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Washington D.C. Literature and Classics Meetup Message Board What is a classic? › A few comments from some members to get the discussion thread going

A few comments from some members to get the discussion thread going

A former member
Post #: 9

Larry: My $0.02 worth - there are two things that need to be done to ensure the longevity of this group.

1. Stick with the true acknowledged classics, not what any random member considers a classic
2. Cut out this partisan crap - there are plenty of other groups to use as a forum to talk about politics or your own socio-economic agenda

Dean: And where shall we look to for an indubitable "true acknowledged classic"? Should we go on group consensus, college syllabi or perhaps the Great Books curriculum? I would suggest giving serious consideration to the later. Thank you.
A former member
Post #: 1
The following are in my collection of classics, sorry for the length:


Anonymous The Epic of Gilgamesh
Homer The Iliad
The Odyssey
Confucius The Analects
Sophocles Oedipus Rex
Oedipus at Colonus
Euripides Plays (Franklin)
Herodotus The Histories
Thucydides The History of the Peloponnesian War
Sun-tzu The Art of War
Aristophanes Five Comedies (Franklin)
Plato Republic
Aristotle Politics
Anonymous Bhagavad Gita (trans: Barbara Miller)
Virgil The Aeneid
Marcus Aurelius Meditations
St. Augustine The Confessions
Anonymous Beowulf
Lady Murasaki The Tale of Genji
Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy
Giovanni Boccaccio The Decameron
Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales
Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince
Francois Rabelais Gargantuan and Pantagruel
Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra Don Quixote
William Shakespeare Selected Plays (Franklin)
Galileo The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
Thomas Hobbes Leviathan
Rene Descartes Discourse on Method
John Milton Paradise Lost
Moliere Plays (Franklin)
Blaise Pascal Thoughts (Pensees)
John Bunyan Pilgrim’s Progress
John Locke Second Treatise of Government
Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe
Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s Travels
Voltaire Candide
Henry Fielding Tom Jones
Ts’ao Hsueh-ch’in The Dream of the Red Chamber
Jean-Jacques Rousseau The Confessions
Laurence Sterne Tristram Shandy
Thomas Paine Political Writings (Franklin)
James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson
Alexander Hamilton The Federalist Papers
Johan von Goethe Faust I & II
William Blake The Complete Writings of William Blake
Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice
Stendhal The Red and the Black
James Fenimore Cooper The Last of the Mohicans
Honore De Balzac Pere Goriot
Ralph Waldo Emerson English Traits
Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter
Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America
John Stuart Mill Political Writings (Franklin)
Edgar Allan Poe Complete Tales and Poems
William Thackeray Vanity Fair
Charles Dickens David Copperfield
Oliver Twist
Great Expectations
Anthony Trollope The Warden
Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre
Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights
Henry David Thoreau Walden
Civil Disobedience
Karl Marx Communist Manifesto
Herman Melville Moby Dick
George Eliot Middlemarch
Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary
Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment
The Brothers Karamazov
Leo Tolstoy War and Peace
Henrik Ibsen Plays (Franklin)
Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Henry Adams The Education of Henry Adams (Franklin)
Thomas Hardy The Mayor of Casterbridge
Henry James The Ambassadors
Sigmund Freud Interpretation of Dreams
Civilization and Its Discontents
George Bernard Shaw The Devil’s Disciple
Joseph Conrad Nostromo
Anton Chekov Plays
Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence
William Butler Yeats The Poems of W.B. Yeats
Robert Frost Collected Poems
Thomas Mann The Magic Mountain
E.M. Forster Howard’s End
James Joyce Ulysses
Sigrid Undset Kristin Lavransdatter
Franz Kafka The Trial
D.H. Lawrence Women in Love
Eugene O'Neill Plays (Franklin)
T.S. Elliot Collected Poems and Collected Plays
Aldous Huxley Brave New World
William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury
As I Lay Dying
Abasalom, Abasalom!
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea
For Whom the Bell Tolls
A Farewell to Arms
Vladimir Nabokov Lolita
Andre Malraux Man’s Fate
George Orwell Nineteen Eighty Four
Animal Farm
Samuel Becket Waiting for Godot
Albert Camus The Plague
Saul Bellow Herzog
Alexander Solzhenitsyn Cancer Ward
Gabriel Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude


John Barth The Sot Weed Factor
Stephen Crane The Red Badge of Courage
F. Scot Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby
Sinclair Lewis Babbitt
Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman
Boris Pasternak Doctor Zhivago
J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye
Upton Sinclair The Jungle
Adam Smith Wealth of Nations
John Steinbeck Cannery Row
East of Eden
Richard Louis Stevenson Treasure Island
Thornton Wilder The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire
Richard Wright Native Son
user 10206687
Mount Rainier, MD
Post #: 4
There is really nothing to discuss. Larry has very clearly gave good examples of classice, I can add The Art of War, The Tao de Ching, Tang Poems, The Analects, Doctrine of Mean, The Great Learning and the Classic of Filial Piety to add a few more classics, Mongolian classics:The “three peaks” of Mongolian literature, the Secret History of the Mongols, Geser and Jangar. I think the point I am making is that there is no end to the reading of classics. There is a lot of classical literature,

As I have said in some of the email discussions, there are other book clubs for contemporary genre, mystery genre and general book clubs in the area. This is the only classic literature book club around.

I assume that this discussion will continue until you have found enough people to join and kill the intent of this group. Why would anyone join a group they have no interest in?

If it is only political correctness you are striving for then join a political group. Classics tell us a lot about how things have come to be what they are today.
A former member
Post #: 10
Christine, you're fighting a war that doesn't exist and attributing motives to the discussion that are imaginary. You state there's nothing to discuss, but at the same time add a list of books yourself. I agree with the list of classics, though I'd broaden mine to include some that have yet to be translated to English. No one is striving for political correctness, a true bane of our society. What I was striving for was to allow people to voice an opinion without having their inbox prattled upon.
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