Monday, May 28, 2007

Canon of Future

via complete review, submissions for a literary canon of the future. Very disappointing overall but it gave me an excuse to think about my favourite contemporary (say, of the last 25 years) novels. This is what I came up with. (I know, some of them are already part of the established canon but anyway). In order:

1. The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald: Sebald is perhaps my favourite modern European writer and this is my personal favourite. The other three The Emigrants, Vertigo and Austerlitz are masterpieces too.

2. Extinction by Thomas Bernhard:
I have actually not finished it yet, around 100 pages were stil left when I set it aside for future reading. I wanted to read some other writers but I think I am still stuck in Austria. I have to get out of there soon too. Difficult to read but an undisputed masterpiece.

3. The Melancholy of Resistance by Laszlo Krasznahorkai: It won the prestigious "Dispatches from Zembla Book of the Year" award a few months ago. Need I say more?

4. The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq: People don't like him and his recent books got comparatively tepid responses too but this one is a masterpiece.

5. Atonement by Ian McEwan:
Just to clear the misconception that I like only bleak and nihilistic books (like the previous four) here is one very conventional romance/melodrama which I like very much. I am hoping the new Hollywood movie is good too.

Runners Up: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa.

2 comments:

jyothsnay said...

Genuinely mellifluous musical chords of congratulations to the winners for having achieved the top slots as well as for having grabbed hold of Mr Zembla's heart...:))))))
I read Extinction by Bernhard as soon as I am through with the Voice Imitator n am still fascinated by his amusingly exaggerated rants n diatribe, virtually a dark, brooding & pessimistic outlook towards life...who relentlessly probes for varied plots of a character so as to create a patch of disgusting flavour on the palms of readers' fingers and that strong penchant for "deconstructing" lives...sheer celebration of misanthropiasm* (new coin) and hatred for mortal beings as a whole
I loved "Atonement", a portrayal of young girl's life too!

Alok said...

Mr. Zembla, that sounds super-cool!!