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Old 2012-09-27, 20:39   Link #1
ganbaru
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Which authors or what books will pass the ''test of time''

A simple question: Which modern ( 1950 and after)authors and what books do you think ( or even hope) will pass the test of time ? Of course, some bad one might ''pass'' the test by simple popularity but most of them should be deserving one.

If I had to choose only 3 modern authors from the US and UK ( than aren't already considered as classique) I would say Lawrence Block, Neil Gaiman and Iaim Banks. For the french one I am tempted to say Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre but the only reason reason they aren't classique is because it's beem not enough time.

What is your list ?
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Old 2012-09-27, 20:44   Link #2
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Old 2012-09-27, 21:13   Link #3
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a hundred years from now, Steven King maybe regarded the Edgar Allan Poe of the past century.

or not.
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Old 2012-09-27, 22:52   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
a hundred years from now, Steven King maybe regarded the Edgar Allan Poe of the past century.

or not.
There's a joke about the "literary giants of the 20th Century" in the Star Trek "whale movie" where they go back in time.

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Old 2012-09-28, 00:23   Link #5
SaintessHeart
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Given the degenerating use of language and the lack of interest in the pursuit of knowledge, will we even have the ability to read the books of the past in the future, or even bother to even read through the entirety of them?

Call in the fireman.
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Old 2012-09-28, 00:41   Link #6
aohige
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I think degenerating of language has been happening for like, 2000 years, constantly changing to adapt to the times.

Also, I don't think there's a "lack of interest in the pursuit of knowledge" compared to century ago, instead of absorving knowledge from books, it's moved on to connecting with massively large outlets of people through the globilization and internet. The social aspect of knowledge has greately increased, while desire to learn history has decreased, but as a whole sum I think it's actually on the rising.
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Old 2012-09-28, 00:46   Link #7
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by aohige View Post
I think degenerating of language has been happening for like, 2000 years, constantly changing to adapt to the times.

Also, I don't think there's a "lack of interest in the pursuit of knowledge" compared to century ago, instead of absorving knowledge from books, it's moved on to connecting with massively large outlets of people through the globilization and internet. The social aspect of knowledge has greately increased, while desire to learn history has decreased, but as a whole sum I think it's actually on the rising.
Not exactly. People have been easily overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge available that they no longer want to learn anything that is long and tedious, like science and maths.

There is no longer a fascination in the complex unknown. It is just "so long as if works"; the parlour walls are treated as replacement that we are shredding imagination for over-simplicity.
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Old 2012-09-28, 02:23   Link #8
aohige
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Do you actually have numbers to prove this?

The birth of organizations such as CERN, the internationally collaborated building of LHC, emergence of Doctors Without Borders, Bill Gates' massive effort into bringing science and technology to darker corners of the world... I don't see the world nearly as bleak as you paint it to be. Globlization has brought like-wise people together, and perhaps you don't see the enthusiasm of knowledge in your peers because, they have already found their place?

It's become easier to connect people, but that also seems to create physical isolationism between individuals on a local scale.

As for on-topic matters, literature and history may have taken a hit.
The medium for consumption of such has become less and less bookbased, so yes, novels may face a bleaker future than it ever has in the past.
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Old 2012-09-28, 03:22   Link #9
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Eh... just by merely looking through the list of Booker Prize winners, a few names pop up instantly as worthy contenders, such as:
  • V.S. Naipaul
  • William Golding
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Magaret Atwood
  • Kazuo Ishiguro

Naipaul and Atwood may be a little less well-known, but Golding and Rushdie are very much in the public's consciousness because of landmark novels like Lord of the Flies and The Satanic Verses, respectively. Ishiguro is also likely to be better remembered as the author of books that have had successful movie adaptations, such as The Remains of the Day and the more recent Never Let Me Go.

Other modern writers who I believe will stand the test of time include Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms) and George Orwell (1984), the former for firmly popularising the style and form of modern American literature and the latter for his wide range of fiction and political essays. (It helps, of course, that I greatly admire both writers for their use of simple, straightforward language that still manages to strike hard with stark realism.)

In the realm of fantasy, it'll be hard to ignore J.R.R. Tolkien's influence on a now multi-million-dollar gaming industry. Then, there are science fiction writers like Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick, who imagined worlds and alternative realities so advanced that it's only recently that movie special effects are able to portray them adequately.

