Future classicsI had a professor who said that when scholars look back on twentieth century American literature, it would be southern writers like Faulkner, O'Connor, and others who would be...

Future classics

I had a professor who said that when scholars look back on twentieth century American literature, it would be southern writers like Faulkner, O'Connor, and others who would be considered the greats. Who do you think will be in lit. books 100 years from now?

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lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Tim O'Brien is already writing read and taught in high schools.  The Things They Carried has such a unique plot line, and when you add his meta-fiction chapters you have a really interesting, challenging work that makes the reader think about some of the expectations he has about what makes a good story and what matters in a good story.  So much to think about!

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us not forget the Canadians - I think Margaret Atwood definitely deserves a place. Her novels are simply stunning. I also really like the British author David Mitchell. Anyone read his Cloud Atlas? Incredible and impressive. What about Cormac McCarthy? I have really enjoyed some of his works though I have not read all of them.

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In response to those discussing King:

Some of his early work, yes.  But his later work has taken on a poetic turn.  Bag of Bones is a good ghost story, but it is an even better poem about the nature of small communities and the nature of revenge.  It is a modern and supernatural Count of Monte Cristo.  It was the first of his that I read and said -- that belongs in history. 

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Thank goodness - ignore the Americans!! 

I think there is a potential floodgate of memorable authors for many different reasons.  Rowling, as I inadverntantly mentioned earlier, Conrad, Joyce, Shaw, Lawrence, Eliot...WOW, there are some good ones.  Maybe even more obscure names like Dylan Thomas or Margaret Atwood could be considered.  Frank McCourt is another one, although he's going to need something other than just Angela's Ashes to be cemented as a "great" (I did like Teacher Man, though, nicely structured).

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jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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I agree that Faulkner and others like him will be elevated in stature. Toni Morrison as well.

What will last, I believe, is literature that provides evidence of the literary movements and historical/cultural movements of the time.

Faulkner embodies modernism (and post-modernism if there is such a thing). He has one foot in the 19th and the other firmly planted in the problems of the 20th century.

FSF, Cather, Wharton, O'Connor........not so much Hemmingway....

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Woo hoo - British writers! :)

Well, I'm going to throw in Tolkien, Rowling, and Wodehouse! :)

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Since I started this conversation, I say let's include Brit. writers too. In fact, all international writers.

Personally, I can't get past the profanity in King's books to find anything relevant. Maybe someone can start a new discussion about that.

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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I think The Stand is an incredibly ambitious piece of work.  I've read quite a bit of stuff about the relation of most of his other novels to The Stand - characters names, places, events, etc.  The sheer size of it makes it tough to label as a must read, but it's certainly one of his best. 

I have to cheat a little bit when naming my favorite because I LOVED the Dark Tower series.  If I can count every volume as one collaborative novel, that would be my favorite.  Then, in no particular order, Insomnia, Bag of Bones, Desperation (alongside Regulators), and Thinner would make up my top five.  I thought Green Mile was an over-rated novel (although the movie was great), and I'm not a fan of any of his screen plays (although Storm of the Century is tolerable).

My wife laughs at my King obsession - one entire bookshelf with nothing else but King stuff on it (bobblehead included!).

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Oh!  I re-read the original topic, and I see that I chose to ignore the "American" part of the first post.  My bad!

  That's okay...when I first started my list, I had Tolkien on it before I went back and re-read it!! :)

What do you think of "The Stand"?  What would you choose as King's best works?

mrerick's profile pic

mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

Oh!  I re-read the original topic, and I see that I chose to ignore the "American" part of the first post.  My bad!

malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I thought about Rowling, but she's British.  I also thought of Stephen King because I absolutely love his early work, especially "The Stand," but I just don't see him becoming what future scholars consider to be great 20th-century American literature.  I could be wrong here...I hope I am..."The Stand" is really an amazing book, along with many others by him ("Carrie," "The Shining," "'Salem's Lot," etc.).

mrerick's profile pic

mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

One name I'm excited to see being included in some newer lit books is Stephen King!

How about Rowling?  I imagine once people get past the problem of teaching our kids magic (!!), we may see some HP excepts in junior high anthology books.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

How about these? 

 

Mark Twain

Bobbie Ann Mason

Eudora Welty

Margaret Mitchell

Flannery O'Connor

Robert Penn Warren

Barbara Kingsolver

malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Here is the list I came up with...I'm sure others will think of more (and probably lots that I've never heard of!!)! :)

Ernest Hemingway
Tennessee Williams
Alice Walker
Katherine Anne Porter
John Steinbeck
Robert Frost
James Thurber
Jack London
Willa Cather
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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