Thursday, June 02, 2005

teachin of buddy don: the readin list

at the end of my furst year teachin at knoxvull collidge, i give out this lil readin list. odd thang bout it is how sum of my students has menchuned this to me minny years later, speshly the last lil bit name of "A Few Things to Remember." ifn i wuz makin it today, twood have a lot more wurks on it, but this is how twuz back in june of 1983.

A College Reading List

Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography of Ben Franklin
Washington Irving: The Sketch Book
James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans
Nathanael Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter, Twice Told Tales, House of the Seven Gables
Herman Melville: Moby Dick, Billy Budd
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, etc.

Edgar Allen Poe: short stories
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Frederick Douglass: The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass
Bret Harte: The Outcasts of Poker Flat
Stephen Crane: Red Badge of Courage

Henry David Thoreau: Walden
Ralph Waldo Emerson: essays, especially “An American Scholar: and "Self Reliance"
Henry James: The Ambassadors, Washington Square, The Turn of the Screw, etc.
Frank Norris: The Octopus
W.E.B. DuBois: The Souls of Black Folk, The Autobiography of WEB DuBois

James Weldon Johnson: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Theodore Dreiser: An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie
Upton Sinclair: The Jungle
Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome
Sherwood Anderson: Winesburg, Ohio

Willa Cather: O Pioneers, My Antonia
James Branch Cabell: The Cream of the Jest
Sinclair Lewis: Mainstreet, Babbit, Elmer Gantry
Thomas Wolfe: Look Homeward, Angel
F. Scott Fitzgerald: Tender is the Night, The Great Gatsby

O. E. Rölvaag: Giants in the Earth
Ellen Glasgow: Vein of Iron
Kate Chopin: The Awakening
Richard Wright: Native Son, Black Boy
John Dos Passos: USA Trilogy

William Faulkner: As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom, etc.
Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, short stories, etc.
Nelson Algren: A Walk on the Wild Side, The Man with the Golden Arm
James Hilton: Lost Horizon

Margaret Mitchell: Gone with the Wind
Henry Roth: Call It Sleep
John O’Hara: Appointment in Samarra
Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged
John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, The Winter of our Discontent, etc.

J. D. Salinger: Catcher in the Rye, short stories
Robert Penn Warren: All the King’s Men
Carson McCullers: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
A. B. Guthrie: The Big Sky
Ralph Ellison: The Invisible Man

Langston Hughes: The Big Sea, Not Without Laughter
Flannery O’Connor: short stories
Joseph Heller: Catch 22
Norman Mailer: The Naked and the Dead
Bernard Malamud: The Assistant, The Fixer

Dalton Trumbo: Johnny Got His Gun
Saul Bellow: The Adventures of Auggie March, etc.
Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita
Walker Percy: The Moviegoer
John Knowles: A Separate Peace

John Updike: Rabbit, Run (the whole Rabbit series)
Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion
Claude Brown: Manchild in the Promised Land
Robert Gover: The One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding
William Styron: The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie’s Choice, etc.

Kurt Vonnegut: Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, etc.
Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, etc.
Alex Haley: Roots
Malcolm X (with Alex Haley): The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Martin Cruz Smith: Gorky Park

Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep, etc.
Ross MacDonald: The Chill, The Goodbye Look, etc.
William H. Armstrong: Sounder
Jean Toomer: Cane
Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar

Philip Roth: Goodbye, Colombus, etc.
James Baldwin: Go Tell It on the Mountain, No Name in the Street, etc.
Dick Gregory: Nigger
Eldridge Cleaver: Soul on Ice
James Agee: A Death in the Family

John Irving: The World According to Garp

Daniel Defoe: Moll Flanders, Robinson Crusoe
John Bunyan: A Pilgrim’s Progress
Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels, "A Modest Proposal"
Laurence Stern: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Esq.
Tobias Smollet: Roderick Random, Humphrey Clinker
Henry Fielding: Tom Jones

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, etc.
Charles Dickens: Great Expectations, David Copperfield, etc.
William M. Thackeray: Vanity Fair
George Eliot: Silas Marner, Middlemarch, etc.
Thomas Hardy: Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure, etc.

Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
Emily Bronte: Whuthering Heights
Wilke Collins: The Moonstone
Sir Walter Scott: Guy Mannering, etc.
Joseph Conrad: The Heart of Darkness, etc.

