If you like reading lists, here is one from Publishers Weekly.
I confess to having read none of them, although I did manage Gravity’s Rainbow, one of the runners-up — twice!
Didn’t Spencer write The Faerie Queen as an ode to Elizabeth I?
Thanks for posting the link to the books, some of which I’d like to try to read. The hardest book I’ve been trying to read for years now is The Essential Ken Wilber: An Introductory Reader.
I read some of Phenomonology of Spirit in college, didn’t understand a damn thing! Don’t think I’ll be returning to that one. But I’m surprised To the Lighthouse is on here. It’s a bit oddly structured and, err…. evocative, but I didn’t find it hard going, and it’s certainly not in anything like the same league as Hegel, Joyce or Spenser.
I have an intro the The Faerie Queene on The Expvlsion!
I remember that. But it was not enough to turn my steps Spencer-ward.
Back when I was living the Life of the Bohemian Mind, I read bits and hunks from a number of the books on this list. I own quality paperbacks of The Faerie Queen, Clarissa, and Nightwood. I imagined, under the influence of critics declaiming that “difficulty” equalled “pushing the envelope,” that reading books like these would somehow transform me into somebody at ease in all exile cafes and with all exile thinking.
These days, I’d have to say that it didn’t get me a better espresso or a better poem…Nonetheless, I still wear my North Beach beret…
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