Category: Chronology

Books from 1821, 1871,1921 and 1971

Every year I plan to give an indication of books published 50, 100, 150 and 200 years ago and every year I forget. This year I remembered so here goes.

1821

Not a bumper year. It included Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre (Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years), the follow-up to his better-known Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship)
Walter Scott’s Kenilworth
James Fenimore Cooper’s The Spy and Shelley’s Adonaïs. I have to admit to having read none of them.

1871

Definitely a better year with George Eliot’s Middlemarch (the first instalments) being the highlight and also including:
Henry James’ Watch and Ward
George Meredith ‘s The Adventures of Harry Richmond
Palgrave’s Personal Narrative of a Year’s Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia
Émile Zola’s La Fortune des Rougon
Lewis Carroll ‘s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There
Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. And I have read all of them.

1921

With the malaise of post World War 1 easing off, this was quite a good year. It saw:
Hjalmar Bergman‘s Farmor och Vår Herre (Thy Rod and Thy Staff)
John Galsworthy’s To Let, the last of the The Forsyte Saga
Jaroslav Hašek‘s Osudy Dobrého Vojáka švejka Za Svetové Války (The Good Soldier Schweik)
Aldous Huxley‘s Crome Yellow
Sigrid Undset’s Husfrue (The Wife or The Mistress of Husaby, second part of Kristin Lavransdatter)
Henry Williamson‘s The Beautiful Years, the first in his Flax of Dream series
Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I have to admit to not having read the latter.

1971

With the modern era well under way, we are now getting some more exotic books, with:
Oğuz Atay‘s complex, post-modern and difficult to obtain Tutunamayanlar (The Disconnected)
Kofi Awoonor‘s This Earth, My Brother …
Ingeborg Bachmann‘s Malina (Malina)Gruppenbild mit Dame (Group Portrait with Lady)
Don DeLillo‘s Americana, his first book
George Garrett‘s Death of the Fox, one of my favourite historical novels
Bohumil Hrabal‘s Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále (I Served the King of England)
the second volume of Uwe Johnson‘s Jahrestage (Anniversaries)
Ismail Kadare‘s Kronikë në gur (Chronicle in Stone)
the controversial Jerzy Kosinski‘s Being There, possibly his best novel but possibly plagiarised from Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz‘s Kariera Nikodema Dyzmy (The Career of Nicodemus
Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven
Doris Lessing‘s Briefing for a Descent into Hell
Naguib Mahfouz‘s المرايا (Mirrors)
Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall
V. S. Naipaul‘s In a Free State
Joyce Carol Oates‘s Wonderland
Walker Percy‘s Love in the Ruins
Anthony Powell<'s Books Do Furnish a Room
Tayeb Salih’sبندر شاه مريود (Bandarshah)
Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s August 1914
João Ubaldo Ribeiro‘s Sargento Getúlio (Sergeant Getúlio)
John Updike‘s Rabbit Redux

I haven’t read the Solzhenitsyn but have read the rest. I have missed out quite a few which you can see here. I shall probably forget to do this next year.

US literature chronological order

The oldest US novel on my site

If you have poked around my website, you might be aware that every book, as well as being listed under the country/author, is also listed chronologically, so that you can see what books were published in any given year. I must admit to being somewhat fascinated by finding out that Book X was published in the same year as Book Y and have long thought it would be interesting to show books chronologically for each country as well as alphabetically by author. I have now done this for literature from the United States, the country where I have most books and most authors under review, not least because I have always found the US novel to be of special interest. It includes not only all the US books on my site but also the births and deaths of authors as well as quite a few books not on my site, in particular poetry, drama and non-fiction which will not, of course, appear on my site. However, as compiling this list took far longer than I thought it would, I do not see myself doing the same for other countries any time soon. I hope you find it interesting.

You may also have noticed that the design – what WordPress calls the theme – has changed. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the previous theme had not been updated since 2012, which is a long time in WordPress years, and was starting to show some incompatibilities with WordPress. Secondly, I just thought it might be nice to have a change now and then. I have to admit that I spent no more than a few minutes selecting a design, picking one that looked all right and, more particularly, was up-to-date. As there are hundreds or even thousands of possible designs, one that was up-to-date but also tried and tested was important to me. However, if after using it for a while, I am not too happy with it, I may well do further research and switch again. But then probably not.

I also took the opportunity to update the list of recommended blogs. Quite a few were defunct. A couple had changed their URLs. There were also quite a few which I visit regularly and which were not on the list. This list has now been updated. You can find it by scrolling down. It is on the right below the recent blog posts. Some of the blogs are not in English but I can recommend all of them. If you want more The Literary Saloon has loads.

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