Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the 10 most difficult books, and a few of the easiest

A literary website called The Millions has compiled a list of the ten most difficult-to-read English language books of all time. Here it is:

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes;
A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift
The Phenomenology of Spirit by GF Hegel;
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf;
Clarissa, or, The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson;
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
Being and Time by Martin Heidegger;
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser; 
The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein
and Women and Men by Joseph McElroy.

Their question was, How many have you read? Well - this coming from someone with a B.A. in English literature - I had a plant once named Djuna, after Djuna Barnes. I have read some Joyce, though not that one, and "Mrs. Dalloway" and a bit of Swift and "Clarissa" - yay! - for English 201. At least, I'm pretty sure it was "Clarissa," though maybe it was "Pamela." I've walked by Gertrude Stein's house in Paris and have heard of Hegel, Heidegger and Spenser but have no idea who McElroy is. Though I do have a lot of opinions about women and men. 

Not so good a score. How did you do? 

Dear Wayson was just here. "Love your mother utterly," he said, "even when you want to push her down the stairs. Love her utterly - and THEN push her down the stairs."

I have read all of Wayson's books. But then, they're not hard, they're a pleasure to read. I get 100% on the Choy test.

Another article explores the value of children's books to adults. The writer looks at one of the easiest to read, and also best, books ever written, "The House at Pooh Corner," and analyses the lines that express my philosophy of life. 
"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," Piglet asks him as their adventures near an end, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" Pooh answers. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" responds Piglet.
Pooh thinks it over. "It's the same thing," he says.


  1. Hello there, I think your web site could be having web browser compatibility problems.
    When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE,
    it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads
    up! Apart from that, excellent blog!

    Take a look at my site - calculate bmr

  2. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that
    over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

    my web site: healthy diet plans for women