal tax evasion schemes (Apple pays no taxes) for the wealthy, is an infuriating double standard upheld by centrist capitalism.

In a Quora question from years ago, the Professor once argued against universal health care, saying that it is wrong to ‘force’ the hands of doctors, the same line of argument used by Ben Shapiro. I will never understand this in any sense. If you are paid, you have to do work, whether it’s a private or public hospital. Either way, declining work means getting fired. There is no real distinction in ‘forced’ labor here. Of what use are our myths if we share no common community worth funding, for those who would otherwise be bankrupted by their bills? If you say churches or local organizations should provide these services, then see to it that megachurches provide anything at all from their coffers. I guarantee you these ‘Christians’ will cling to their purse strings.

On the topic of transgender people, I split in certain ways with Peterson. As I understand it, he is only opposed to the legal requirement to adhere to proper pronouns, which I understand. I reject state authority as well. But what is the transgender individual, at a deeper level? At its core, it is an attempt to break free from the constraints of biology and achieve ‘one’ where previously there were two. This is a good thing. I see much hope in the transgender movement. And it is mythologically driven.

For all that Peterson speaks of the Bible, so far, he leaves out one vital figure, perhaps the most vital figure: Sophia. In Carl Jung’s Answer to Job, Jung calls Sophia the logos itself. He names Sophia the mediator between humankind and God. Who is Sophia? Wisdom. She is the feminine wisdom exiled from the world, because in Gnostic Christian mythology, she created the world without consent from God, and in doing so, created a false God called the Demiurge, and the serpent and the fall. The redemption of the world is the return of Sophia from exile.

In his epic work of Christian mysticism, Valentin Tomberg wrote that the complete Holy Trinity is not father-son-holy spirit. In fact, it is the Holy Trinity plus mother, daughter and holy soul. The Holy Trinity, according to the greatest master of Catholic mysticism I have ever read, is actually composed of six parts, not three, and it is feminine and masculine in nature. It is intersex, or both sexes, it is fundamentally androgynous. There is so much we do not yet understand about human identity – why must traditionalists cut off all possibility for transformation out of fear alone?

To combine the feminine and the masculine is the goal of all this gender trouble, to make ‘one’ where there is now division. In the Answer to Job, Jung refers to Yahweh, or God himself, as “unconscious”, a monster, a beast of nature. It is only Sophia who is able to create self-reflection through the mediation between Yahweh and Job. it is the feminine out of which the logos is born. If modern feminism is corrupt in spite of this fact, it is because culture itself is corrupt. If the transgender movement is incomplete, it is because it is too political and not enough immersed in the archaic foundations for transforming gender, the mythical synthesis of male and female. But we also have ourselves to blame for removing Sophia entirely from our retellings of the Biblical story – Sophia is the feminine Christ. Without her, there is only cruel and delusional Yahweh, the primal God who shaped the world but who is not fit to run it alone.

But in the Q&A after the talk, Peterson explicitly defined the relationship between male and female as that of Christ and Mary. In other words, Mary raises Christ. The purpose of women is not to become heroes, but to raise them. That is impossible for a truly ambitious woman. If I were born a woman, obsessed with these mystical and philosophical questions, I would resent that statement so deeply I may never recover. Peterson’s philosophy is centered, in this way, upon a male subject. In order to redeem the father, the next generation of mythical thinkers must reorient the woman out of this secondary position. Perhaps that entails changing the very biology of childbirth – with artificial wombs, who knows what will follow. The tranhumanist idea must return Sophia to the world, not be finished at the half-answer of Mary. Valentin Tomberg, interestingly enough, spoke of the Mary-Sophia as the ultimate form of the woman. Both raiser of heroes and the hero herself. That is completeness and perfection. Not this half-answer of women in one corner, men in another, men striving, women bearing children. The reason for the fall and the progress of history is to return to Eden with higher values and more complete myths, not merely to repeat the past. Of that I am certain.

Lastly, the paradoxes of Genesis are not fully appreciated by Peterson’s focus on Western capitalism, property, and contractual profit-seeking life. Ultimately, success in this world is success of the serpent. That much is clear. Satan, and the serpent, are the Gods of this world. And God obeys the serpent! God listens to evil, and bullies Job. God allows evil to run rampant. And this world, crafted in the image of the serpent, is not the place to lay down and hand over one’s lifeblood. Financial success in this nature, this fallen nature, genetic, cyclical birth-death-birth-death nature, is only temporal. Manipulating the mechanisms of fallen nature to secure a wife and get a job are not the full extent of the hero’s journey. The true extent of the hero’s journey is in solving the problem of the fall. It is the return of Christ crucified to heaven. Now, the Marxists have tried to solve this problem, to create paradise and equality on Earth, and they have failed. But I am still committed to the attempt through means other than Marxism.

Finally, Christ himself is the ultimate paradox. I mean, let’s be serious about this. Pontius Pilate and the Romans who crucified Christ were victorious on the dominance hierarchy. Christ was defeated, destroyed. So why, then, is he the maximal expression of the hero in Christian myth? He was crucified by those who did secure wives and careers, and who passed down judgement, and succeed over others. And yet, the man who was destroyed, and not his destroyers, is the ultimate hero. It is because worldly success is not true success. There is a difference. There is absolutely a difference.

My ultimate concern with Peterson’s capitalism is that the modern world has become a place ill-suited for heroes, designed to make us dumb, dull and conformist, and he acknowledges this – he sees the difficulty of the situation, but it is the young, careerless and unmarried who will truly have to figure out a solution. In truth, we will be the ones who face it. The young, those who grew up immersed in the virtual, and the chaotic fragmentation of the decaying liberal order under Donald Trump. That is our inheritance – not the Cold War, not cultural Marxism. Those are both side-shows that make us feel good about our own cultural signaling, while resolving virtually nothing. At the Q&A, two people who asked questions were indicative of madness. One of them opened the question session by asking why Jews have been trying to destroy Russia for two-hundred years. Peterson, wisely, said “I can’t do it”. Touching that question is touching a fine sprinkled dust born of unkempt hair, the aesthetic of the alt-right, But another questioner was taken seriously, though he bothered me immensely. All I could think when he spoke was “Joseph McCarthy”. This kid asked Peterson: “How can we tell the difference between the Marxists trying to destroy Western civilization and the useful idiots?” Some in the crowd cheered. I saw the true nature of that question – authoritarianism. Let’s not be deluded by present culture wars – the right is just as authoritarian as the left, and more successful at implementing its ideas. The original dissident intellectual was the Western leftist. The pendulum will always swing back and forth, and the only way to reject it is to reject the mindset of these damn inquisitors. Yes, I’ve got problems with Western civilization. I live because there are problems to be solved. They are major problems. If the structure is good enough so that nothing major must be changed, then I was born after history ended, and will simply work my way to a cyclical grave. No. I’d rather make a world fit for heroes.

What is a hero? Someone who redeems the blind sight of the past and renews myth by speaking the truth. Well, the truth is that the world of fetishizing Earthly games as a path to goodness and truth is the world that leads to a monoculture dictated by Google, Amazon and Facebook. Individuals unrestrained by mythical truth, modern capitalists, have transformed their ideas into leviathans more massive and powerful than any idea can functionally be. If Jordan Peterson opposes communism, he must also oppose the corporate communism of a world split between a handful of companies that determine the communications, ideas and structure of the world. And that corporate communism is the consequence of believing that classical liberal capitalism is the only way we can possibly live. One entrepreneur, with one idea, one hero – Mark Zuckerberg? No. Something went wrong. He is no Hercules. The myth has degenerated into marketing. It must be made into something more.

 

 

Jordan Peterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jordan Peterson
Peterson Lecture (33522701146).png

Peterson at the University of Toronto, 2017
Born Jordan Bernt Peterson
June 12, 1962 (age 55)
EdmontonAlberta, Canada
Residence TorontoOntario, Canada
Citizenship Canadian
Education Political science (B.A., 1982)
Psychology (B.A., 1984)
Clinical psychology (Ph.D., 1991)
Alma mater
Spouse(s) Tammy Roberts (m. 1989)
Children 2
Website jordanbpeterson.com
Scientific career
Fields Psychology
Institutions
Thesis Potential psychological markers for the predisposition to alcoholism (1991)
Doctoral advisor Robert O. Pihl

Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologistcultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormalsocial, and personality psychology,[1] with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief,[2] and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.[3]

Peterson studied at the University of Alberta and McGill University. He remained at McGill as a post-doctoral fellow from 1991 to 1993 before moving to Harvard University, where he was an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department. In 1998, he moved to the University of Toronto as a full professor.

His first book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief was published in 1999, a work which examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and motivation for genocide.[4][5][6] His second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was released in January 2018.[7][8][9]

In 2016, Peterson released a series of videos on his YouTube channel in which he criticized political correctness and the Canadian government’s Bill C-16. He subsequently received significant media coverage.[7][8][9]

Childhood

Peterson was born on June 12, 1962, and grew up in FairviewAlberta, a small town northwest of his birthplace Edmonton, in Canada. He was the eldest of three children born to Beverley, a librarian at the Fairview campus of Grande Prairie Regional College, and Walter Peterson, a schoolteacher.[10] His middle name is Bernt (/bɛərnt/ BAIRNT), after his Norwegian great-grandfather.[11][12]

When he was 13, he was introduced to the writings of George OrwellAldous HuxleyAleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Ayn Rand by his school librarian Sandy Notley – mother of Rachel Notley, leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party and 17th Premier of Alberta.[13] He also worked for the New Democratic Party (NDP) throughout his teenage years, but grew disenchanted with the party due to what he saw as a preponderance of “the intellectual, tweed-wearing middle-class socialist” who “didn’t like the poor; they just hated the rich”.[10] He left the NDP at age 18.[14]

Education

After graduating from Fairview High School in 1979, Peterson entered the Grande Prairie Regional College to study political science and English literature.[2] He later transferred to the University of Alberta, where he completed his B.A. in 1982.[14] Afterwards, he took a year off to visit Europe. There he developed an interest in the psychological origins of the Cold War, particularly 20th century European totalitarianism,[2][15] and was plagued by apocalyptic nightmares about the escalation of the nuclear arms race. As a result, he became concerned about mankind’s capacity for evil and destruction, and delved into the works of Carl JungFriedrich NietzscheAleksandr Solzhenitsyn,[10] and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.[15] He then returned to the University of Alberta and received a B.A. in psychologyin 1984.[16] In 1985, he moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology under the supervision of Robert O. Pihl in 1991, and remained as a post-doctoral fellow at McGill’s Douglas Hospital until June 1993, working with Pihl and Maurice Dongier.[2][17]

Career

From July 1993 to June 1998,[1] Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggressionarising from drug and alcohol abuse and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals.[14] Two former Ph.D. students, Shelley Carson, a psychologist and teacher from Harvard, and author Gregg Hurwitz recalled that Peterson’s lectures were already highly admired by the students.[8] In July 1998, he returned to Canada and took up a post as a full professor at the University of Toronto.[1][16]

Peterson’s areas of study and research are in the fields of psychopharmacologyabnormalneuroclinicalpersonalitysocialindustrial and organizational,[1] religiousideological,[2] political, and creativity psychology.[3] Peterson has authored or co-authored more than a hundred academic papers.[18] Peterson has over 20 years of clinical practice, seeing 20 people a week, but in 2017, he decided to put the practice on hold because of new projects.[7]

In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on Peterson’s book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario.[10][16][19] He has also appeared on that network on shows such as Big Ideas, and as a frequent guest and essayist on The Agenda with Steve Paikin since 2008.[20][21]

Works

Books

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, in its intrapsychic or internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted, unwittingly, chaos returns. We will do anything – anything – to defend ourselves against that return.

— Jordan Peterson, 1998 (Descensus ad Inferos)[22]

In 1999, Routledge published Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory about how people construct meaningbeliefs and make narratives using ideas from various fields including mythologyreligionliteraturephilosophy and psychology in accordance to the modern scientific understanding of how the brain functions.[14][22][23]

According to Peterson, his main goal was to examine why both individuals and groups participate in social conflict, explore the reasoning and motivation individuals take to support their belief systems (i.e. ideological identification[14]) that eventually results in killing and pathological atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide.[14][22][23] He considers that an “analysis of the world’s religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality”.[23]

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

In January 2018, Penguin Random House published Peterson’s second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The work contains abstract ethical principles about life, in a more accessible style than Maps of Meaning.[7][8][9] To promote the book, Peterson went on a world tour.[24][25][26] As part of the tour, Peterson was interviewed by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News. In a short time the interview received considerable attention and over seven million views on YouTube.[27][28][29] The book was ranked the number one bestselling book on Amazon in the United States and Canada and number four in the United Kingdom.[30][31] It also topped bestselling lists in Canada, US and the United Kingdom.[32][33]

YouTube channel and podcasts

In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures (“Personality and Its Transformations”, “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief”[34]) and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 800,000 subscribers and his videos have received more than 35 million views as of January 2018.[35] In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto. He used funds received via the crowd-sourced funding website Patreon after he became embroiled in the Bill C-16 controversy in September 2016. His funding through Patreon has increased from $1,000 per month in August 2016 to $14,000 by January 2017 to more than $50,000 by July 2017.[13][35][36]

Peterson has appeared on The Joe Rogan ExperienceThe Gavin McInnes ShowSteven Crowder‘s Louder with CrowderDave Rubin‘s The Rubin ReportStefan Molyneux‘s Freedomain Radioh3h3Productions‘s H3 PodcastSam Harris‘s Waking Up podcast, Gad Saad‘s The Saad Truth series and other online shows.[37] In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has 39 episodes as of February 20, 2018, including academic guests such as Camille PagliaMartin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker,[38] while on his channel he has also interviewed Stephen HicksRichard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others. Peterson supported engineer James Damore in his action against Google.[9]

In May 2017, Peterson began The Psychological Significance of the Biblical stories,[39] a series of live theatre lectures, also published as podcasts, in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Genesis as patterns of behavior vital for personal, social and cultural stability.[9][40]

Self Authoring Suite

Peterson and his colleagues Robert O. Pihl, Daniel Higgins, and Michaela Schippers[41] produced a writing therapy program with series of online writing exercises, titled the Self Authoring Suite.[42] It includes the Past Authoring Program, a guided autobiography; two Present Authoring Programs, which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program, which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.[43][44] The Self Authoring Programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. Pennebaker demonstrated that writing about traumatic or uncertain events and situations improved mental and physical health, while Latham demonstrated that personal planning exercises help make people more productive.[44] According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.[10]

Critiques of political correctness

Peterson’s critiques of political correctness range over issues such as postmodernismpostmodern feminismwhite privilegecultural appropriation, and environmentalism.[37][45][46] Writing in the National Post, Chris Selley said Peterson’s opponents had “underestimated the fury being inspired by modern preoccupations like white privilege and cultural appropriation, and by the marginalization, shouting down or outright cancellation of other viewpoints in polite society’s institutions”,[47] while in The SpectatorTim Lottstated Peterson became “an outspoken critic of mainstream academia”.[15] Peterson’s social media presence has magnified the impact of these views; Simona Chiose of The Globe and Mail noted: “few University of Toronto professors in the humanities and social sciences have enjoyed the global name recognition Prof. Peterson has won”.[48]

According to his study – conducted with one of his students, Christine Brophy – of the relationship between political belief and personality, political correctness exists in two types: PC-Egalitarianism and PC-Authoritarianism, which is a manifestation of “offense sensitivity”.[49] The first type is represented by a group of classical liberals, while the latter by the group known as “social justice warriors[10] who “weaponize compassion“.[2] The study also found an overlap between PC-authoritarians and right-wing authoritarians.[49]

Peterson considers that the universities should be held as among the most responsible for the wave of political correctness which appeared in North America and Europe.[48] He watched the rise of political correctness on campuses since the early 1990s,[50] and considers that the humanities have become corrupt, less reliant on science, and instead of “intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation”. From his own experience as a university professor, he states that the students who are coming to his classes are uneducated and unaware about the mass exterminations and crimes by Stalinism and Maoism, which were not given the same attention as fascism and Nazism. He also says that “instead of being ennobled or inculcated into the proper culture, the last vestiges of structure are stripped from [the students] by post-modernism and neo-Marxism, which defines everything in terms of relativism and power“.[15][51][52]

Of postmodernism and identity politics

And so since the 1970s, under the guise of postmodernism, we’ve seen the rapid expansion of identity politics throughout the universities, it’s come to dominate all of the humanities – which are dead as far as I can tell – and a huge proportion of the social sciences … We’ve been publicly funding extremely radical, postmodern leftist thinkers who are hellbent on demolishing the fundamental substructure of Western civilization. And that’s no paranoid delusion. That’s their self-admitted goal … Jacques Derrida … most trenchantly formulated the anti-Western philosophy that is being pursued so assiduously by the radical left.

