Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Lesser Known Classics

Some of the best books that I feel I have ever read happen to be some of the lesser known books and I have often wondered why they are not as well known and read more extensively. Perhaps it has to do much more with the mood of the times, the acceptance of certain ideas and a host of other factors.

I have without doubt enjoyed the great classics as well- 'War and Peace', 'The Brothers Karamazov', 'Swann's Way', 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' et al. But I have been equally mesmerized by others, perhaps I will write about them in more detail later, but here is a quick list of such books:

The Real Life of Alejandra Mayta by Mario Vargas Llosa
Life and Fate by Vasili Grossman
The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa
The Story Teller- again by MVL,
Embers by Sandor Marai
The Leopard by de Lampedusa


In my view Llosa is a writer still largely and unfairly ignored by the English reading public

There area few others too, like the recently resurrected Andrei Platonov (The Foundation Pit, Soul and Happy Moscow). However, unlike the more specialized interest that Platonov may hold, the ones listed above surely carry more universal theme and significance.

2 comments:

Alok said...

I haven't read the Alejandro Mayta book but want to. Isn't it the book that marked his turn away from the left?

bhupinder singh said...

I believe it began much earlier. But I also feel that his anti- Left positions are more emotional than rational, probaly because of his spat (or ego clash) with Garcia Marquez. See one his interviewson my blog and why he continues to live the life of an intellectual on the left.