English-language literature

Fragen zu Literatur und ihrem kulturellen und historischen Hintergrund
Questions about literature and its cultural, historical background.
Slow Speller
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Registriert: 2. Aug 2011 05:50
Muttersprache: English

English-language literature

Beitrag von deutscherdon »

[blockquote][blockquote]One of my favorite topics is how cultures perceive other cultures. An interesting test of this is to ask people from different countries what foreign literature they read in school, and what domestic literature they read in school. The results are often surprising. [/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]
[/blockquote][blockquote]For example, when I was a foreign exchange student in the USSR, the Russians were astonished to learn that I had never even heard of John Reed. They thought he was the most famous and beloved American author. It turns out that he wrote a book called Ten Days that Shook the World about the communist revolution in Russia. Obviously this was never read in the USA, but widely read in the USSR.[/blockquote][/blockquote]
[/blockquote][blockquote]So for those interested in what American students read, here is a general list of books (and a couple of plays) commonly taught in the USA as "English-language classics". Because it was from an American high school, it is obviously heavy in American literature. However, I am pretty sure most English speakers would at least be familiar with nearly every title on this list. If there are other native English speakers out there reading this, I would be interested in your thoughts/additions to this list.[/blockquote][/blockquote]
[/blockquote][blockquote]I am also interested in which of these books Germans have heard of or read in school. Are these books known in Germany? Are you surprised to find any books missing from the list? Are you surprised to see any of these books included in the list?[/blockquote][/blockquote]
[/blockquote][blockquote]The books I have personally read have an asterisk next to them:[/blockquote][blockquote]
[/blockquote][blockquote]The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) *[/blockquote][/blockquote]
[blockquote][blockquote]The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]For Whom the Bell Tolls (Hemingway) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]A Farewell to Arms (Hemingway)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Animal Farm (Orwell) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]1984 (Orwell) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]A Separate Peace (Knowles) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]A Brave New World (Huxley) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Mill on the Floss (Eliot) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Pride and Prejudice (Austen) * -- my favorite book[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Sense and Sensibility (Austen)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Hardy)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Great Expectations (Dickens)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Crucible (Miller)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Julius Caeser (Shakespeare)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Romeo and Juliette (Shakespeare)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Tempest (Shakespeare)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]King Lear (Shakespeare)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Wuthering Heights (Brontë)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Jane Eyre (Brontë)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Uncle Tom's Cabin (Stowe)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Gulliver's Travels (Swift)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Catch-22 (Heller)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Frankenstein (Shelley)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Importance of Being Earnest (Wilde)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Lord of the Flies (Golding)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]My Antonia (Cather)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Oh Pioneers (Cather)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Call of the Wild (London)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Chosen (Potok)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Jungle (Sinclair)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Things Fall Apart (Achebe)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Heart of Darkness (Conrad)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Angelou)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Franklin)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Walden (Thoreau)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams)[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]
[/blockquote][blockquote]There are many more books that are commonly taught in American high schools, but this is a good list off the top of my head. I think you could expect most Americans to know about these books, and to have read many of them.[/blockquote][/blockquote]
[/blockquote][blockquote]Which ones have you read? Any surprises on the list? Any thoughts?[/blockquote][/blockquote]

Lingo Whiz
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Registriert: 13. Jun 2010 01:36
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Re: English-language literature

Beitrag von tiorthan »

From your list.

The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm (in German)
To Kill a Mockingbird
A Brave New World
Pride and Prejudice
Great Expectations
Julius Caesar
Romeo and Juliette - Read it in German during German lessons and in English in English lessons
The Tempest
King Lear (German and English)
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Gulliver's Travels
Of Mice and Men
The Importance of Being Earnest
Canterbury Tales
The Great Gatsby - for school
Call of the Wild (German and English)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (German)

Some more Shakespeare:
Much adoe about Nothing
As you like it
The Commedy of Errors
The Taming of the Shrew
Henry V
The Birth of Merlin

Some non-Shakespearean:
The Hobbit
Lord of the Rings
Tales from Middle Earth
The Harry Potter books
His Dark Materials: (Pullman)
The Complete Works of Lewis Caroll (from http://www.gasl.org/refbib/Carroll__Works.pdf)
The Invisible Man (Ellison)
Asimov's Foundation Series and some of his short stories.