— Peterson, 2017[51]

Peterson believes that postmodern philosophers and sociologists since the 1960s,[45] while typically claiming to reject Marxism and Communism, because they were discredited as economic ideologies as well by the exposure of crimes in the Soviet Union, have actually built upon and extended their core tenets. He states that it is difficult to understand contemporary society without considering the influence of postmodernism which initially spread from France to the United States through the English department at Yale University. He argues that they “started to play a sleight of hand, and instead of pitting the proletariat, the working class, against the bourgeois, they started to pit the oppressed against the oppressor. That opened up the avenue to identifying any number of groups as oppressed and oppressor and to continue the same narrative under a different name … The people who hold this doctrine – this radical, postmodern, communitarian doctrine that makes racial identity or sexual identity or gender identity or some kind of group identity paramount – they’ve got control over most low-to-mid level bureaucratic structures, and many governments as well”.[51][18]

He emphasizes that the state should halt funding to faculties and courses he describes as neo-Marxist, and advises students to avoid disciplines like women’s studiesethnic studies and racial studies, as well other fields of study he believes are “corrupted” by the ideology such as sociologyanthropology and English literature.[53][54] He states that these fields, under the pretense of academic inquiry, propagate unscientific methods, fraudulent peer-review processes for academic journals, publications that garner zero citations,[55] cult-like behaviour,[53] safe-spaces,[56] and radical left-wing political activism for students.[45] Peterson has proposed launching a website which uses AI to identify and showcase the amount of ideologization in specific courses. He announced in November 2017 that he had temporarily postponed the project as “it might add excessively to current polarization”.[57][58]

Peterson has criticized the use of the term “white privilege“, stating that, “being called out on their white privilege, identified with a particular racial group and then made to suffer the consequences of the existence of that racial group and its hypothetical crimes, and that sort of thing has to come to a stop. … [It’s] racist in its extreme”.[45] In response to the 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, he criticized the far right‘s use of identity politics, and said that “the Caucasians shouldn’t revert to being white. It’s a bad idea, it’s a dangerous idea, and it’s coming fast, and I don’t like to see that!” He stated that the notion of group identity is “seriously pathological … reprehensible … genocidal” and “it will bring down our civilization if we pursue it”.[59] He has also been prominent in the debate about cultural appropriation, stating it promotes self-censorship in society and journalism.[60]

Of Bill C-16

On September 27, 2016, Peterson released the first installment of a three-part lecture video series, entitled “Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law”.[13][61] In the video, he stated he would not use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty as part of compelled speech, and announced his objection to the Canadian government‘s Bill C-16, which proposed to add “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to similarly expand the definitions of promoting genocide and publicly inciting hatred in the Criminal Code.[61][62]

He stated that his objection to the bill was based on potential free speech implications if the Criminal Code is amended, as he claimed he could then be prosecuted under provincial human rights laws if he refuses to call a transsexual student or faculty member by the individual’s preferred pronoun.[63] Furthermore, he argued that the new amendments paired with section 46.3 of the Ontario Human Rights Code would make it possible for employers and organizations to be subject to punishment under the code if any employee or associate says anything that can be construed “directly or indirectly” as offensive, “whether intentionally or unintentionally”.[64] Other academics challenged Peterson’s interpretation of C-16,[63] while some scholars such as Robert P. George supported Peterson’s initiative.[13]

The series of videos drew criticism from transgender activists, faculty and labour unions, and critics accused Peterson of “helping to foster a climate for hate to thrive”.[13] Protests erupted on campus, some including violence, and the controversy attracted international media attention.[65][66][67] When asked in September 2016 if he would comply with the request of a student to use a preferred pronoun, Peterson said “it would depend on how they asked me … If I could detect that there was a chip on their shoulder, or that they were [asking me] with political motives, then I would probably say no … If I could have a conversation like the one we’re having now, I could probably meet them on an equal level”.[67] Two months later, the National Post published an op-ed by Peterson in which he elaborated on his opposition to the bill and explained why he publicly made a stand against it:

I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words “zhe” and “zher.” These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.

I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.[68]

In response to the controversy, academic administrators at the University of Toronto sent Peterson two letters of warning, one noting that free speech had to be made in accordance with human rights legislation and the other adding that his refusal to use the preferred personal pronouns of students and faculty upon request could constitute discrimination. Peterson speculated that these warning letters were leading up to formal disciplinary action against him, but in December the university assured him that he would retain his professorship, and in January 2017 he returned to teach his psychology class at the University of Toronto.[13]

In February 2017, Maxime Bernier, candidate for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, stated that he shifted his position on Bill C-16 after meeting with Peterson and discussing it.[69] Peterson’s analysis of the bill was also frequently cited by senators who were opposed to its passage.[70]

In April 2017, Peterson was denied a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for the first time in his career, which he interpreted as retaliation for his statements regarding Bill C-16.[71] A media relations adviser for SSHRC said “[c]ommittees assess only the information contained in the application”.[72] In response, The Rebel Media launched an Indiegogo campaign on Peterson’s behalf.[73] The campaign raised $195,000 by its end on May 6, equivalent to over two years of research funding.[74]

In May 2017, Peterson spoke against Bill C-16 at a Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs hearing. He was one of 24 witnesses who were invited to speak on the bill.[70]

In August 2017, an announced event at Ryerson University titled “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses”, organized by former social worker Sarina Singh with panelists Peterson, Gad Saad, Oren Amitay, and Faith Goldy was shut down because of pressure on the university administration from the group “No Fascists in Our City”.[75] However, another version of the panel (without Goldy) was held on November 11 at Canada Christian College with an audience of 1,500.[76][77]

In November 2017 a teaching assistant (TA) at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) was censured by her professors and WLU’s Manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support for showing a segment of The Agenda, which featured Peterson debating Bill C-16, during a classroom discussion.[78][79][80] The reasons given for the censure included the clip creating a “toxic climate” and being itself in violation of Bill C-16.[81] The case was criticized by several newspaper editorial boards[82][83][84] and national newspaper columnists[85][86][87][88] as an example of the suppression of free speech on university campuses. WLU announced a third-party investigation.[89] After the release of the audio recording of the meeting in which the TA was censured,[90] WLU President Deborah MacLatchy and the TA’s supervising professor Nathan Rambukkana published letters of formal apology.[91][92][93] According to the investigation no students had complained about the lesson, there was no informal concern related to Laurier policy, and according to MacLatchy the meeting “never should have happened at all”.[94][95]

Personal life

Peterson married Tammy Roberts in 1989.[13] They have one daughter and one son.[10][13] He became a grandfather in August 2017.[96]

Politically, Peterson has described himself as a classic British liberal.[97][15] He is a philosophical pragmatist.[40] In a 2017 interview, Peterson identified as a Christian,[98] but in 2018 he did not.[99] He emphasized his conceptualization of Christianity is probably not what it is generally understood, stating that the ethical responsibility of a Christian is to imitate Christ, for him meaning “something like you need to take responsibility for the evil in the world as if you were responsible for it … to understand that you determine the direction of the world, whether it’s toward heaven or hell”.[99] When asked if he believes in God, Peterson responded: “I think the proper response to that is No, but I’m afraid He might exist”.[7] Writing for The SpectatorTim Lott said Peterson draws inspiration from Jung’s philosophy of religion, and holds views similar to the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich. Lott also said Peterson has respect for Taoism, as it views nature as a struggle between order and chaos, and posits that life would be meaningless without this duality.[15]

Bibliography

Books

Journal articles

Top 15 most cited academic papers from Google Scholar and ResearchGate:

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Peterson

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Ray Bradbury — Fahrenheit 451 — Videos

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Ray Bradbury – Story of a Writer

A 25-minute documentary from 1963 about Ray Bradbury – by David L. Wolper

Day at Night: Ray Bradbury

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

A short film for the National Endowment for the arts feature Ray Bradbury as he discusses his life, literary loves and Fahrenheit 451.

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury by Lawrence Bridges

Fahrenheit 451 – Trailer

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Full Movie | Julie Christie Full Movies Online

Top 10 Notes: Fahrenheit 451

Feeling More Alive: Fahrenheit 451’s The Hearth and the Salamander

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Full audiobook)

Ray Bradbury on Writing Persistently

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury joins Dean Nelson of Point Loma Nazarene University for a talk about his craft as part of Point Loma Nazarene University’s Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. Series: “Writer’s Symposium By The Sea” [4/2001] [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Show ID: 5534]

An Evening with Ray Bradbury 2001

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury regales his audience with stories about his life and love of writing in “Telling the Truth,” the keynote address of The Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University. Series: Writer’s Symposium By The Sea [4/2001] [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Show ID: 5533]

Ray Bradbury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the author’s 1975 story collection, see Ray Bradbury (collection).
Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury in 1975

Bradbury in 1975
Born Raymond Douglas Bradbury
August 22, 1920
Waukegan, Illinois, U.S.
Died June 5, 2012 (aged 91)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 1938–2012[1]
Genre Fantasy, social commentary,science fiction, horror fiction,mystery fiction
Notable works
Notable awards American Academy of Arts and Letters (1954); Daytime Emmy Award (1994); National Medal of Arts (2004); Pulitzer Prize(2007)
Spouse Marguerite McClure
(m. 1947–2003; her death)
Children 4 daughters

Signature
Website
www.raybradbury.com

Raymond Douglas “Ray” Bradbury[2] (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an Americanfantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction author. Best known for hisdystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American genre writers. He wrote and consulted on many screenplays and television scripts, includingMoby Dick[3] and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works have been adapted into comic books, television shows, and films.

Early life

Bradbury as a senior in high school, 1938

Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920[4][5] in Waukegan, Illinois,[6] to Esther (née Moberg) Bradbury, a Swedish immigrant, and Leonard Spaulding Bradbury,[7] a power and telephone lineman of English descent.[8] He was given the middle name “Douglas,” after the actor Douglas Fairbanks. Bradbury was related to the American Shakespeare scholar Douglas Spaulding[9] and was descended from Mary Bradbury, who was tried at one of the Salem witch trials in 1692.[10]

Bradbury was surrounded by an extended family during his early childhood and formative years in Waukegan, Illinois. An aunt read him short stories when he was a child.[11] This period provided foundations for both the author and his stories. In Bradbury’s works of fiction, 1920s Waukegan becomes “Green Town,” Illinois.

The Bradbury family lived in Tucson, Arizona, in 1926–27 and 1932–33 as the father pursued employment, each time returning to Waukegan, but eventually settled in Los Angeles in 1934, when Bradbury was 14. The family arrived with only 40 dollars, which paid for rent and food until his father finally found a job making wire at a cable company for $14 a week. This meant that they could stay, however, and Bradbury—who was in love with Hollywood—was ecstatic.

Bradbury attended Los Angeles High School and was active in the drama club. He often roller-skated through Hollywood in hopes of meeting celebrities. Among the creative and talented people Bradbury met this way were special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen and radio star George Burns. (Bradbury’s first pay as a writer was at the age of fourteen, when Burns hired him to write for the Burns and Allen show.[12][13])

Influences

Literature

Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth.[14] He knew as a young boy that he was “going into one of the arts.” In 1931, at the age of eleven, the young Bradbury began writing his own stories. The country was going through the Great Depression, and sometimes Bradbury wrote on butcher paper.

In his youth, he spent much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, reading such authors as H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Allan Poe. At age twelve, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about eighteen. In addition to comics, he loved Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan of the Apes,[15] especially Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series. The Warlord of Marsimpressed him so much that at the age of twelve he wrote his own sequel.[16] The young Bradbury was also a cartoonist and loved to illustrate. He wrote about Tarzan and drew his own Sunday panels. He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, and when the show went off the air every night he would sit and write the entire script from memory.

