21 June

Michael Dirda's Classics for Pleasure, offers the second-best (after Philip Ward's) combination of a list of works for readers to enjoy and a enjoyable work to read in and of itself; or we could say, it offers a selection of books less predictable than Fadiman's or Van Doren's, and his prose is at least superior to Van Doren's. (Powys's selection is relatively limited, and as a novelist himself doesn't seem to have put as much care and effort into his text, presumably because he was somewhat dismissive of the entire concept).

As with these other list-as-book's, the discussion of the works noted at the beginning of each chapters in some cases makes note of other works; if the author recommends those other works, or seems to do so, I've included them--a choice not always obvious, but I'm trying not to be too liberal. These added works are marked with an asterisk, unless they have been made part of the "selected" texts that the author includes among, or as, his official choice as presented in the chapter headings.

The works listed here are those discussed and recommended in the first-sixth chapters: 'Playful Imaginations', 'Heroes of Their Time', 'Love's Mysteries', 'Words From the Wise', 'Everyday Magic', and 'Lives of Consequence'. (Dirda uses c. as an abbreviation for circa, whereas I prefer ca. so that c. can stand for century.)

Lucian (c. 115-200 B C)
The True History
 

Lucius, or The Ass 

Dialogues of the Dead
 

Dialogues of the Heterae*

Dialogues of the Gods*

Essays

 

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) 
Rameau’s Nephew

Other Works 
(incl. Encyclopedia; 
The Indiscreet Jewels; 
Supplement to the Voyage to Bougainville;
The Nun;
'This Is Not a Story';
Jacques the Fatalist)

 

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866)
Crotchet Castle

Other Novels 
(incl.
Nightmare Abbey;
Gryll Grange;
Maid Marian)

 

Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
Seven Men
 

A Christmas Garland

Zuleika Dobson

Selected Essays 
(incl. anthology And Even Now)

 

Jaroslav Hašek (1883-1923)
The Good Soldier Švejk

 

Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969)
Brothers and Sisters [1929]
 

Manservant and Maidservant

Other Novels 
(incl.
Daughters and Sons;
Parents and Children;
A House and Its Head;
A Father and His Fate;
Darkness and Day;
Pastors and Masters;
The Present and the Past)

 

S J Perelman (1904-1979)
The Most of S J Perelman (esp. 'Strictly From Hunger'; 'Cloudland Revisited' series)


Italo Calvino (1923-1985)
Invisible Cities
 

The Castle of Crossed Destinies
 

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

 

Edward Gorey (1925-2000)
Amphigorey

Amphigorey Too

Amphigorey Also

Amphigorey Again


Beowulf (eighth century)


Abolqasem Ferdowsi (940?-1020)
Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings


The Icelandic Sagas (twelfth to fifteenth centuries) (incl.
Njal Saga

Laxdaela Saga

Grettir Saga

Egil Saga)


Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
Plays (incl. 
The Jew of Malta;
Dr. Faustus;
The Tragedy of Dido;
Edward II;
Tamburlaine)

Poems


Émile Zola (1840-1902)
Germinal

Other Novels 
(incl. 
L'Assommoir;
Nana;
La Bête Humaine;
Au Bonheur des Dames;
La Terre)


Ernst Jünger (1895-1998)
48) Storm of Steel

 
James Agee (1909-1955)
49) Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
   
Film Criticism

 
Sappho (fl. ca. 600 B C E)
Poems and Fragments

 
Arthurian Romances (twelfth and thirteenth centuries) (incl.
Chrétien de Troyes - Yvain, or The Knight of the Lion

Gottfried von Strassburg -Tristan

Wolfram von Eschenbach - Parzival)

 
Marie-Madeleine de la Fayette (1634-1693)
53) The Princess of Clèves


Sören Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Diary of a Seducer [part of Either/ Or]


George Meredith (1828-1909)
Modern Love


C P Cavafy (1863-1933)
Collected Poems 
(incl. 'Waiting for the Barbarians';
'The God Abandons Antony';
'Ithaka';
'A Byzantine Nobleman in Exile Composing Verses';
'The Melancholy of Iason Kleandros, Poet in Kommagini, 595 C E';
'And I Lounge and Lay on Their Beds')


