Yes, I know, I haven’t had much time to post lately. So what do you do when you want to put something up, but don’t really have the time to write a considered essay? Or even an unconsidered one? Easy – you compile a list.
Yes, yes, I know … lists are boring and pointless, and no matter how long you make your list of your favourite things, there’s always something you wouldn’t want to be without that you have to leave out. But nonetheless, a list does give some indication of one’s personal taste. And, let’s face it, we love ’em, really!
So, without further apology, here’s a list of my Top 10 novels – with a warning that more Top 10 lists may follow during periods when I am a bit too busy to write proper posts.
The novels are listed in chronological order. For novels I have read in only in translation, I list also the translator – or, in cases where I have read more than one translation (as I tend to do with my favourite foreign language works), the translation I enjoyed most.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
L’Education Sentimentale by Gustave Flaubert (translated by Robert Baldick, revised by Geoffrey Wall)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (translated by Rosemary Edmonds)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (translated by David McDuff)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Ulysses by James Joyce
Light in August by William Faulkner
Joseph and his Brothers by Thomas Mann (translated by John E. Woods)
Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (translated by Robert Chandler)
What – no Don Quixote? No 18th century novels? No Roxana or Tom Jones or Clarissa or Tristram Shandy? No Middlemarch? No Henry James or Edith Wharton or Joseph Conrad or Franz Kafka? That’s always the way with lists, isn’t it? …
(I hope to return to proper posting this weekend.)