In Beverly Hills, he often visited the science fiction writer Bob Olsen for mentorship as well as friendship while Bradbury was a teenager. They shared ideas and would keep in contact. In 1936, at a secondhand bookstore in Hollywood, Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society.[17] Thrilled to find there were others with his interests, at the age of sixteen Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave.[18]

When he was seventeen, Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and said he read everything by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A. E. van Vogt, but cited H. G. Wells and Jules Verne as his big science fiction influences. Bradbury identified with Verne, saying, “He believes the human being is in a strange situation in a very strange world, and he believes that we can triumph by behaving morally.” [19] Bradbury admitted that he stopped reading genre books in his twenties and embraced a broad field of literature that included Alexander Pope and poet John Donne.[20] Bradbury had just graduated from high school when he met Robert Heinlein, then 31 years old. Bradbury recalled, “He was well known, and he wrote humanistic science fiction, which influenced me to dare to be human instead of mechanical.”[20]

Hollywood

The family lived about four blocks from the Uptown Theater on Western Avenue in Los Angeles, the flagship theater for MGM and Fox. There, Bradbury learned how to sneak in and watched previews almost every week. He roller-skated there as well as all over town, as he put it “hell-bent on getting autographs from glamorous stars. It was glorious.” Among stars the young Bradbury was thrilled to encounter were Norma Shearer, Laurel and Hardy, and Ronald Colman. Sometimes he would spend all day in front of Paramount Pictures or Columbia Pictures and then skate to the Brown Derby to watch the stars who came and went for meals. He recounted seeing Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, who he would learn made a regular appearance every Friday night, bodyguard in tow.[20]

Bradbury relates the following meeting with Sergei Bondarchuk, director of Soviet epic film series War and Peace, at a Hollywood award ceremony in Bondarchuk’s honor:

They formed a long queue and as Bondarchuk was walking along it he recognized several people: “Oh Mr. Ford, I like your film.” He recognized the director, Greta Garbo, and someone else. I was standing at the very end of the queue and silently watched this. Bondarchuk shouted to me; “Ray Bradbury, is that you?” He rushed up to me, embraced me, dragged me inside, grabbed a bottle ofStolichnaya, sat down at his table where his closest friends were sitting. All the famous Hollywood directors in the queue were bewildered. They stared at me and asked each other “who is this Bradbury?” And, swearing, they left, leaving me alone with Bondarchuk…[21]

Career

Bradbury’s “Undersea Guardians” was the cover story for the December 1944 issue of Amazing Stories

Bradbury’s first published story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, which appeared in the January 1938 number of Forrest J. Ackerman’s fanzineImagination!.[1] In July 1939, Ackerman gave nineteen-year-old Bradbury the money to head to New York for the First World Science Fiction Convention in New York City, and funded Bradbury’s fanzine, titled Futuria Fantasia.[22] Bradbury wrote most of its four issues, each limited to under 100 copies.[citation needed]Between 1940 and 1947, he was a contributor to Rob Wagner‘s film magazine, Script.[23]

Bradbury was free to start a career in writing when, owing to his bad eyesight, he was rejected admission into the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines in 1938.[24] Bradbury was invited by Forrest J. Ackerman[citation needed] to attend the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which at the time met at Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. This was where he met the writers Robert A. Heinlein, Emil Petaja, Fredric Brown, Henry Kuttner, Leigh Brackett, and Jack Williamson.[citation needed]

In 1939, Bradbury joined Laraine Day‘s Wilshire Players Guild where for two years he wrote and acted in several plays. They were, as Bradbury later described, “so incredibly bad” that he gave up playwriting for two decades.[25] Bradbury’s first paid piece, “Pendulum,” written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazineSuper Science Stories in November 1941, for which he earned $15.[26]

Bradbury sold his first story, “The Lake”, for $13.75 at the age of twenty-two.[20] He became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947 by Arkham House, a small press in Sauk City, Wisconsin, owned by writer August Derleth. Reviewing Dark Carnival for the New York Herald Tribune, Will Cuppy proclaimed Bradbury “suitable for general consumption” and predicted that he would become a writer of the caliber of British fantasy author John Collier.[27]

After a rejection notice from the pulp Weird Tales, Bradbury submitted “Homecoming” to Mademoiselle which was spotted by a young editorial assistant named Truman Capote. Capote picked the Bradbury manuscript from a slush pile, which led to its publication. Homecoming won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947.[28]

It was in UCLA‘s Powell Library, in a study room with typewriters for rent, that Bradbury wrote his classic story of a book-burning future, The Fireman, which was about 25,000 words long. It was later published at about 50,000 words under the name Fahrenheit 451, for a total cost of $9.80, due to the library’s typewriter-rental fees of ten cents per half-hour.[29]

A chance encounter in a Los Angeles bookstore with the British expatriate writer Christopher Isherwood gave Bradbury the opportunity to put The Martian Chronicles into the hands of a respected critic. Isherwood’s glowing review[30] followed.

Writing

Bradbury attributed to two incidents his lifelong habit of writing every day. The first of these, occurring when he was three years old, was his mother’s taking him to see Lon Chaney‘s performance in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.[31] The second incident occurred in 1932, when a carnival entertainer, one Mr. Electrico, touched the young man on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, “Live forever!”[32] Bradbury remarked, “I felt that something strange and wonderful had happened to me because of my encounter with Mr. Electrico…[he] gave me a future…I began to write, full-time. I have written every single day of my life since that day 69 years ago.”[32] It was at that age that Bradbury first started to do magic, which was his first great love. If he had not discovered writing, he would have become a magician.[33]

Bradbury claimed a wide variety of influences, and described discussions he might have with his favorite poets and writers Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, and Thomas Wolfe. From Steinbeck, he said he learned “how to write objectively and yet insert all of the insights without too much extra comment.” He studied Eudora Welty for her “remarkable ability to give you atmosphere, character, and motion in a single line.” Bradbury’s favorite writers growing up included Katherine Anne Porter, who wrote about the American South, Edith Wharton, and Jessamyn West.[34]

Bradbury was once described as a “Midwestsurrealist” and is often labeled a science fiction writer, which he described as “the art of the possible.” Bradbury resisted that categorization, however:

First of all, I don’t write science fiction. I’ve only done one science fiction book and that’s Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it’s fantasy. It couldn’t happen, you see? That’s the reason it’s going to be around a long time – because it’s a Greek myth, and myths have staying power.[35]

Bradbury recounted when he came into his own as a writer, the afternoon he wrote a short story about his first encounter with death. When he was a boy, he met a young girl at the beach and she went out into the water and never came back. Years later, as he wrote about it, tears flowed from him. He recognized he had taken the leap from emulating the many writers he admired to connecting with his voice as a writer.[36][37]

When later asked about the lyrical power of his prose, Bradbury replied, “From reading so much poetry every day of my life. My favorite writers have been those who’ve said things well.” He is quoted, “If you’re reluctant to weep, you won’t live a full and complete life.”[38]

In high school, Bradbury was active in both the Poetry Club and the Drama club, continuing plans to become an actor but becoming serious about his writing as his high school years progressed. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he took poetry classes with Snow Longley Housh, and short story writing courses taught by Jeannet Johnson.[39] The teachers recognized his talent and furthered his interest in writing,[40] but he did not attend college. Instead, he sold newspapers at the corner of South Norton Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. In regard to his education, Bradbury said:

Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.[41][42]

He told The Paris Review, “You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do – and they don’t.”[43]

“Green Town”

A reinvention of Waukegan, Green Town is a symbol of safety and home, which is often juxtaposed as a contrasting backdrop to tales of fantasy or menace. It serves as the setting of his semi-autobiographical classics Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Farewell Summer as well as in many of his short stories. In Green Town, Bradbury’s favorite uncle sprouts wings, traveling carnivals conceal supernatural powers, and his grandparents provide room and board to Charles Dickens.[44] Perhaps the most definitive usage of the pseudonym for his hometown, in Summer Morning, Summer Night, a collection of short stories and vignettes exclusively about Green Town, Bradbury returns to the signature locale as a look back at the rapidly disappearing small-town world of the American heartland, which was the foundation of his roots.[45]

Cultural contributions

Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, attracting the attention of critics in this field, but he used his fiction to explore and criticize his culture and society. Bradbury observed, for example, thatFahrenheit 451 touches on the alienation of people by media:

In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap opera cries, sleep walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.[46]

In a 1982 essay he wrote, “People ask me to predict the Future, when all I want to do is prevent it.” This intent had been expressed earlier by other authors,[47] who sometimes attributed it to him.

Bradbury hosted The Ray Bradbury Theater which was based on his short stories. Bradbury was a consultant for the American Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair[48] and the original exhibit housed in Epcot‘sSpaceship Earth geosphere at Walt Disney World.[49][50][51] In the 1980s, Bradbury concentrated on detective fiction.[52]

Bradbury was a strong supporter of public library systems, and helped to raise money to prevent the closure of several in California due to budgetary cuts. He iterated from his past that “libraries raised me”, and shunned colleges and universities, comparing his own lack of funds during the Depression with poor contemporary students.[53] His opinion varied on modern technology. In 1985 Bradbury wrote, “I see nothing but good coming from computers. When they first appeared on the scene, people were saying, ‘Oh my God, I’m so afraid.’ I hate people like that – I call them the neo-Luddites“, and “In a sense [computers] are simply books. Books are all over the place, and computers will be too”.[54] He resisted the conversion of his work into e-books, stating in 2010 “We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now”.[55] When the publishing rights for Fahrenheit 451 came up for renewal in December 2011, Bradbury permitted its publication in electronic form provided that the publisher, Simon & Schuster, allowed the e-book to be digitally downloaded by any library patron. The title remains the only book in the Simon & Schuster catalog where this is possible.[56]

Several comic book writers have adapted Bradbury’s stories. Particularly noted among these were EC Comics‘ line of horror and science-fiction comics. Initially, the writers plagiarized his stories, but a diplomatic letter from Bradbury about it led to the company paying him and negotiating properly licensed adaptations of his work. The comics featuring Bradbury’s stories included Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Crime Suspenstories, Haunt of Fear and others.

Bradbury remained an enthusiastic playwright all his life, leaving a rich theatrical legacy as well as literary. Bradbury headed the Pandemonium Theatre Company in Los Angeles for many years and had a five-year relationship with the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena.[57]

Bradbury is featured prominently in two documentaries related to his classic 1950s-’60s era: Jason V Brock‘s Charles Beaumont: The Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man,[58] which details his troubles with Rod Serling, and his friendships with writers Charles Beaumont, George Clayton Johnson, and most especially his dear friend William F. Nolan, as well as Brock’s The AckerMonster Chronicles!, which delves into the life of former Bradbury agent, close friend, mega-fan, and Famous Monsters of Filmland editor Forrest J Ackerman.

On May 24, 1956, Bradbury appeared on the popular quiz show, You Bet Your Life hosted by Groucho Marx (Season 6 Episode 35).[59]

Personal life

Bradbury in December 2009.

Bradbury was married to Marguerite McClure (January 16, 1922 – November 24, 2003) from 1947 until her death; they had four daughters:[60] Susan, Ramona, Bettina and Alexandra.[61] Though he lived in Los Angeles, Bradbury never obtained a driver’s license but relied on public transportation or his bicycle.[62] He lived at home until he was twenty-seven and married. His wife of fifty-six years, Maggie, as she was affectionately called, was the only woman Bradbury ever dated.[20]

Bradbury was a close friend of Charles Addams, and Addams illustrated the first of Bradbury’s stories about the Elliotts, a family that would resemble Addams’ own Addams Familyplaced in rural Illinois. Bradbury’s first story about them was “Homecoming,” published in the 1946 Halloween issue of Mademoiselle, with Addams illustrations. He and Addams planned a larger collaborative work that would tell the family’s complete history, but it never materialized, and according to a 2001 interview, they went their separate ways.[63] In October 2001, Bradbury published all the Family stories he had written in one book with a connecting narrative, From the Dust Returned, featuring a wraparound Addams cover of the original “Homecoming” illustration.[64]

Another close friend was animator Ray Harryhausen, who was best man at Bradbury’s wedding.[65] During a BAFTA 2010 awards tribute in honor of Ray Harryhausen‘s 90th birthday, Bradbury spoke of his first meeting Harryhausen at Forrest J Ackerman‘s house when they were both 18 years old. Their shared love for science fiction, King Kong, and the King Vidor-directed film The Fountainhead, written by Ayn Rand, was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. These early influences inspired the pair to believe in themselves and affirm their career choices. After their first meeting, they kept in touch at least once a month, in a friendship that spanned over 70 years.[66]

Late in life, Bradbury retained his dedication and passion despite what he described as the “devastation of illnesses and deaths of many good friends.” Among the losses that deeply grieved Bradbury was the death of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who was an intimate friend for many years. They remained close friends for nearly three decades after Roddenberry asked him to write for Star Trek, which Bradbury never did, objecting that he “never had the ability to adapt other people’s ideas into any sensible form.”[20]

Bradbury suffered a stroke in 1999[67] that left him partially dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.[68] Despite this he continued to write, and had even written an essay for The New Yorker, about his inspiration for writing, published only a week prior to his death.[69] Bradbury made regular appearances at science fiction conventions until 2009, when he retired from the circuit.

Ray Bradbury’s headstone in May 2012 prior to his death

Bradbury chose a burial place at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, with a headstone that reads “Author of Fahrenheit 451”.[70][71][72] On February 6, 2015, the New York Times reported that the house that Bradbury lived and wrote in for fifty years of his life, at 10265 Cheviot Drive in Los Angeles, CA, had been demolished.[73]

Death

Bradbury died in Los Angeles, California, on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, after a lengthy illness.[74] Bradbury’s personal library was willed to the Waukegan Public Library, where he had many of his formative reading experiences.[75]

The New York Times‍ ’​ obituary stated that Bradbury was “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.”[76] The Los Angeles Times credited Bradbury with the ability “to write lyrically and evocatively of lands an imagination away, worlds he anchored in the here and now with a sense of visual clarity and small-town familiarity”.[77] Bradbury’s grandson, Danny Karapetian, stated that Bradbury’s works had “influenced so many artists, writers, teachers, scientists, and it’s always really touching and comforting to hear their stories”.[61]The Washington Post hallmarked several modern day technologies that Bradbury had envisioned much earlier in his writing, such as the idea of banking ATMs and earbuds and Bluetooth headsets from Fahrenheit 451, and the concepts of artificial intelligence within I Sing the Body Electric.[78]

On June 6, 2012, in an official public statement from the White House Press Office, President Barack Obama said:

For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury’s death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age. His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values. There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.[79]

Several celebrity fans of Bradbury paid tribute to the author by stating the influence of his works on their own careers and creations.[80][81] Filmmaker Steven Spielberg stated that Bradbury was “[his] muse for the better part of [his] sci-fi career…. On the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal”.[82] Writer Neil Gaiman felt that “the landscape of the world we live in would have been diminished if we had not had him in our world”.[81] Author Stephen King released a statement on his website saying, “Ray Bradbury wrote three great novels and three hundred great stories. One of the latter was called ‘A Sound of Thunder.’ The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant’s footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty.”[83] Bradbury’s influence well exceeded the field of literature. Progressive house music producer and performer, Joel Thomas Zimmerman, who is most commonly known by his stage name Deadmau5, composed a song named after one of Bradbury’s short stories “The Veldt” which was originally published in the Saturday Evening Post.[84] The EP of “The Veldt” was released days after Bradbury’s death and is dedicated to the memory of the author.[85]

Bibliography

Bradbury is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories.[77] More than eight million copies of his works, published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world.[76]

First novel

In 1949, Bradbury and his wife were expecting their first child. He took a Greyhound bus to New York and checked into a room at the YMCA for fifty cents a night. He took his short stories to a dozen publishers and no one wanted them. Just before getting ready to go home, Bradbury had dinner with an editor at Doubleday. When Bradbury recounted that everyone wanted a novel and he didn’t have one, the editor, coincidentally named Walter Bradbury, asked if the short stories might be tied together into a book length collection. The title was the editor’s idea; he suggested, “You could call it “The Martian Chronicles.” Bradbury liked the idea and recalled making notes in 1944 to do a book set on Mars. That evening, he stayed up all night at the YMCA and typed out an outline. He took it to the Doubleday editor the next morning, who read it and wrote Bradbury a check for seven hundred and fifty dollars. When Bradbury returned to Los Angeles, he connected all the short stories and that became The Martian Chronicles.[34]

Intended first novel

What was later issued as a collection of stories and vignettes, Summer Morning, Summer Night, started out to be Bradbury’s first true novel. The core of the work was Bradbury’s witnessing of the American small-town and life in the American heartland.

In the winter of 1955–56, after a consultation with his Doubleday editor, Bradbury deferred publication of a novel based on Green Town, the pseudonym for his hometown. Instead, he extracted seventeen stories and, with three other Green Town tales, bridged them into his 1957 book Dandelion Wine. Later, in 2006, Bradbury published the original novel remaining after the extraction, and retitled it Farewell Summer. These two titles show what stories and episodes Bradbury decided to retain as he created the two books out of one.