Georgette Heyer (1902-1974)
The Grand Sophy

Venetia

Friday's Child

Cotillion 

A Civil Contract


Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)
Selected Poetry 
(incl. 'Evening';
'Rosary';
'White Flock';
Requiem;
Poem Without a Hero)


Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989)
Rebecca


Lao-Tse (ca. 570 B C)
Tao tê Ching


Heraclitus (fl. ca. 500 B C)
Philosophical Fragments


Cicero (106-43 B C)
On Duties

Discussions at Tusculum

The Dream of Scipio [part of De re Publica]

The Letters to Atticus


Erasmus (1466?-1536)
The Praise of Folly


The English Religious Tradition (incl.
The King James Bible

The Book of Common Prayer

John Bunyan - The Pilgrim's Progress

Isaac Watts - Hymns

Charles Wesley - Hymns

George Whitefield - Sermons

Jonathan Edwards - Sermons)


Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)
Ethics

Theological-Political Treatise


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
The Vanity of Human Wishes

Rasselas

Essays From the Rambler and the Idler

Lives of the Poets


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (fourteenth century)

Pearl*


The Classic Fairy Tales (incl.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Hans Christian Andersen

Charles Perrault

Countess d'Aulnoy
[incl. 'The Yellow Dwarf']

Angela Carter - 'The Comany of Wolves' [from The Bloody Chamber]

Tanith Lee - Red as Blood[, or Tales From the Sisters Grimmer])


E T A Hoffmann(1776-1822)
Short Stories 
(incl. 'The Golden Pot';
'The Sandman';
'Mademoiselle de Scudery';
'The Mines of Falun')

The Devil's Elixirs*


Prosper Mérmiée (1803-1870)
Short Stories 
(incl. Carmen;
'Mateo Falcone';
''La Double Méprise';
'The Spanish Witches';
'Djoumane';
Lokis;
Colomba;
'The Venus of Ille')

The Chronicle of the Reign of Charles IX*

 
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924)
The Secret Garden

Little Ford Fauntleroy*

A Little Princess*

 
E Nesbit (1858-1924)
Five Children and It

The Story of the Treasure-Seekers*

The Railway Children*

The Story of the Amulet*

Wet Magic*

The Phoenix and the Carpet*

 
John Masefield (1878-1967)
The Box of Delights

 
Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)
Memoirs of a Midget

Other Works
(incl. 'The Listeners';
Peacock Pie;
'Seaton's Aunt';
'All Hallows';
'The Riddle';
'Crewe';
The Return)

 
Plutarch (fl.ca. 66)
Parallel Lives of the Greeks and Romans



Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576)
The Book of My Life

The Secrets of Eternity*


John Aubrey (1626-1697)
Brief Lives


Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
Selected Poems 
(incl. Essay on Criticism;
The Rape of the Lock;
'Elegy for an Unfortunate Lady';
'Eloisa to Abelard';
'Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot';
The Dunciad


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
The Social Contract

Confessions

On the Origin of Inequality

Julie, or The New Héloïse*

Émile, or On Education*

Discourse on the Sciences and Arts

Reveries of a Solitary Walker*


Frederick Douglass (1817-1895)
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself


Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897)
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy


Henry James (1843-1916)
Collected Letters

Collected Essays

The American Scene

Italian Hours [twenty essays, only two of which had not been previously published in periodicals or other books, 1873-1902; many of the works were revised for this book, published 1909; see the Notes on the Text for Library of America's version]

A Small Boy and Others

The Turn of the Screw*

The Aspern Papers*

The Beast in the Jungle*


W H Auden (1907-1973)
Selected Poems 
(incl. 'Meiosis';
'Ode';
'Letter to Lord Byron';
'The Sea and the Mirror';
'The Platonic Blow';
'Spain';
'September 1, 1939';
elegies for Yeats and Freud;
'On the Circuit';
'The Cave of Making')

The Dyer's Hand

The Enchafèd Flood

Forewords and Afterwords

--

continued at 22 June...