Book List

Boydell, Lear

We often encounter such a list under the title of "Best Books of the Year" or Harold Bloom's "The Western Canon", so I decided to assemble a list, not to recommend to others but to check my own sense of what I deem important.  Some works impressed me when I was young and others as I grew older, but this list is the crème de la crème, the ones I hold most dear. Then the best modern version, if there is one.

* The Book of Job                                                       Coen Brothers film A Serious Man                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

* Homer

               Iliad                                                            The Robert Fagles and the Stanley Lombardo translations are both great.

               Odyssey                                                       Both the Fitzgerald and the Fagles are excellent - also the TV miniseries with Armand Assante                                      


            Oedipus the King

             Oedipus at Colonus

             Antigone                                                      Jean Anouilh's play Antigone based on the original                                                  

*Sir Thomas Malory

               Le Mort D'Arthur                                       Excalibur -1981 film by John Boorman                                   

*William Shakespeare

                King Lear                                                  Ran  -Kurosawa's epic based on legends of Mōri Motonari as well as King Lear.

*Lewis Carrol

                  Alice in Wonderland                                Alice in Wonderland - the 1951 version by Walt Disney

*Richard Wagner

                  Ring of the Nibelung                                1976 Ring Cycle by Patrice Chéreau and conducted by Pierre Boulez. (Yes, it can be read as a book.) 

*Albert Camus

                   The Stranger

*Lawrence Durrell

                  The Alexandria  Quartet

*Nikos Kazantzakis

*Gabriel García Márquez

*William Faulkner

*Eudora Welty

*Walker Percy

*Flannery O'Connor

                Wise Blood                                                                    The 1979  John Huston film by the same title


*Roberto Calasso

               The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony 

*Kenneth Clark

              Civilisation  (Book & TV series)

*Robert Graves

            The Greek Myths