The most significant of the remaining unpublished stories, scenes, and fragments were published under the originally intended name for the novel, Summer Morning, Summer Night, in 2007.[86]

Adaptations to other media

Bradbury in 1959, when some of his short stories were adapted for television shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents

From 1951 to 1954, 27 of Bradbury’s stories were adapted by Al Feldstein for EC Comics, and 16 of these were collected in the paperbacks, The Autumn People (1965) andTomorrow Midnight (1966), both published by Ballantine Books with cover illustrations by Frank Frazetta.

Also in the early 1950s, adaptations of Bradbury’s stories were televised in several anthology shows, including Tales of Tomorrow, Lights Out, Out There, Suspense, CBS Television Workshop, Jane Wyman’s Fireside Theatre, Star Tonight, Windows and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. “The Merry-Go-Round,” a half-hour film adaptation of Bradbury’s “The Black Ferris,” praised by Variety, was shown on Starlight Summer Theater in 1954 and NBC’s Sneak Preview in 1956. During that same period, several stories were adapted for radio drama, notably on the science fiction anthologies Dimension X and its successor X Minus One.

Scene from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, based on Bradbury’s The Fog Horn.

Producer William Alland first brought Bradbury to movie theaters in 1953 with It Came from Outer Space, a Harry Essex screenplay developed from Bradbury’s screen treatment “Atomic Monster”. Three weeks later came the release of Eugène Lourié’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), which featured one scene based on Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn“, about a sea monster mistaking the sound of a fog horn for the mating cry of a female. Bradbury’s close friend Ray Harryhausen produced the stop-motion animation of the creature. Bradbury would later return the favor by writing a short story, “Tyrannosaurus Rex”, about a stop-motion animator who strongly resembled Harryhausen. Over the next 50 years, more than 35 features, shorts, and TV movies were based on Bradbury’s stories or screenplays.

Bradbury was hired in 1953 by director John Huston to work on the screenplay for his film version of Melville‘s Moby Dick (1956), which stars Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab, Richard Basehart as Ishmael, and Orson Welles as Father Mapple. A significant result of the film was Bradbury’s book Green Shadows, White Whale, a semi-fictionalized account of the making of the film, including Bradbury’s dealings with Huston and his time in Ireland, where exterior scenes that were set in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were filmed.

Bradbury’s short story I Sing the Body Electric (from the book of the same name) was adapted for the 100th episode of The Twilight Zone. The episode was first aired on May 18, 1962.

In 1965, three of Bradbury’s stories were adapted for the stage. These included “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit”, “The Day It Rained Forever” and “Device Out Of Time”. The latter was adapted from his 1957 novel Dandelion Wine. The plays debuted at the Coronet Theater in Hollywood and featured Booth Coleman, Joby Baker, Fredric Villani, Arnold Lessing, Eddie Sallia, Keith Taylor, Richard Bull, Gene Otis Shane, Henry T. Delgado, F. Murray Abraham, Anne Loos and Len Lesser. The director was Charles Rome Smith and the production company was Pandemonium Productions.

Oskar Werner and Julie Christie starred in Fahrenheit 451 (1966), an adaptation of Bradbury’s novel directed by François Truffaut.

In 1966, Bradbury helped Lynn Garrison create AVIAN, a specialist aviation magazine. For the first issue Bradbury wrote a poem – Planes that land on grass.

In 1969, The Illustrated Man was brought to the big screen, starring Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom and Robert Drivas. Containing the prologue and three short stories from the book, the film received mediocre reviews. The same year, Bradbury approached composer Jerry Goldsmith, who had worked with Bradbury in dramatic radio of the 1950s and later scored the film version of The Illustrated Man, to compose a cantataChristus Apollo based on Bradbury’s text.[87] The work premiered in late 1969, with the California Chamber Symphony performing with narrator Charlton Heston at UCLA.

File:Ray Bradbury at Caltech 12 November 1971.ogv

Ray Bradbury takes part in a symposium at Caltech with Arthur C. Clarke, journalist Walter Sullivan, and scientists Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. In this excerpt, Bradbury reads his poem ‘If Only We Had Taller Been’ (poem begins at 2:20, full text[88]). Video released by NASA in honor of the naming of Bradbury Landing in 2012.[89]

In 1972 The Screaming Woman was adapted as an ABC Movie-of-the-Week starring Olivia de Havilland.

The Martian Chronicles became a three-part TV miniseries starring Rock Hudson which was first broadcast by NBC in 1980. Bradbury found the miniseries “just boring”.[90]

The 1982 television movie, The Electric Grandmother, was based on Bradbury’s short story “I Sing the Body Electric.”

The 1983 horror film Something Wicked This Way Comes, starring Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce, is based on the Bradbury novel of the same name.

In 1984, Michael McDonough of Brigham Young University produced “Bradbury 13,” a series of 13 audio adaptations of famous stories from Bradbury, in conjunction with National Public Radio. The full-cast dramatizations featured adaptations of “The Ravine,” “Night Call, Collect,” “The Veldt“, “There Was an Old Woman,” “Kaleidoscope,” “Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed“, “The Screaming Woman,” “A Sound of Thunder,” “The Man,” “The Wind,” “The Fox and the Forest,” “Here There Be Tygers” and “The Happiness Machine”. Voiceover actor Paul Frees provided narration, while Bradbury himself was responsible for the opening voiceover; Greg Hansen and Roger Hoffman scored the episodes. The series won a Peabody Award as well as two Gold Cindy awards and was released on CD on May 1, 2010. The series began airing on BBC Radio 4 Extra on June 12, 2011.

From 1985 to 1992 Bradbury hosted a syndicated anthology television series, The Ray Bradbury Theater, for which he adapted 65 of his stories. Each episode would begin with a shot of Bradbury in his office, gazing over mementoes of his life, which he states (in narrative) are used to spark ideas for stories. During the first two seasons, Bradbury also provided additional voiceover narration specific to the featured story and appeared on screen.

Deeply respected in the USSR, Bradbury’s fictions has been adapted into five episodes of the Soviet science fiction TV series This Fantastic World which adapted the stories I Sing The Body Electric, Fahrenheit 451, A Piece of Wood, To the Chicago Abyss, and Forever and the Earth.[91] In 1984 a cartoon adaptation of There Will Come Soft Rains («Будет ласковый дождь») came out byUzbek director Nazim Tyuhladziev.[92] He made a film adaptation of The Veldt (“Вельд”) in 1987.[93] In 1989 came out a cartoon adaptation of Here There Be Tygers («Здесь могут водиться тигры») by director Vladimir Samsonov.[94]

Bradbury wrote and narrated the 1993 animated television version of The Halloween Tree, based on his 1972 novel.

The 1998 film The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, released by Touchstone Pictures, was written by Bradbury. It was based on his story “The Magic White Suit” originally published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1957. The story had also previously been adapted as a play, a musical, and a 1958 television version.

In 2002, Bradbury’s own Pandemonium Theatre Company production of Fahrenheit 451 at Burbank’s Falcon Theatre combined live acting with projected digital animation by the Pixel Pups. In 1984, Telarium released a game for Commodore 64 based on Fahrenheit 451.[95] Bradbury and director Charles Rome Smith co-founded Pandemonium in 1964, staging the New York production of The World of Ray Bradbury(1964), adaptations of “The Pedestrian“, “The Veldt”, and “To the Chicago Abyss.”

In 2005, the film A Sound of Thunder was released, loosely based upon the short story of the same name. The film The Butterfly Effect revolves around the same theory as A Sound of Thunder and contains many references to its inspiration. Short film adaptations of A Piece of Wood and The Small Assassin were released in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

In 2005, it was reported that Bradbury was upset with filmmaker Michael Moore for using the title Fahrenheit 9/11, which is an allusion to Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, for his documentary about the George W. Bush administration. Bradbury expressed displeasure with Moore’s use of the title but stated that his resentment was not politically motivated, even though Bradbury was conservative-leaning politically.[96] Bradbury asserted that he did not want any of the money made by the movie, nor did he believe that he deserved it. He pressured Moore to change the name, but to no avail. Moore called Bradbury two weeks before the film’s release to apologize, saying that the film’s marketing had been set in motion a long time ago and it was too late to change the title.[97]

In 2008, the film Ray Bradbury’s Chrysalis was produced by Roger Lay Jr. for Urban Archipelago Films, based upon the short story of the same name. The film won the best feature award at the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival in Phoenix. The film has international distribution by Arsenal Pictures and domestic distribution by Lightning Entertainment.

In 2010, The Martian Chronicles was adapted for radio by Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air.

In 2012, EDM artist deadmau5, along with guest vocalist Chris James, crafted a song called “The Veldt” inspired by Bradbury’s short story of the same title. The lyrics featured various references to the short story.

Bradbury’s works and approach to writing are documented in Terry Sanders‘ film Ray Bradbury: Story of a Writer (1963).

Bradbury’s poem “Groon” was voiced as a tribute in 2012.[98]

Awards and honors

Bradbury receiving the National Medal of Arts in 2004 with PresidentGeorge W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush.

The Ray Bradbury Award for excellency in screenwriting was occasionally presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America – presented to six people on four occasions from 1992 to 2009.[99] Beginning 2010, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation is presented annually according to Nebula Awards rules and procedures, although it is not a Nebula Award.[100] The revamped Bradbury Award replaced the Nebula Award for Best Script.

Documentaries

Bradbury appeared in the documentary The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985) (Produced and directed by Arnold Leibovit).

Citations
  • Anderson, James Arthur (2013). The Illustrated Ray Bradbury. Wildside Press. ISBN 978-1-4794-0007-2.
  • Albright, Donn (1990). Bradbury Bits & Pieces: The Ray Bradbury Bibliography, 1974–88. Starmont House. ISBN 1-55742-151-X.
  • Eller, Jonathan R.; Touponce, William F. (2004). Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction. Kent State University Press. ISBN 0-87338-779-1.
  • Eller, Jonathan R. (2011). Becoming Ray Bradbury. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-03629-8.
  • Nolan, William F. (1975). The Ray Bradbury Companion: A Life and Career History, Photolog, and Comprehensive Checklist of Writings. Gale Research. ISBN 0-8103-0930-0.
  • Paradowski, Robert J.; Rhynes, Martha E. (2001). Ray Bradbury. Salem Press.
  • Reid, Robin Anne (2000). Ray Bradbury: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-30901-9.
  • Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. pp. 61–63. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.
  • Weist, Jerry (2002). Bradbury, an Illustrated Life: A Journey to Far Metaphor. William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0-06-001182-3.
  • Weller, Sam (2005). The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-054581-X.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the novel. For other uses, see Fahrenheit 451 (disambiguation).
Fahrenheit 451
Cover shows a drawing of a man, who appears to be made of newspaper and is engulfed in flames, standing on top of some books. His right arm is down and holding what appears to be a paper fireman's hat while his left arm is wiping sweat from the brow of his bowed head. Beside the title and author's name in large text, there is a small caption in the upper left-hand corner that reads, "Wonderful stories by the author of The Golden Apples of the Sun".

First edition cover
Author Ray Bradbury
Illustrator Joseph Mugnaini[1]
Country United States
Language English
Genre Dystopian novel[2]
Published 1953 (Ballantine Books)
Pages 159
ISBN ISBN 978-0-7432-4722-1 (current cover edition)
OCLC 53101079
813.54 22
LC Class PS3503.R167 F3 2003

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works.[3] The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found.[4] The title refers to the temperature that Bradbury asserted to be the autoignition point of paper[5][6] (In reality, scientists place the autoignition point of paper anywhere from high 440 degrees Fahrenheit to some 30 degrees hotter, depending on the study and type of paper).[7]

The novel has been the subject of interpretations primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. In a 1956 radio interview,[8]Bradbury stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he stated his motivation for writing the book in more general terms.

The novel has won multiple awards. In 1954, it won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal.[9][10][11] It has since won the Prometheus “Hall of Fame” Award in 1984[12] and a 1954 “Retro” Hugo Award, one of only four Best Novel Retro Hugos ever given, in 2004.[13] Bradbury was honored with a Spoken Word Grammy nomination for his 1976 audiobook version.[14]

The novel has been adapted several times. François Truffaut wrote and directed a film adaptation of the novel in 1966, and a BBC Radio dramatization was produced in 1982. Bradbury published a stage play version in 1979[15] and helped develop a 1984 interactive fiction computer game titled Fahrenheit 451. A companion piece titled A Pleasure To Burn, consisting of a selection of Bradbury’s short stories, was released in 2010, less than two years before the author’s death.

Plot summary

Fahrenheit 451 is set in an unspecified city (likely in the American Mid-West) at some unspecified time in the future[notes 1] after the year 1960.[notes 2][16][17]

The novel is divided into three parts: “The Hearth and the Salamander”, “The Sieve and the Sand”, and “Burning Bright”.

“The Hearth and the Salamander”

Guy Montag is a “fireman” hired to burn the possessions of those who read outlawed books. One fall night while returning from work, he meets his new neighbor: a teenage girl named Clarisse McClellan, whose free-thinking ideals and liberating spirit cause him to question his life and his own perceived happiness. Montag returns home to find that his wife Mildred has overdosed on sleeping pills, and calls for medical attention. Mildred survives with no memory of what happened. Over the next days, Clarisse faithfully meets Montag as he walks home. She tells him about how her interests have made her an outcast at school. Montag looks forward to these meetings, and just as he begins to expect them, Clarisse goes absent. He senses something is wrong.[18]

In the following days, while at work with the other firemen ransacking the book-filled house of an old woman before the inevitable burning, Montag steals a book before any of his coworkers notice. The woman refuses to leave her house and her books, choosing instead to light a match and burn herself alive. Montag returns home jarred by the woman’s suicide. While getting ready for bed, he hides the stolen book under his pillow. Still shaken by the night’s events, he attempts to make conversation with Mildred, conversation that only causes him to realize how little he knows her and how little they have in common. Montag asks his wife if she has seen Clarisse recently. Mildred mutters that she believes Clarisse died after getting struck by a speeding car and that her family has moved away. Dismayed by her failure to mention this, Montag uneasily tries to fall asleep. Outside he suspects the presence of “The Hound”, an eight-legged[19] robotic dog-like creature that resides in the firehouse and aids the firemen.

Montag awakens ill the next morning and stays home from work. He relates the story of the burned woman to an apathetic Mildred and mentions perhaps quitting his work. The possibility of becoming destitute over the loss of income provokes a strong reaction from her and she explains that the woman herself is to blame because she had books.

Captain Beatty, Montag’s fire chief, personally visits Montag to see how he is doing. Sensing Montag’s concerns, Beatty recounts how books lost their value and where the firemen fit in: Over the course of several decades, people embraced new media, sports, and a quickening pace of life. Books were ruthlessly abridged or degraded to accommodate a short attention span while minority groups protested over the controversial, outdated content perceived to be found in books. The government took advantage of this and the firemen were soon hired to burn books in the name of public happiness. Beatty adds casually that all firemen eventually steal a book out of curiosity; if the book is burned within 24 hours, the fireman and his family will not get in trouble.

After Beatty has left, Montag reveals to Mildred that over the last year he has accumulated a stash of books that he has kept hidden in their air-conditioning duct. In a panic, Mildred grabs a book and rushes to throw it in their kitchen incinerator; Montag subdues her and tells her that the two of them are going to read the books to see if they have value. If they do not, he promises the books will be burned and all will return to normal.