And probably some more
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
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English Legend
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Registriert: 30. Jul 2008 11:20
Muttersprache: Deutsch
Wohnort: Borough of Gateshead

Re: English-language literature

Beitrag von Keswick »

Sticking to your list, without adding any additional books that I have read:
The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)
The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Hemingway)
A Farewell to Arms (Hemingway)
Animal Farm (Orwell)
1984 (Orwell)
Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)
A Separate Peace (Knowles)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee)
A Brave New World (Huxley)
Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
Sense and Sensibility (Austen)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Hardy)
Great Expectations (Dickens)
The Crucible (Miller)
Julius Caeser (Shakespeare)
Romeo and Juliette (Shakespeare)
The Tempest (Shakespeare)
King Lear (Shakespeare)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare)
Wuthering Heights (Brontë)
Jane Eyre (Brontë)
Uncle Tom's Cabin (Stowe)
Gulliver's Travels (Swift)
The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner)
Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck)
The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)
Catch-22 (Heller)
Frankenstein (Shelley)
Importance of Being Earnest (Wilde)
Lord of the Flies (Golding)
Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)
Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
Call of the Wild (London)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)
Things Fall Apart (Achebe)
Heart of Darkness (Conrad)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Franklin)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams)
Bitte keine Korrektur- / Erklärungsanfragen per PN.
British English (BE) Sprecher.

Anglo Veteran
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Registriert: 3. Jul 2008 14:35
Muttersprache: German
Wohnort: UK

Re: English-language literature

Beitrag von Delfino »

During my childhold I've read about 200 novels from my father's bookshelf
but they are all in German as he never learned English.

I cannot remember having to read a complete book in English when I went to school a long time ago.
In our German lessons we've probably read Romeo und Juliette (Shakespeare) too.

A few of the titles are know due to similar named movies.

The first English books I've read were the trilogy His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman three or four years ago.
Each volume on a weekend or so - good stuff. :big_thumb:

Now I am working and studying in the UK and I don't live to far from the library either - so I could read more :read:
and I'd love to but after work and many other things I often feel too tired.
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English Legend
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Re: English-language literature

Beitrag von Keswick »

I must have read hundreds of books in my life and during my studies, but there is one play that I has been my favourite for many years: Waiting for Godot. So if you haven't read it yet, I can strongly recommend it. I saw the play in the Theater Royal in Newcastle with Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart and they were brilliant.

I can generally recommend Samuel Beckett's books and plays.
Bitte keine Korrektur- / Erklärungsanfragen per PN.
British English (BE) Sprecher.

Slow Speller
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Registriert: 16. Jul 2011 14:25
Muttersprache: Deutsch

Re: English-language literature

Beitrag von Lilithly »

At school, we didn't have to read that many "complete" English books (at least books which you would consider literatur and not that student books with silly litle stories). Actually, I think that I've read not more than about 30 complete books for school in any language (German, English, French, Spanish). From your list:

[blockquote][blockquote]The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger) * (German)
[blockquote][blockquote]1984 (Orwell) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]A Brave New World (Huxley) *[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Romeo and Juliette (Shakespeare)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare)*[/blockquote][/blockquote][blockquote][blockquote]Uncle Tom's Cabin (Stowe) (partly)
[blockquote][blockquote]Lord of the Flies (Golding) (German)
[blockquote][blockquote]Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)* (partly)


Island (Huxley) *

Dead Poets' Society

Little House on the Prairie

And probably some more I just don't remember...


Besides the books for school I read quite a lot English books, just probably not too much of "real literatur" :tongue: .. I should really start doing that... If only I had more time.. :mrgreen:


eac swa
Slow Speller
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Wohnort: USA

Re: English-language literature

Beitrag von eac swa »

Unfortunately, Twain is often dropped from US school reading lists due to offensive racial terms. I don't think the book is currently banned, per se, but teaching it tends to solicit lawsuits from angry parents.
(bin für jegliche Korrektur meines Deutsch dankbar)