23 June

The most-recent edition of Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide to which I have access, the fifth, edited by Nick Rennison and co-authored by him and Kenneth McLeish, the editor of the first-fourth editions, at first glance made me think that this series offers a conceivable "great books" list, because it designates certain books as Highly Recommended and a smaller number as Masterpieces. However, the introduction to the fifth edition seems to suggest that this feature only appeared with that edition, thus making those selections the choice of Rennison only. Moreover, the series, currently in its ninth edition, like the book 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, doesn't take the reader back to ancient times (and, like that book, doesn't acknowledge this temporal wall). Instead, Rennison does note that only works "written in English or [...] widely available in translation" are included. Moreover, the guide excludes theatre, and only has a small, separate list of poetry. The genre and temporal restrictions are more important than the English-language preference for the purposes of this project. As noted previously, several of these lists are Western-specific, ostensibly or otherwise; and that restriction is, in its roundabout way, a language-based one. Either way, Bloomsbury's out.