“The Sieve and the Sand”

While Montag and Mildred are perusing the stolen books, a sniffing occurs at their front door. Montag recognizes it as The Hound while Mildred passes it off as a random dog. They resume their discussion once the sound ceases. Montag laments Mildred’s suicide attempt, the woman who burned herself, and the constant din of bombers flying over their house taking part in a looming war neither he, nor anybody else, knows much about. He states that maybe the books of the past have messages that can save society from its own destruction. The conversation is interrupted by a call from Mildred’s friend Ann Bowles, and they set up a date to watch the “parlor walls” (large televisions lining the walls of her living room) that night at Mildred’s house.

Montag meanwhile concedes that they will need help to understand the books. Montag remembers an old man named Faber he once met in a park a year ago, an English professor before books were banned. He telephones Faber with questions about books and Faber soon hangs up on him. Undeterred, Montag makes a subway trip to Faber’s home along with a rare copy of the Bible, the book he stole at the woman’s house. Montag forces the scared and reluctant Faber into helping him by methodically ripping pages from the Bible. Faber concedes and gives Montag a homemade ear-piece communicator so he can offer constant guidance.

After Montag returns home, Mildred’s friends, Mrs. Bowles and Clara Phelps, arrive to watch the parlor walls. Not interested in the insipid entertainment they are watching, Montag turns off the walls and tries to engage the women in meaningful conversation, only to find them indifferent to all but the most trivial aspects of the upcoming war, friend’s deaths, their families, and politics. Montag leaves momentarily and returns with a book of poetry. This confuses the women and alarms Faber who is listening remotely. He proceeds to recite the poem Dover Beach, causing Mrs. Phelps to cry. At the behest of Faber in the ear-piece, Montag burns the book. Mildred’s friends leave in disgust while Mildred locks herself in the bathroom and takes more sleeping pills.

In the aftermath of the parlor party, Montag hides his books in his backyard before returning to the firehouse late at night with just the stolen Bible. He finds Beatty playing cards with the other firemen. Montag hands him the book, which is unceremoniously tossed into the trash. Beatty tells Montag that he had a dream in which they fought endlessly by quoting books to each other. In describing the dream Beatty reveals that, despite his disillusionment, he was once an enthusiastic reader. A fire alarm sounds and Beatty picks up the address from the dispatcher system. They drive in the firetruck recklessly to the destination. Montag is stunned when the truck arrives at his house.

“Burning Bright”

Beatty orders Montag to destroy his own house, telling him that his wife and her friends were the ones who reported him. Montag tries to talk to Mildred as she quickly leaves the house. Mildred ignores him, gets inside a taxi, and vanishes down the street. Montag obeys the chief, destroying the home piece by piece with a flamethrower. As soon as he has incinerated the house, Beatty discovers Montag’s ear-piece and plans to hunt down Faber. Montag threatens Beatty with the flamethrower and (after Beatty taunts him) burns his boss alive, and knocks his coworkers unconscious. As Montag escapes the scene, the firehouse’s mechanical dog attacks him, managing to inject his leg with a tranquilizer. He destroys it with the flamethrower and limps away.

Montag runs through the city streets towards Faber’s house. Faber urges him to make his way to the countryside and contact the exiled book-lovers who live there. He mentions he will be leaving on an early bus heading to St. Louis and that he and Montag can rendezvous there later. On Faber’s television, they watch news reports of another mechanical hound being released, with news helicopters following it to create a public spectacle. Montag leaves Faber’s house. After an extended manhunt, he escapes by wading into a river and floating downstream.

Montag leaves the river in the countryside, where he meets the exiled drifters, led by a man named Granger. They have each memorized books for an upcoming time when society is ready to rediscover them. While learning the philosophy of the exiles, Montag and the group watch helplessly as bombers fly overhead and attack the city with nuclear weapons, completely annihilating it. While Faber would have left on the early bus, Mildred along with everyone else in the city was surely killed. Montag and the group are injured and dirtied, but manage to survive the shock wave.

In the morning after, Granger teaches Montag and the others about the legendary phoenix and its endless cycle of long life, death in flames, and rebirth. He adds that the phoenix must have some relation to mankind, which constantly repeats its mistakes. Granger emphasizes that man has something the phoenix does not: mankind can remember the mistakes it made from before it destroyed itself, and try to not make them again. Granger then muses that a large factory of mirrors should be built, so that mankind can take a long look at itself. When the meal is over, the band goes back toward the city, to help rebuild society.

Characters

  • Guy Montag is the protagonist and fireman who presents the dystopia through the eyes of a worker loyal to it, a man in conflict about it, and one resolved to be free of it. Through most of the book, Montag lacks knowledge and believes what he hears.
  • Clarisse McClellan walks with Montag on his trips home and is one month short of being a 17-year-old girl.[notes 3][20] She is an unusual sort of person in the bookless, hedonistic society: outgoing, naturally cheerful, unorthodox, and intuitive. She is unpopular among peers and disliked by teachers for asking “why” instead of “how” and focusing on nature rather than on technology. A few days after their first meeting, she disappears without any explanation; Mildred tells Montag (and Captain Beatty confirms) that Clarisse was hit by a speeding car and that her family left following her death. In the afterword of a later edition, Bradbury notes that the film adaptation changed the ending so that Clarisse (who, in the film, is now a 20-year-old school teacher who was fired for being unorthodox) was living with the exiles. Bradbury, far from being displeased by this, was so happy with the new ending that he wrote it into his later stage edition.
  • Mildred “Millie” Montag is Guy Montag’s wife. She is addicted to sleeping pills, absorbed in the shallow dramas played on her “parlor walls” (flat-panel televisions), and indifferent to the oppressive society around her. She is described in the book as “thin as a praying mantis from dieting, and her flesh like white bacon.” Despite her husband’s attempts to break her from the spell society has on her, Mildred continues to be shallow and indifferent. After Montag scares her friends away by reading Dover Beach and unable to live with someone who has been hoarding books, Mildred betrays Montag by reporting him to the firemen and abandoning him.
  • Captain Beatty is Montag’s boss. Once an avid reader, he has come to hate books due to their unpleasant content and contradicting facts and opinions. In a scene written years later by Bradbury for theFahrenheit 451 play, Beatty invites Montag to his house where he shows him walls of books left to molder on their shelves.
  • Stoneman and Black are Montag’s coworkers at the firehouse. They do not have a large impact on the story and function to show the reader the contrast between the firemen who obediently do as they’re told and someone like Montag, who formerly took pride in his job—subsequently realizing how damaging it is to society.
  • Faber is a former English professor. He has spent years regretting that he did not defend books when he saw the moves to ban them. Montag turns to him for guidance, remembering him from a chance meeting in a park some time earlier. Faber at first refuses to help Montag, and later realizes that he is only trying to learn about books, not destroy them. Bradbury notes in his afterword that Faber is part of the name of a German manufacturer of pencils, Faber-Castell.
  • Mrs. Ann Bowles and Mrs. Clara Phelps are Mildred’s friends and representative of the anti-intellectual, hedonistic society presented in the novel. During a social visit to Montag’s house, they brag about ignoring the bad things in their lives and have a cavalier attitude towards the upcoming war, their husbands, their children, and politics. Mrs. Phelps has a husband named Pete who was called in to fight in the upcoming war (and believes that he’ll be back in a week because of how quick the war will be) and thinks having children serves no purpose other than to ruin lives. Mrs. Bowles is a thrice married, single mother. Her first husband divorced her, her second died in a jet accident, and her third committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. She has two children who do not like or even respect her due to her permissive, often negligent and abusive parenting: Mrs. Bowles brags that her kids beat her up and she’s glad that she can hit back. When Montag reads Dover Beach to them, Mrs. Phelps starts crying over how hollow her life is while Mrs. Bowles chastises Montag for reading “silly awful hurting words”.
  • Granger is the leader of a group of wandering intellectual exiles who memorize books in order to preserve their contents.

Historical context

Bradbury’s lifelong passion with books began at an early age. As a frequent visitor to his local libraries in the 1920s and 1930s, he recalls being disappointed because they did not stock popular science fiction novels, like those of H. G. Wells, because, at the time, they were not deemed literary enough. Between this and learning about the destruction of the Library of Alexandria,[21] a great impression was made on the young man about the vulnerability of books to censure and destruction. Later as a teenager, Bradbury was horrified by the Nazi book burnings[22] and later Joseph Stalin‘s campaign of political repression, the “Great Purge“, in which writers and poets, among many others, were arrested and often executed.[23]

After the 1945 conclusion of World War II shortly after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States focused its concern on the Soviet atomic bomb project and the expansion of communism. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)—formed in 1938 to investigate American citizens and organizations suspected of having communist ties—held hearings in 1947 to investigate alleged communist influence in Hollywood movie-making. These hearings resulted in the blacklisting of the so-called “Hollywood Ten“,[24] a group of influential screenwriters and directors. This governmental interference in the affairs of artists and creative types greatly angered Bradbury.[25] Bitter and concerned about the workings of his government, a late 1949 nighttime encounter with an overzealous police officer would inspire Bradbury to write “The Pedestrian“, a short story which would go on to become “The Fireman” and then Fahrenheit 451. The rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy‘s hearings hostile to accused communists starting in 1950, would only deepen Bradbury’s contempt over government overreach.[26][27]

The same year HUAC began investigating Hollywood is often considered the beginning of the Cold War, as in March 1947, the Truman Doctrine was announced. By about 1950, the Cold War was in full swing and the American public’s fear of atomic warfare and communist influence was at a feverish level. The stage was set for Bradbury to write the dramatic nuclear holocaust ending of Fahrenheit 451, exemplifying the type of scenario feared by many Americans of the time.[28]

Bradbury’s early life witnessed the Golden Age of Radio while the transition to the Golden Age of Television began right around the time he started to work on the stories that would eventually lead to Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury saw these forms of media as a threat to the reading of books, indeed as a threat to society, as he believed they could act as a distraction from important affairs. This contempt for mass media and technology would express itself through Mildred and her friends and is an important theme in the book.[29]

Writing and development

Fahrenheit 451 developed out of a series of ideas Bradbury had visited in previously written stories. For many years, he tended to single out “The Pedestrian” in interviews and lectures as sort of a proto-Fahrenheit 451. In the Preface of his 2006 anthology Match to Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451 he states that this is an oversimplification.[30] The full genealogy of Fahrenheit 451 given in Match to Flame is involved. The following covers the most salient aspects.[citation needed]

Between 1947 and 1948,[31] Bradbury wrote the short story “Bright Phoenix” (not published until the May 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction[32][33]) about a librarian who confronts a book-burning “Chief Censor” named Jonathan Barnes. Barnes is a clear foreshadow of the ominous Captain Beatty of Fahrenheit 451.[citation needed]

In late 1949,[34] Bradbury was stopped and questioned by a police officer while walking late one night.[35][36] When asked “What are you doing?”, Bradbury wisecracked, “Putting one foot in front of another.”[35][36]This incident inspired Bradbury to write the 1951 short story “The Pedestrian”.[notes 4][35][36] In “The Pedestrian”, Leonard Mead is harassed and detained by the city’s remotely operated police cruiser (there’s only one) for taking nighttime walks, something that has become extremely rare in this future-based setting: everybody else stays inside and watches television (“viewing screens”). Alone and without an alibi, Mead is taken to the “Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies” for his peculiar habit. Fahrenheit 451 would later echo this theme of an authoritarian society distracted by broadcast media.[citation needed]

Bradbury expanded the book-burning premise of “Bright Phoenix”[37] and the totalitarian future of “The Pedestrian”[38] into “The Fireman”, a novella published in the February 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.[39][40] “The Fireman” was written in the basement of UCLA‘s Powell Library on a typewriter that he rented for a fee of ten cents per half hour.[41] The first draft was 25,000 words long and was completed in nine days.[42]

Urged by a publisher at Ballantine Books to double the length of his story to make a novel, Bradbury returned to the same typing room and expanded his work into Fahrenheit 451, taking just nine days.[41] The completed book was published by Ballantine in 1953.[43]

Supplementary material

Bradbury has supplemented the novel with various front and back matter, including a 1979 coda,[44] a 1982 afterword,[45] a 1993 foreword, and several introductions. In these he provides some commentary on the themes of the novel,[44] thoughts on the movie adaptation, and numerous personal anecdotes related to the writing and development.[citation needed]

Publication history

The first U.S. printing was a paperback version from October 1953 by The Ballantine Publishing Group. Shortly after the paperback, a hardback version was released that included a special edition of 200 signed and numbered copies bound in asbestos.[46][47][48] These were technically collections because the novel was published with two short stories: “The Playground” and “And the Rock Cried Out”, which have been absent in later printings.[1][49] A few months later, the novel was serialized in the March, April, and May 1954 issues of nascent Playboy magazine.[9][50]

Expurgation

Starting in January 1967, Fahrenheit 451 was subject to expurgation by its publisher, Ballantine Books with the release of the “Bal-Hi Edition” aimed at high school students.[51][52] Among the changes made by the publisher were the censorship of the words “hell”, “damn”, and “abortion”; the modification of seventy-five passages; and the changing of two episodes.[52][53] In the one case, a drunk man became a “sick man” while cleaning fluff out of a human navel became “cleaning ears” in the other.[52][54] For a while both the censored and uncensored versions were available concurrently but by 1973 Ballantine was publishing only the censored version.[54][55] This continued until 1979 when it came to Bradbury’s attention:[54][55]

In 1979, one of Bradbury’s friends showed him an expurgated copy. Bradbury demanded that Ballantine Books withdraw that version and replace it with the original, and in 1980 the original version once again became available. In this reinstated work, in the Author’s Afterword, Bradbury relates to the reader that it is not uncommon for a publisher to expurgate an author’s work, but he asserts that he himself will not tolerate the practice of manuscript “mutilation”.