James Joyce: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, etc.
D. H. Lawrence: Women in Love, Sons and Lovers, etc.
W. Somerset Maugham: Of Human Bondage, short stories
Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Between the Acts, The Waves, etc.
Aldous Huxley: Brave New World, etc.

Joyce Carey: The Horse’s Mouth, etc.
Graham Greene: The Heart of the Matter, The Burnt Out Case, etc.
John Fowles: The Magus, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, etc.
J. R. R. Tolkien: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings
William Golding: The Lord of the Flies

Nevil Shute: On the Beach
Agatha Christie: Curtain, etc.

Emile Zola: Nana, Germinal
Guy de Maupassant: short stories
Victor Hugo: Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantegruel
Stendahl: The Red and the Black
Gustav Flaubert: Madame Bovary

Honore de Balzac: Pere Goriot, etc.
Jean-Paul Sartre: Nausea
Albert Camus: The Stranger, The Plague
Andre Gide: The Immoralist
Antoine de Saint Exupery: The Little Prince
Collette: The Complete Collette

Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain, etc.
Franz Kafka: The Trial, Amerika, The Castle
Günter Grass: The Tin Drum
Heinrich Böll: Group Portrait with Lady
Robert Musil: The Man Without Qualities
Hermann Hesse: Steppenwolf, etc.

Erich Maria Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front

Ivan Turgenev: Fathers and Sons
Nicolai Gogol: The Overcoat, Dead Souls, etc.
Fyodor Dostoevski: Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov
Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace, Anna Karenina, etc.
Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago
Alexander Solzhenitsyn: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, etc.

Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
Arthur Koestler: Darkness at Noon

Nikos Kazantzakis: The Last Temptation of Christ, etc.

The Bible
Homer: Iliad, Odyssey
Plato: Republic, Symposium, “Death of Socrates” dialogues, etc.
Aristotle: Metaphysics, Rhetoric, Poetics, etc.
Virgil: Aeneid

Augustine: Confessions
Dante: Divine Comedy
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
Machiavelli: The Prince
Hobbes: Leviathan

John Locke: Second Treatise on Government
Montaigne: essays
Shakespeare: complete works
Cervantes: Don Quixote
Milton: Paradise Lost

Voltaire: Candide
Rousseau: Confessions, etc.
Bacon: scientific methods
Descartes: methods of inquiry, doubt
Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations

Goethe: Faust
Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus
Darwin: Origin of the Species
Karl Marx: The Communist Manifesto
Adolph Hitler: Mein Kampf

Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of Dreams

A Few Things to Remember
Educated people are readers. When you read, you expand your mental horizons and train your brain. All good writers are good readers. The more you read, the more you want to read; the more you want to read, the more you want to know; the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know everything -- you begin to realize how little anyone really knows; knowing that you don’t know everything humbles you and makes you a better, less narrow-minded person.

A brain that is not challenged by reading is like a muscle that is never used: it soon becomes weak, useless and lazy.

The best that has been known and thought by mankind is recorded only in the world’s great literature. You won’t see it on TV. It won’t be made into a movie. You won’t hear about it from a friend. You won’t find it in newspapers, magazines, comic strips, or sports pages. And you won’t find it without a struggle. But as every weightlifter knows: no pain, no gain. Becoming a truly educated person is not easy; that’s why so few people bother with it.

The three most useful abilities to any employment that requires more than the use of hands and backs are (1) the ability to read with good comprehension, (2) the ability to write clearly, and (3) the ability to communicate verbally with others. Reading improves all three abilities.

Remember that no conscious effort can ever be wasted in this universe. Every conscious effort you make makes you stronger, even if it doesn’t get you an A or a raise or appreciation from someone else.

Mankind’s memory is stored in books. If you don’t read, you are like a person with amnesia: you don’t know where you came from, who you are, what your beliefs mean, or anything else that happened before yesterday.

And don’t forget to make and keep good habits. As I’ve said many times, habits are easy to make but hard to break; good habits make you; bad habits break you. Good habits include: reading every day, exercising your body and your mind, keeping a journal or diary of each day’s events (not to mention your thoughts, hopes and dreams), writing and mailing letters, and loving your neighbors. Oh, and most important of all is loving yourself: make your present self an embarrassment to your future, better, stronger, smarter self.

Good luck and have a great summer.

-- Mr. Duncan

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