The “Bal-Hi” editions are now referred to by the publisher as the “Revised Bal-Hi” editions.[56]

Non-print publications

An audiobook version read by Bradbury himself was released in 1976 and received a Spoken Word Grammy nomination.[14] Another audiobook was released in 2005 narrated by Christopher Hurt.[57] The e-bookversion was released in December 2011.[58][59]

Reception

In 1954, Galaxy Science Fiction reviewer Groff Conklin placed the novel “among the great works of the imagination written in English in the last decade or more.”[60] The Chicago Sunday Tribunes August Derlethdescribed the book as “a savage and shockingly savage prophetic view of one possible future way of life,” calling it “compelling” and praising Bradbury for his “brilliant imagination”.[61] Over half a century later, Sam Weller wrote, “upon its publication, Fahrenheit 451 was hailed as a visionary work of social commentary.”[62] Today, Fahrenheit 451 is still viewed as an important cautionary tale against conformity and book burning.[63]

When the book was first published there were those who did not find merit in the tale. Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas were less enthusiastic, faulting the book for being “simply padded, occasionally with startlingly ingenious gimmickry, … often with coruscating cascades of verbal brilliance [but] too often merely with words.”[64] Reviewing the book for Astounding Science Fiction, P. Schuyler Miller characterized the title piece as “one of Bradbury’s bitter, almost hysterical diatribes,” and praised its “emotional drive and compelling, nagging detail.”[65] Similarly, The New York Times was unimpressed with the novel and further accused Bradbury of developing a “virulent hatred for many aspects of present-day culture, namely, such monstrosities as radio, TV, most movies, amateur and professional sports, automobiles, and other similar aberrations which he feels debase the bright simplicity of the thinking man’s existence.”[66]

Censorship/banning incidents

In the years since its publication, Fahrenheit 451 has occasionally been banned, censored, or redacted in some schools by parents and teaching staff either unaware of or indifferent to the inherent irony of such censorship. The following are some notable incidents:

  • In 1987, Fahrenheit 451 was given “third tier” status by the Bay County School Board in Panama City, Florida, under then-superintendent Leonard Hall’s new three-tier classification system.[67] Third tier was meant for books to be removed from the classroom for “a lot of vulgarity”.[67] After a resident class-action lawsuit, a media stir, and student protests, the school board abandoned their tier-based censorship system and approved all the currently used books.[67]
  • In 1992, Venado Middle School in Irvine, California gave copies of Fahrenheit 451 to students with all “obscene” words blacked out.[68] Parents contacted the local media and succeeded in reinstalling the uncensored copies.[68]
  • In 2006, parents of a tenth grade high school student in Montgomery County, Texas, demanded the book be banned from their daughter’s English class reading list.[69] Their daughter was assigned the book during Banned Books Week, but stopped reading several pages in due to the offensive language and description of the burning of the Bible.[69] In addition, her parents protested the violence, portrayal of Christians, and depictions of firemen in the novel.[69]

Themes

Discussions about Fahrenheit 451 often center on its story foremost as a warning against state-based censorship. Indeed, when Bradbury wrote the novel during the McCarthy era, he was concerned about censorship in the United States. During a radio interview in 1956,[70][71] Bradbury said:

I wrote this book at a time when I was worried about the way things were going in this country four years ago. Too many people were afraid of their shadows; there was a threat of book burning. Many of the books were being taken off the shelves at that time. And of course, things have changed a lot in four years. Things are going back in a very healthy direction. But at the time I wanted to do some sort of story where I could comment on what would happen to a country if we let ourselves go too far in this direction, where then all thinking stops, and the dragon swallows his tail, and we sort of vanish into a limbo and we destroy ourselves by this sort of action.

As time went by, Bradbury tended to dismiss censorship as a chief motivating factor for writing the story. Instead he usually claimed that the real messages of Fahrenheit 451 were about the dangers of an illiterate society infatuated with mass media and the threat of minority and special interest groups to books. In the late 1950s, Bradbury recounted:

In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451, I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.[72]

This story echoes Mildred’s “Seashell ear-thimbles” (i.e., a brand of in-ear headphones) that act as an emotional barrier between her and Montag. In a 2007 interview, Bradbury maintained that people misinterpret his book and that Fahrenheit 451 is really a statement on how mass media like television marginalizes the reading of literature.[73] Regarding minorities, he wrote in his 1979 Coda:

There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/Republican, Mattachine/Four Square Gospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. […] Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the libraries closed forever. […] Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some seventy-five separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel, which, after all, deals with censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.[74]

Book-burning censorship, Bradbury would argue, was a side-effect of the these two primary factors; this is consistent with Captain Beatty’s speech to Montag about the history of the firemen. According to Bradbury, it is the people, not the state, who are the culprit in Fahrenheit 451.[73] Nevertheless, the role on censorship, state-based or otherwise, is still perhaps the most frequent theme explored in the work.[75][better source needed]

A variety of other themes in the novel besides censorship have been suggested. Two major themes are resistance to conformity and control of individuals via technology and mass media. Bradbury explores how the government is able to use mass media to influence society and suppress individualism through book burning. The characters Beatty and Faber point out the American population is to blame. Due to their constant desire for a simplistic, positive image, books must be suppressed. Beatty blames the minority groups, who would take offense to published works that displayed them in an unfavorable light. Faber went further to state that the American population simply stopped reading on their own. He notes that the book burnings themselves became a form of entertainment to the general public.[76]

Predictions for the future

Bradbury described himself as “a preventor of futures, not a predictor of them.”[77] He did not believe that book burning was an inevitable part of our future; he wanted to warn against its development.[77] In a later interview, when asked if he believes that teaching Fahrenheit 451 in schools will prevent his totalitarian[2] vision of the future, Bradbury replied in the negative. Rather, he states that education must be at the kindergarten and first-grade level. If students are unable to read then, they will be unable to read Fahrenheit 451.[78]

In terms of technology, Sam Weller notes that Bradbury “predicted everything from flat-panel televisions to iPod earbuds and twenty-four-hour banking machines.”[79]

Adaptations

Playhouse 90 broadcast “A Sound of Different Drummers” on CBS in 1957, written by Robert Alan Aurthur. The play combined plot ideas from Fahrenheit 451 and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Bradbury sued and eventually won on appeal.[80][81]

A film adaptation written and directed by François Truffaut and starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie was released in 1966.[82][83]

BBC Radio produced a one-off dramatization of the novel in 1982[84] starring Michael Pennington.[85] It was broadcast again on February 12, 2012, and April 7 and 8, 2013, on BBC Radio 4 Extra.[86]

In 1984, the novel was adapted into a computer text adventure game of the same name by the software company Trillium.[87]

In 2006, the Drama Desk Award winning Godlight Theatre Company produced and performed the New York City premiere of Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451 at 59E59 Theaters.[88] After the completion of the New York run, the production then transferred to the Edinburgh Festival where it was a 2006 Edinburgh Festival Pick of the Fringe.[89]

The Off-Broadway theatre The American Place Theatre presented a one man show adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 as a part of their 2008–2009 Literature to Life season.[90]

In June 2009, a graphic novel edition of the book was published. Entitled Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation,[91] the paperback graphic adaptation was illustrated by Tim Hamilton.[92][93] The introduction in the novel is written by Bradbury.[citation needed]

Fahrenheit 451 inspired the Birmingham Repertory Theatre production Time Has Fallen Asleep in the Afternoon Sunshine, which was performed at the Birmingham Central Library in April 2012.[94]

Notes

  1. Jump up^ During Captain Beatty’s recounting of the history of the firemen to Montag, he says, “Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” The text is ambiguous regarding which century he is claiming began this pattern. One interpretation is that he means the 20th century, which would place the novel in at least the 24th century. “The Fireman” novella, which was expanded to become Fahrenheit 451, is set in October 2052.
  2. Jump up^ In early editions of the book, Montag says, “We’ve started and won two atomic wars since 1960” in the first pages of The Sieve and the Sand. This sets a lower bound on the time setting. In later decades, some editions have changed this year to 1990 or 2022.
  3. Jump up^ Clarisse tells Montag she is “seventeen and crazy”, later admitting that she will actually be seventeen “next month”.
  4. Jump up^ “The Pedestrian” would go on to be published in The Reporter magazine on August 7, 1951, that is, after the publication in February 1951 of its inspired work “The Fireman”.

See also

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451

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The Greatest Books Lists — Videos

Posted on November 23, 2014. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Book, Books, Communications, Culture, Fiction, Literature, Non-Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 10 Greatest Books Ever, According to 125 Top Authors (Download Them for Free)

 Earlier this month, we highlighted The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 846 Film Critics. Featuring films by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Welles and Fellini, this master list came together in 2012 when Sight & Sound (the cinema journal of the British Film Institute) asked contemporary critics and directors to name their 12 favorite movies. Nearly 900 cinephiles responded, and, from those submissions, a meta list of 10 was culled.

So how about something similar for books, you ask? For that, we can look back to 2007, when J. Peder Zane, the book editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, asked 125 top writers to name their favorite books — writers like Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Michael Chabon. The lists were all compiled in an edited collection, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, and then prefaced by one uber list, “The Top Top Ten.”

Zane explained the methodology behind the uber list as follows: “The participants could pick any work, by any writer, by any time period…. After awarding ten points to each first-place pick, nine to second-place picks, and so on, the results were tabulated to create the Top Top Ten List – the very best of the best.”

The short list appears below, along with links to electronic versions of the works. There’s one notable exception, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. We couldn’t provide that text, but we do have something special — an audio recording of Nabokov reading a chapter from his controversial 1955 novel.

The texts listed below are permanently housed in our collection of Free eBooks, along with many other classics. In many cases, you’ll find audio versions of the same works in our ever-growing collection of Free Audio Books. If you have questions about how to load files onto your Kindle, please see this related instructional video.

Got an issue with any of the selections? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read Online

2. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov

10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Note: Great literature courses can be found in our collection of 825 Free Online Courses.

http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/the-10-greatest-books-ever.html

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 1

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 2

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 3

The 10 Greatest Books Of All Time

100 Classic Books Of All Time

The 100 Best Books of All Time

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 1

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 2

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 3

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 4

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 5

Classic Books You Should Actually Read

Reading Classics as a Woman

Reading Classics + Recommendations

Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time

Where To Begin Part 1

Where To Begin Part 2

Where To Begin Part 3

I Should Be Reading

I Should Be Reading #2

I Should Be Reading #3

I Should Be Reading #4

Friday Reads: November 14, 2014 + Break

Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand

Q&A Part 1: Books and Booktube

 

The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors

by

Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare.

“Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said. This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their personal libraries. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books asks 125 of modernity’s greatest British and American writers — including Norman Mailer, Ann Patchett,Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, andJoyce Carol Oates — “to provide a list, ranked, in order, of what [they] consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time– novels, story collections, plays, or poems.”

Of the 544 separate titles selected, each is assigned a reverse-order point value based on the number position at which it appears on any list — so, a book that tops a list at number one receives 10 points, and a book that graces the bottom, at number ten, receives 1 point.

In introducing the lists, David Orr offers a litmus test for greatness:

If you’re putting together a list of ‘the greatest books,’ you’ll want to do two things: (1) out of kindness, avoid anyone working on a novel; and (2) decide what the word ‘great’ means. The first part is easy, but how about the second? A short list of possible definitions of ‘greatness’ might look like this:

1. ‘Great’ means ‘books that have been greatest for me.’
2. ‘Great’ means ‘books that would be considered great by the most people over time.’
3. ‘Great’ has nothing to do with you or me — or people at all. It involves transcendental concepts like God or the Sublime.
4. ‘Great’? I like Tom Clancy.

From David Foster Wallace (#1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis) toStephen King (#1: The Golden Argosy, a 1955 anthology of the best short stories in the English language), the collection offers a rare glimpse of the building blocks of great creators’ combinatorial creativity — because, as Austin Kleon put it, “you are a mashup of what you let into your life.”

The book concludes with an appendix of “literary number games” summing up some patterns and constructing several overall rankings based on the totality of the different authors’ picks. Among them (*with links to free public domain works where available):

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  4. Ulysses* by James Joyce
  5. Dubliners* by James Joyce
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
  10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 19th CENTURY
  1. Anna Karenina* by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary* by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. The stories of Anton Chekhov
  6. Middlemarch* by George Eliot
  7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Great Expectations* by Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Emma* by Jane Austen
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY NUMBER OF BOOKS SELECTED
  1. William Shakespeare — 11
  2. William Faulkner — 6
  3. Henry James — 6
  4. Jane Austen — 5
  5. Charles Dickens — 5
  6. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
  7. Ernest Hemingway — 5
  8. Franz Kafka — 5
  9. (tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY POINTS EARNED
  1. Leo Tolstoy — 327
  2. William Shakespeare — 293
  3. James Joyce — 194
  4. Vladimir Nabokov — 190
  5. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177
  6. William Faulkner — 173
  7. Charles Dickens — 168
  8. Anton Chekhov — 165
  9. Gustave Flaubert — 163
  10. Jane Austen — 161

As a nonfiction loyalist, I’d love a similar anthology of nonfiction favorites — then again, famous writers might wave a knowing finger and point me to the complex relationship between truth and fiction.

 http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/01/30/writers-top-ten-favorite-books/

 

The Greatest Books

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. Image of Ulysses

Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title parallels and alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer’s Odyss…

 

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Swann’s Way, the first part of A la recherche de temps perdu, Marcel Proust’s seven-part cycle, was published in 1913. In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. The narr…

 

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Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes th…

 

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First published in 1851, Melville’s masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick’s words, “the greatest novel in American literature.” The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white wh…

 

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The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the “Jazz Age”. Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the “roar…

 

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The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and se…

 

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Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of fi…

 

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One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning car…

 

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For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for “offenses against morality and religion.” What shoc…

 

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Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers, is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is mur…

 

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11 . The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Image of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Revered by all of the town’s children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic worl…

 

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12 . The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Image of The Divine Comedy

Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri’s poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the …

 

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13 . The Odyssey by Homer

Image of The Odyssey

The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the m…

 

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14 . Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endu…

 

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15 . The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

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The Catcher in the Rye is a 1945 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, the novel has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking wo…

 

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16 . The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

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The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their fa…

 

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17 . 1984 by George Orwell

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The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime’s propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur…

 

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18 . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic socie…

 

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19 . The Iliad by Homer

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The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of Ilium by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and e…

 

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20 . Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Pri…

 

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21 . To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

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A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psycholog…

 

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22 . Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx…

 

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23 . King Lear by William Shakespeare

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King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1606. It is considered one of his greatest works. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a…

 

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24 . The Trial by Franz Kafka

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Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and mu…

 

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25 . Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps th…

 

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26 . Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

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Absalom, Absalom! is a Southern Gothic novel by the American author William Faulkner, first published in 1936. It is a story about three families of the American South, taking place before, during,…

 

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27 . Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite…

 

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28 . Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

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Created from two short stories, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street” and the unfinished “The Prime Minister”, the novel’s story is of Clarissa’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. Wit…

 

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29 . Middlemarch by George Eliot

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Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, later Marian Evans. It is her seventh novel, begun in 1869 and then put aside during the final i…

 

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30 . Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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It is a murder story, told from a murder;s point of view, that implicates even the most innocent reader in its enormities. It is a cat-and-mouse game between a tormented young killer and a cheerful…

 

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31 . Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Although Conrad does not specify the name of th…

 

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32 . Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison…

 

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33 . Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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The narrative is non-linear, involving several flashbacks, and two primary narrators: Mr. Lockwood and Ellen “Nelly” Dean. The novel opens in 1801, with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Thrushcross Grange,…

 

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34 . The Red and the Black by Stendhal

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Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), subtitled Chronique du XIXe siécle (“Chronicle of the 19th century”), is an historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830…

 

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35 . The Stranger by Albert Camus

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Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus’s extraordinary first novel, The Stranger (L’Etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story …

 

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36 . One Thousand and One Nights by India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt

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One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Ni…

 

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37 . The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

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The story centres on Isabel Archer, an attractive American whom circumstances have brought to Europe. Isabel refuses the offer of marriage to an English peer and to a bulldog-like New Englander, to…

 

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38 . Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane’s childhood at Gateshead…

 

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39 . Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

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As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram’s narration of his life story. But it is one of the central jokes of the novel that he cannot explain anything simply, that he must make expla…

 

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40 . David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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The story of the abandoned waif who learns to survive through challenging encounters with distress and misfortune.

 

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41 . The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a …

 

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42 . The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka

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The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka is a compilation of all Kafka’s short stories. With the exception of Kafka’s three novels (The Trial, The Castle and Amerika), this collection includes all of Ka…

 

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43 . Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Macbeth, commonly just Macbeth, is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometim…

 

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44 . Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

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From the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, a great classic recounting the four remarkable journeys of ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver. For children it remains an enchanting fantasy;…

 

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45 . The Tempest by William Shakespeare

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The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, estimated to have been written in 1610–11, (although some researchers have argued for an earlier dating). The play’s protagonist is the banished sorcer…

 

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46 . Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations is written in the genre of “bildungsroman” or the style of book that follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending i…

 

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47 . A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formativ…

 

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48 . A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

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A Passage to India is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Cyril Fi…

 

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49 . The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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The novel explores the lives and values of the so-called “Lost Generation,” chronicling the experiences of Jake Barnes and several acquaintances on their pilgrimage to Pamplona for the annual San F…

 

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50 . Collected Fiction by Jorge Luis Borges

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From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges’…

  1. 51 . Othello by William Shakespeare

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    Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story “Un Capitano Moro” (“A Moorish Captain”) b…

 

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52 . To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses is…

 

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53 . Richard III by William Shakespeare

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Final play in Shakespeare’s masterly dramatization of the struggle for power between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Richard is a stunning archvillain who schemes, seduces, betrays and murders hi…

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54 . Candide by Voltaire

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Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, an…

 

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55 . The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

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The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature.

 

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56 . The Aeneid by Virgil

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The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC (29–19 BC) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the…

 

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57 . The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

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Ford Madox Ford wrote The Good Soldier, the book on which his reputation most surely rests, in deliberate emulation of the nineteenth-century French novels he so admired. In this way he was able to…

 

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58 . As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

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The book is told in stream of consciousness writing style by 15 different narrators in 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family’s quest—noble or selfish—to honor he…

 

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59 . The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer, playwright and physician, considered to be one of the greatest short-story writers in the history of world literature. His career as a dram…

 

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60 . Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

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Midnight’s Children is a loose allegory for events in India both before and, primarily, after the independence and partition of India, which took place at midnight on 15 August 1947. The protagonis…

 

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61 . Journey to the End of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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Journey to the End of Night is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work describes antihero Ferdinand Bardamu. His surname, Bardamu, is derived from the French word…

 

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62 . Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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A novel of great power that turns the world upside down. The Nigerian novelist Achebe reached back to the early days of his people’s encounter with colonialism, the 1890’s, though the white man and…

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63 . Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

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Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are “Song of Myself,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Roc…

 

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64 . Emma by Jane Austen

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Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like.”[1] In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, …

 

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65 . Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

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No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her senti…

 

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66 . The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordea…

 

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67 . Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

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The novel is presented as a poem titled “Pale Fire” with commentary by a friend of the poet’s. Together these elements form two story lines in which both authors are central characters. The int…

 

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68 . The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. Translated here into modern English, these tales of a mo…

 

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69 . Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”,…

 

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70 . Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

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To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: “the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself.” You see exactly what he means in this cor…

Time

 

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71 . The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

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Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and…

 

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72 . The Complete Tales of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery…

 

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73 . Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

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A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neig…

 

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74 . The Castle by Franz Kafka

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The Castle is a novel by Franz Kafka. In it a protagonist, known only as K., struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities of a castle who govern the village where he wants to work as a la…

 

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75 . On the Road by Jack Kerouac

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On the Road is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the post…

 

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76 . Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

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Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. When it appeared in 1913, it was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama, and it is…

 

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77 . Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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An anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.

 

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78 . The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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The Master and Margarita (Russian: Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consi…

 

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79 . Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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The main character, an African American woman in her early forties named Janie Crawford, tells the story of her life and journey via an extended flashback to her best friend, Pheoby, so that Pheoby…

 

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80 . My Antonia by Willa Cather

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In Willa Cather’s own estimation, My Antonia, first published in 1918, was “the best thing I’ve ever done.” An enduring paperback bestseller on Houghton Mifflin’s literary list, this hauntingly elo…

 

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81 . Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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Les Misérables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters ov…

 

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82 . Nostromo by Joseph Conrad

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Edited with an introduction and notes by Martin Seymour-Smith. In his evocation of the republic of Costaguana, set amid the exotic and grandiose scenery of South America, Conrad reveals not only th…

 

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83 . The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford University professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’…

 

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84 . The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product …

 

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85 . Native Son by Richard Wright

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The novel tells the story of 20-year old Bigger Thomas, an African American living in utter poverty. Bigger lived in Chicago’s South Side ghetto in the 1930s. Bigger was always getting into troubl…

 

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86 . The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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The Age of Innocence centers on an upperclass couple’s impending marriage, and the introduction of a scandalous woman whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assump…

 

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87 . Light in August by William Faulkner

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Lght in August is an exploration of racial conflict in the society of the Southern United States.

 

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88 . Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Gone With the Wind is set in Jonesboro and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of an Irish immigrant plantation o…

 

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89 . Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles’s three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chron…

 

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90 . For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

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It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a communist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is …

 

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91 . Rabbit, Run by John Updike

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Rabbit, Run depicts five months in the life of a 26-year-old former high school basketball player named Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, and his attempts to escape the constraints of his life.

 

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92 . Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by W. B. Yeats

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William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature.

 

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93 . Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

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A shipwreck’s sole escapee, Robinson Crusoe endures 28 years of solitude on a Caribbean island and manages not only to survive but also to prevail. A warm humanity, evocative details of his struggl…

 

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94 . Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy’s immortal work. Of all the great English novelists, no one writes more eloquently…

 

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95 . Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

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Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel s…

 

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96 . Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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At this challenge, Mary Shelley began work on the ‘ghost story’ that was to evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the…

 

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97 . The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

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The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes…

 

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98 . Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

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Buddenbrooks was Thomas Mann’s first novel, published in 1901 when he was twenty-six years old. It portrays the downfall (already announced in the subtitle, Decline of a family) of a wealthy mer…

 

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99 . Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

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In the early summer of the year 1348, as a terrible plague ravages the city, ten charming young Florentines take refuge in country villas to tell each other stories — a hundred stories of love, adv…

 

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100 . The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

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The Waste Land is a 434 line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922. It has been called “one of the most important poems of the 20th century.” Despite the alleged obscurity of the poem – i…

  1. Image of Bleak House

    Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in twenty monthly instalments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens’s finest novels, containing one of …

 

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102 . Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

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In her most exuberant, most fanciful novel, Woolf has created a character liberated from the restraints of time and sex. Born in the Elizabethan Age to wealth and position, Orlando is a young noble…

 

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103 . The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The Possessed is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Though titled The Possessed in the initial English translation, Dostoevsky scholars and later translations favour the titles The Devils or Demon…

 

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104 . Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embod…

 

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105 . Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

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The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (in French, La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of t…

 

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106 . American Pastoral by Philip Roth

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American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour “Swede” Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov’s happy and conventional upper…

 

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107 . The Ambassadors by Henry James

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This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James’ final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of his widowed fiancée’s supposedly wayward son. Streth…

 

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108 . Paradise Lost by John Milton

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Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books. A second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve…

 

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109 . The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

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The Big Sleep (1939) is a crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first in his acclaimed series about hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 and a…

 

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110 . Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Animal Farm is a dystopian novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democrat…

 

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111 . The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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Set against the tumultuous years of the post-Napoleonic era, The Count of Monet Cristo recounts the swashbuckling adventures of Edmond Dantes, a dashing young sailor falsely accused of treason. The…

 

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112 . Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Anderson

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a Danish author and poet noted for his children’s stories. These include “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina”, “The Little Match Girl”, and the “The Ugl…

 

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113 . Hunger by Knut Hamsun

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Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. Parts of it had been published anonymously in the Danish magazine Ny Jord in 1888. The novel is ha…

 

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114 . The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

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Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857 (see 1857 in poetry), it was important in the symbolist and modernist mo…

 

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115 . All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

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All the King’s Men portrays the dramatic political ascent and governorship of Willie Stark, a driven, cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s.

 

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116 . The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

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This book, as well as the couple that followed it, enters the realm of what Margaret Drabble in The Oxford Companion to English Literature has called Lessing’s “inner space fiction”, her work that …

 

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117 . A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

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The novel describes the life of a young man (Frederic Moreau) living through the revolution of 1848 and the founding of the Second French Empire, and his love for an older woman (based on the wife …

 

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118 . Antigone by Sophocles

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Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written before or in 442 BC. Chronologically, it is the third of the three Theban plays but was written first.[1] The play expands on the Theban legend that preda…

 

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119 . Howards End by E. M. Forster

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“Only Connect,” Forster’s key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultured, ideal…

 

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120 . Dangerous Liaison by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

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The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. Its prime movers, the Vicomte…

 

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121 . The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

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A slender novel but far from flimsy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie enrolls the reader at Edinburgh’s fictional Marcia Blaine School for Girls under the tutelage of one Jean Brodie, a magnetic, unco…

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122 . The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor

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The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O’Connor’s monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do n…

 

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123 . Herzog by Saul Bellow

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Herzog is a novel set in 1964, in the United States, and is about the midlife crisis of a Jewish man named Moses E. Herzog. He is just emerging from his second divorce, this one particularly acrimo…

 

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124 . Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

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It tells the tragic story of a heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family, and is one of the longest novels in the English language.

 

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125 . An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

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Clyde Griffiths is a young man with ambitions. He’s in love with a rich girl, but it’s a poor girl he has gotten pregnant, Roberta Alden, who works with him at his uncle’s factory. One day he takes…

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126 . A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

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A Doll’s House is an 1879 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Written one year after The Pillars of Society, the play was the first of Ibsen’s to create a sensation and is now perhaps his mo…

 

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127 . The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

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Balzac considered it the most important French novel of his time. André Gide later deemed it the greatest of all French novels, and Henry James judged it to be a masterpiece. Now, in a major litera…

 

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128 . A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

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In A Handful of Dust Waugh satirises the upper class, the mercantile class and the establishments (for example: the Church) using many effective literary devices which characterise most of his work…

 

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129 . Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust is a tragic play, although more appropriately it should be defined a tragicomedy, despite the very title of the work. It was published in two parts: Faust. Der Tr…

 

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130 . Dubliners by James Joyce

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Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dub…

 

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131 . The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid’s Tale is a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985…

 

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132 . Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted …

 

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133 . The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

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The Leopard is a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa that chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento. Published posthumously in 1958, after two rejections by the …

 

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134 . Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The story is that of the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychoanalyst and his wife, Nicole, who is also one of his patients. It would be Fitzgerald’s first novel in nine years, and …

 

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135 . The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

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A classic in children’s literature The Wind in the Willow is alternately slow moving and fast paced. The book focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. T…

 

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136 . Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

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Set sometime around 1950, Lucky Jim follows the exploits of the eponymous James (Jim) Dixon, a reluctant Medieval history lecturer at an unnamed provincial English university. Having made a bad fir…

 

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137 . Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Lord of the Flies discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results….

 

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138 . Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

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Conrad’s great novel of guilt and redemption follows the first mate on board the Patna, a raw youth with dreams of heroism who, in an act of cowardice, abandons his ship. His unbearable guilt and i…

 

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139 . Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett

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Malone Dies is a novel by Samuel Beckett. It was first published in 1951, in French, as Malone Meurt, and later translated into English by the author.

 

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140 . Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, it is an adventure tale known for its superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long…

 

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141 . Metamorphoses by Ovid

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The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world. Completed in 8 AD, it has remained one of the most popular works …

 

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142 . The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

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Written in Charlotte, North Carolina in a house on East Blvd, it is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the U.S. state of Georgia.

 

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143 . Oresteia by Aeschylus

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The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus which concerns the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. When originally performed it was accompanied by Proteus, a satyr play t…

 

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144 . Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

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The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praisin…

 

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145 . Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann

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Doctor Faustus is a German novel written by Thomas Mann, begun in 1943 and published in 1947 as Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (“Doct…

 

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146 . Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

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Perhaps no other of the world’s great writers lived and wrote with the passionate intensity of D. H. Lawrence. And perhaps no other of his books so explores the mysteries between men and women–both…

 

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147 . The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky and first published in 1868. It was first published serially in Russian in Russky Vestnik, St. Petersburg, 1868-1869. The Idiot…

 

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148 . Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nem…

 

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149 . The World According to Garp by John Irving

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The story deals with the life of T. S. Garp. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a strong-willed nurse who wants a child but not a husband. She encounters a dying ball turret gunner known only as Technica…

 

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150 . Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Spawned by a nightmare that Stevenson had, this classic tale of the dark, primordial night of the soul remains a masterpiece of the duality of good and evil within us all.

151 . A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

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    The novel is told through the point of view of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I.

 

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152 . I, Claudius by Robert Graves

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I, Claudius deals sympathetically with the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius and cynically with the history of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44…

 

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153 . Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

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Pedro Páramo is a short novel written by Juan Rulfo, originally published in 1955. In just the 23 FCE editions and reprintings, it had sold by November 1997 1,143,000 copies. Other editions in Mexi…

 

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154 . The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

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The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including “The Enormous Radio,” “Goodbye, My Brother,” “Th…

 

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155 . Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

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Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat…

 

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156 . The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil

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The Man without Qualities (1930-42) is a novel in three books by the Austrian novelist and essayist Robert Musil. The main issue of this “story of ideas”, which takes place in the time of the Au…

 

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157 . Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

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In John Updike’s fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi…

 

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158 . Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

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The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as…

 

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159 . Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

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In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Bertha is the madwoman locked in the attic by her husband Rochester, the simmering Englishman whose children Jane has been hired to tutor. In Bronte’s novel we lear…

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160 . Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

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Set in France (primarily Paris) during the 1930s, it is the tale of Miller’s life as a struggling writer. Combining fiction and autobiography, some chapters follow a strict narrative and refer to M…

 

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161 . Epic of Gilgamesh by Unknown

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The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Ancient Iraq and is among the earliest known works of literary writings. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems abo…

 

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162 . The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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The Moviegoer tells the story of Binx Bolling, a young stockbroker in post-war New Orleans. The decline of Southern traditions, the problems of his family and his traumatic experiences in the Korea…

 

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163 . The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

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The Adventures of Augie March (1953) is a novel by Saul Bellow. It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression. This picaresque novel is an example of bildungsroman,…

 

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164 . Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

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Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, his best known work. The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the chara…

 

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165 . Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man’s religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled roa…

 

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166 . Selected Stories of Alice Munro by Alice Munro

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Selected Stories is a volume of short stories by Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1996. It collects stories previously published in her eight previous books.

 

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167 . Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway

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Before he gained wide fame as a novelist, Ernest Hemingway established his literary reputation with his short stories. This collection, The Short Stories, originally published in 1938, is definitiv…

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168 . Medea by Euripides

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Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the barbarian protagonist as she finds her position …

 

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169 . Rabbit Redux by John Updike

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Rabbit Redux finds the former high-school basketball star, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, working a dead-end job and approaching middle age in the downtrodden and fictional city of Brewer, Pennsylvania, …

 

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170 . If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

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Calvino’s anti-novel is about the efforts of his two characters — a man called only The Reader, and the Other Reader, a woman named Ludmilla — to read ten very different novels. They are never able…

 

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171 . The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely st…

 

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172 . Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

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Doctor Zhivago is a 20th century novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. The novel is named after its protagonist, Yuri Zhivago, a medical doctor and poet. It tells the story of a man to…

 

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173 . The Call of the Wild by Jack London

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The plot concerns a previously domesticated and even somewhat pampered dog named Buck, whose primordial instincts return after a series of events finds him serving as a sled dog in the treacherous…

 

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174 . Call It Sleep by Henry Roth

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Call It Sleep is the story of an Austrian-Jewish immigrant family in New York in the early part of the twentieth century. Six-year-old David Schearl has a close and loving relationship with his mot…

 

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175 . Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

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The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertake…

 

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176 . Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

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Before Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and Richard Ford, there was Sherwood Anderson, who, with Winesburg, Ohio, charted a new direction in American fiction — evoking with lyrical simplicity quiet mo…

 

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177 . A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

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In the “brilliant novel” (“The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man–an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isol…

 

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178 . Germinal by Émile Zola

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Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Often considered Zola’s masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the no…

 

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179 . The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position …

 

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180 . The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The Sorrows of Young Werther is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774; a revised edition of the novel was published in 1787. Werthe…

 

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181 . Persuasion by Jane Austen

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Of all Jane Austen’s great and delightful novels, Persuasion is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance. Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish, spendthrift Sir Walte…

 

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182 . Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

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Waiting for Godot (pronounced /ˈɡɒdoʊ/) is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for someone named Godot. Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects…

 

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183 . The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

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The Unnamable is a 1953 novel by Samuel Beckett. It is the third and final entry in Beckett’s “Trilogy” of novels, which begins with Molloy followed by Malone Dies. It was originally published in F…

 

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184 . Molloy by Samuel Beckett

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Molloy is a novel by Samuel Beckett. The English translation is by Beckett and Patrick Bowles.

 

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185 . The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

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The Book Of Disquietude or The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego in Portuguese), published posthumously, is one of the greatest works by Fernando Pessoa. It is signed under the semi-heteronym…

 

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186 . A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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The title is taken from an old Cockney expression, “as queer as a clockwork orange” and alludes to the prevention of the main character’s exercise of his free will through the use of a classical co…

 

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187 . The Odes by Horace

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The Odes (Latin: Carmina) are a collection in four books of Latin lyric poems by Horace. The Horatian ode format and style has been emulated since by other poets. Books 1 to 3 were published in 23 …

 

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188 . Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo

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Zeno’s Conscience is a novel by Italian businessman and author Italo Svevo. The main character is Zeno Cosini and the book is the fictional character’s memoirs that he keeps at the insistence of hi…

 

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189 . Independent People by Halldor Laxness

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Independent People is an epic novel by Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, published in 1946. It deals with the struggle of poor Icelandic farmers in the early 20th century, only freed from debt bondag…

 

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190 . The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Since his first appearance in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created.

 

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191 . Don Juan by Molière

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Don Juan (Spanish, or Don Giovanni in Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (The Trickster …

 

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192 . Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

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Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book was first published in France in French in 1951 as Mémoires d’Had…

 

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193 . Complete Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi

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Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (June 29, 1798 – June 14, 1837) was an Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist.

 

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194 . Ramayana by Valmiki

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The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti). The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the…

 

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195 . Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

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Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West is a 1985 Western novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. It was McCarthy’s fifth book, and was published by Random House. The narrative foll…

 

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196 . The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos

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With his U.S.A. trilogy, comprising THE 42nd PARALLEL, 1919, and THE BIG MONEY, John Dos Passos is said by many to have written the great American novel. While Fitzgerald and Hemingway were cultiva…

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197 . The Big Money by John Dos Passos

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THE BIG MONEY completes John Dos Passos’s three-volume “fable of America’s materialistic success and moral decline” (American Heritage) and marks the end of “one of the most ambitious projects that…

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198 . Nineteen Nineteen by John Dos Passos

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With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his “vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America” (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume no…

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199 . The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

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Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel’s main character, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, …

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200 . Los Siete Locos by Roberto Arlt

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Los siete locos is a novel of Argentine writer Roberto Arlt published in October 1929 . In the same some of the problems posed by the philosophical existentialism develop. Moral issues, loneliness,…

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    In 1895 Hardy’s final novel, the great tale of Jude the Obscure, sent shock waves of indignation rolling across Victorian England. Hardy had dared to write frankly about sexuality and to indict the…

 

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202 . The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette

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La Princesse de Clèves is a French novel, regarded by many as the beginning of the modern tradition of the psychological novel, and as a great classic work. Its author is generally held to be Madam…

 

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203 . Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

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The novel examines the role of the Christian Church in the lives of African-Americans, both as a source of repression and moral hypocrisy and as a source of inspiration and community. It also, more…

 

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204 . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

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The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of t…

 

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205 . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, it was published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Am…

 

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206 . If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by William Faulkner

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In this feverishly beautiful novel—originally titled If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by Faulkner, and now published in the authoritative Library of America text—William Faulkner interweaves two narrati…

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207 . The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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Thus young Walter Hartright first meets the mysterious woman in white in what soon became one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century. Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelation…

 

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208 . The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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World War II has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who …

 

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209 . The Stand by Stephen King

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The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It re-works the scenario in his earlier short story, Night Surf. The novel was originally published in 1978 and…

 

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210 . A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud

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“With skill and imagination, Bertrand Mathieu gives us an intimacy of the spoken American that allows readers to absorb themselves in Rimbaud’s private drama as in an obsessive dream of our own…….

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211 . Stories of Guy de Maupassant by Guy de Maupassant

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Guy de Maupassant was a master of the short story. This collection displays his lively diversity, with tales that vary in theme and tone, ranging from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce. In a l…

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212 . Jakob Von Gunten by Robert Walser

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The Swiss writer Robert Walser is one of the quiet geniuses of twentieth-century literature. Largely self-taught and altogether indifferent to worldly success, Walser wrote a range of short stories…

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213 . The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the title of the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of th…

 

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214 . The Waves by Virginia Woolf

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The Waves, first published in 1931, is Virginia Woolf’s most experimental novel. It consists of soliloquies spoken by the book’s six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis.[1]…

 

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215 . The Poems of Robert Frost by Robert Frost

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Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. He is highly regarded for his realistic de…

 

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216 . Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

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Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses (1922), James Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book — the night. “A nocturnal state…. That is what I …

 

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217 . Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles

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Oedipus at Colonus is one of the three Theban plays of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles. It was written shortly before Sophocles’ death in 406 BC and produced by his grandson (also called Sophocles…

 

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218 . Money by Martin Amis

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Money tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, in order to shoot his first film. Self…

 

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219 . Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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Rebecca is considered to be one of her best works. Some observers have noted parallels with Jane Eyre. Much of the novel was written while she was staying in Alexandria, Egypt, where her husband wa…

 

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220 . Henderson The Rain King by Saul Bellow

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Bellow’s glorious, spirited story of an eccentric American millionaire who finds a home of sorts in deepest Africa.

 

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221 . Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

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It is Wolfe’s first novel, and is considered a highly autobiographical American Bildungsroman. The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel cover…

1929

 

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222 . Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

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It follows the life of Macon “Milkman” Dead III, an African-American male living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood. The main theme in the novel is Milkman’s quest for identity as a black man in …

 

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223 . Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

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In this classic satire of small-town America, beautiful young Carol Kennicott comes to Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, with dreams of transforming the provincial old town into a place of beauty and cult…

 

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224 . A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

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A Dance to the Music of Time is a twelve-volume cycle of novels by Anthony Powell, inspired by the painting of the same name by Nicolas Poussin. One of the longest works of fiction in literature, i…

 

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225 . De Rerum Natura by Lucretius

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De rerum natura is a first century BC epic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in dactylic hexam…

 

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226 . Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot

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The main subject of the book is the relationship between the valet Jacques and his master (who is never named). The two are traveling to a destination the narrator leaves insistently vague, and to …

 

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227 . Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

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Death Comes for the Archbishop is a 1927 novel by Willa Cather. It concerns the attempts of a Catholic bishop and a priest to establish a diocese in New Mexico Territory.

 

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228 . Neuromancer by William Gibson

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The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, …

 

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229 . The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

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Set in the rural midlands of England, The Rainbow revolves around three generations of the Brangwen family over a period of more than sixty years, setting them against the emergence of modern Engla…

 

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230 . Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

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Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by the English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. Waugh wrote that the novel “deals with what is t…

 

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231 . Atonement by Ian McEwan

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Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis’s crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob…

 

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232 . The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek

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The Good Soldier Švejk is the abbreviated title of an unfinished satirical novel by Jaroslav Hašek. It was illustrated by Josef Lada and George Grosz after Hašek’s death. The original Czech title o…

 

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233 . The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

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From the esteemed author of The Age of Innocence–a black comedy about vast wealth and a woman who can define herself only through the perceptions of others. Lily Bart’s quest to find a husband who…

 

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234 . White Noise by Don DeLillo

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Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitle…

 

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235 . One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

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Narrated by the gigantic but docile half-Indian “Chief” Bromden, who has pretended to be a deaf-mute for several years, the story focuses on the antics of the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, a …

 

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236 . Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

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Darkness At Noon stands as an unequaled fictional portrayal of the nightmare politics of our time. Its hero is an aging revolutionary, imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the Party to which …

 

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237 . Collected Poems of T.S. Eliot by T.S. Eliot

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Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century.

 

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238 . Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

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Our Mutual Friend (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is in many ways one of his most sophisticated works, combining deep psychological insight with ri…

 

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239 . The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

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The novel tells the story of a highly dysfunctional family, the Pollits. The story centers on the family’s impoverishment, the failure of the father Sam to provide for them, the parents’ marital ba…

 

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240 . At Swim Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien

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At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated ex…

 

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241 . Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a …

 

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242 . Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

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Winnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Wi…

 

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243 . Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

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Dream of the Red Chamber is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was composed some time in the middle of the 18th century during …

 

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244 . Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

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Pippi Longstocking is a children’s book written in 1945 by Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is a 9-year old that lives in an old villa in a Swedish town. (which remains unnamed for the series) She meet To…

 

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245 . History by Elsa Morante

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History: A Novel is a novel by Italian author Elsa Morante, largely seen to be her most famous and controversial work. Published in 1974, it narrates the story of a woman, Ida Ramundo, and her two …

 

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246 . Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

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The book is structured as a series of loosely-connected vignettes. Burroughs himself stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. The reader follows the narration of junkie Willia…

 

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247 . The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

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The novel is set in the 1680s and 90s in London and on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. It tells the story of an English poet named Ebenezer Cooke who is given the title “Poet Laureate …

 

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248 . In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

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When In Our Time was published in 1925, it was praised by Ford Madox Ford, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for its simple and precise use of language to convey a wide range of complex emot…

 

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249 . The Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke

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Rilke’s great cycle of ten elegies, perhaps his most profound poetic achievement, had its inception on the morning of January 21, 1912, but was interrupted by the First World War and not completed …

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  1. 250 . The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

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    The Death of the Heart is a 1938 novel by Elizabeth Bowen set between the two world wars. It is about a sixteen year old orphan, Portia Quayne, who moves to London to live with her half-brother Tho…

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The Cost of Public Education and The Results–Videos

Posted on May 31, 2012. Filed under: American History, Books, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, High School, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Raves, Regulations, Taxes, Unemployment, Unions, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Current per-pupil expenditures for public elementary and secondary education in the United States: 2008–09

Bill Gates: How state budgets are breaking US schools

The True Cost of Public Education

Education Spending in the US – Dissecting the Data

Linda Darling-Hammond on Becoming Internationally Competitive

Andreas Schleicher in conversation with Thoughts on Public Education, part 1

Andreas Schleicher in conversation with Thoughts on Public Education, part 2

EWA Interview: Andreas Schleicher on America’s Standing Among World Education Systems

Andreas Schleicher talks with EWA’s Dale Mezzacappa about how American education policy differs from other countries (0:01); strategies for recruiting highly-qualified teachers to low-performing schools (1:30); and how countries can change their approaches to bring about school improvement (5:30).

Dr. Schleicher is special adviser on education policy to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s secretary-general. As head of OECD’s programs on indicators and analysis in the Directorate for Education, he is also responsible for the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems and on the impact of knowledge and skills on economic and social outcomes.

This interview was recorded at EWA’s 64th National Seminar in April 2011 and was made possible in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Eminent Voices: Andreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division, OECD Directorate for Education, addresses participants at the Alliance for Excellent Education’s “Losing Our Edge: Are American Students Unprepared for the Global Economy?” event held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on December 3, 2007.

Andreas Schleicher’s entire video and slide presentation is available at http://wm.nmmstream.net/aee/events/041207/schleicher/schleicher.asx. Mr. Schleicher’s video/slide presentation cannot be posted on YouTube as it is an interactive media experience.

Andreas Schleicher: Losing Our Edge – Part 1

Andreas Schleicher: Losing Our Edge – Part 2

Andreas Schleicher: Losing Our Edge – Part 3

Andreas Schleicher: Losing Our Edge – Part 4

Andreas Schleicher: Losing Our Edge – Part 5

Andreas Schleicher: Losing Our Edge – Part 6

PISA – Measuring student success around the world

American Dream-US Students Lagging in Global Test Scores-01-17-2011-(Part1)

American Dream-US Students Lagging in Global Test Scores-01-17-2011-(Part2)

American Dream-US Students Lagging in Global Test Scores-01-17-2011-(Part3)

Finland’s education success

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Life Is A Gift–Live In The Present–Peace Be With You!

Posted on March 8, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Religion, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others. 

 ~Thomas à Kempis 

In the last twenty months I have writen over 350 blog posts with over 110,000 views.

I wanted to learn the value of writing, research and mass communication on the internet using a blog.

After some reflection I have decided to cease writing posts for the time being to focus my time and energies elsewhere. 

In all likelihood this will be a one year sabbatical.

There are a number of writing and video projects I want to devote time and attention to including a two hour video with narration on The Impressionists.

I hope my posts have been of some value to those searching for information on a subject of interest.

Thank you for your comments and interest.

God Bless and Au Revoir  

Our lives are like a candle in the wind.

~Carl Sandburg 

At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done.

 ~Thomas à Kempis  

 

Background Articles and Videos

 

Thomas à Kempis

Thomas à Kempis (orig. Thomas Haemerkken; Thomas Hammerlein; also Thomas Hemerken, Thomas Hämerken, Thomas van Kempen, Tomás de Kempis) (ca.1380 – 25 July 1471) was a late Medieval Catholic monk and author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the best known Christian books on devotion.

He was born at the Lower Rhine region in Kempen (Germany), County of Cleves in 1380 and died in 1471 near Zwolle in the Prince-Bishopric of Utrecht, 75 miles north of his birthplace. He was apparently (accidentally) buried alive, in that splinters were later found embedded under the fingernails of his corpse. He was denied canonization on the grounds that a saint would not fight death in this way.[1] His paternal name was Hemerken, Kleverlandish for “little hammer.” …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_%C3%A0_Kempis

 

Thomas à Kempis

“Author of the “Imitation of Christ”, born at Kempen in the Diocese of Cologne, in 1379 or 1380; died 25 July, 1471. …”

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14661a.htm

 

THE IMITATION OF CHRIST 

BY Thomas À Kempis

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kempis/imitation.all.html 

 

Carl Sandburg 

“Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American writer and editor, best known for his poetry. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. H. L. Mencken called Carl Sandburg “indubitably an American in every pulse-beat.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sandburg 

 

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