The list could go on. And of course, everyone will have his own list of influential writers who would stand the test of time. I hardly think people have stopped reading, though it's certainly true that our attention span is far more fragmented across multiple platforms today.
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Old 2012-09-28, 03:42   Link #10
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Apart from those mentioned, I would add William Gibson and Brandon Sanderson to the group. Gibson due to, primarily, Neuromancer which quite accurately foresaw some of the tech of today and still stands strong today, and Sanderson due to his work with Robert Jordan, his magic systems and general popularity of Mistborn.

Vernor Vinge and some Russian authors such as Dmitry Glukhovsky might also stand a chance.

EDIT: I am ashamed I forgot about Clarke and Philip... Derp.

EDIT 2: Might be right at the edge of the 50's, but Isaac Asimov's Foundation series is obvious.
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Old 2012-09-28, 03:44   Link #11
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
Do you actually have numbers to prove this?

The birth of organizations such as CERN, the internationally collaborated building of LHC, emergence of Doctors Without Borders, Bill Gates' massive effort into bringing science and technology to darker corners of the world... I don't see the world nearly as bleak as you paint it to be. Globlization has brought like-wise people together, and perhaps you don't see the enthusiasm of knowledge in your peers because, they have already found their place?
I don't have the numbers to prove this, most of this is from experience. As for my peers finding their place as pop-product consumers? Sure.

Globalisation and introduction of new technology is a great thing, that I have to agree with. What I don't agree with is the general attitude of people towards technology and knowledge, they seem to think that if technology simplifies the accumulation of knowledge, then the acquisition of knowledge should not be complex.

It isn't true. A single processor with hyper-threading function contains as much complexity as a procedure to operate on the spinal column - McNamara killed many soldiers in Vietnam with the M16 with the kind of thinking that everything can be represented by a single simple system.

Quote:
It's become easier to connect people, but that also seems to create physical isolationism between individuals on a local scale.

As for on-topic matters, literature and history may have taken a hit.
The medium for consumption of such has become less and less bookbased, so yes, novels may face a bleaker future than it ever has in the past.
Well a light novel has already presented a future like this; at least in Japan. * So did another ancient English novel......

The possible future that we face is that language might easily be degraded into Ingsoc (we already have some form of garbage called "political correctness"). The books that pass the test of time would probably be those that are "inventive" and "creative" - Shakespeare didn't become as well known as he is without inventing a few thousand new words.

* - I wouldn't mind having a little sister to teach me kanji like that. In return, I can teach her anything else....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Naipaul and Atwood may be a little less well-known, but Golding and Rushdie are very much in the public's consciousness because of landmark novels like Lord of the Flies and The Satanic Verses, respectively. Ishiguro is also likely to be better remembered as the author of books that have had successful movie adaptations, such as The Remains of the Day and the more recent Never Let Me Go.
Susan Hill - I Am The King Of The Castle. In otaku context, Edward could be said to be the yangire of the pair, psychopathic and scheming, and Kingshaw's mum is one heck of a slut that even his classmate called her a "cheap old tart".

Though I am surprised that the Japanese animators had yet to pick this up and turn it into a BL fanwork - it is obvious who is the seme and who is the uke.

Quote:
Other modern writers who I believe will stand the test of time include Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms) and George Orwell (1984), the former for firmly popularising the style and form of modern American literature and the latter for his wide range of fiction and political essays. (It helps, of course, that I greatly admire both writers for their use of simple, straightforward language that still manages to strike hard with stark realism.)
Orwell isn't much of a storyteller, I would say he is more of a social critic like Dickens and Huxley because of how he portrays the world in his stories with brutal honesty. Orwell even criticised his own government in Burmese Days that the book was not as well received in the "upper class" of the society, and Animal Farm was barred from publication until WW2 was over.

Quote:
In the realm of fantasy, it'll be hard to ignore J.R.R. Tolkien's influence on a now multi-million-dollar gaming industry. Then, there are science fiction writers like Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick, who imagined worlds and alternative realities so advanced that it's only recently that movie special effects are able to portray them adequately.
Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein are two people that has to be included alongside Arthur C. Clarke that presented the positivity and future of science affecting our lives. However, their ideas tend to be idealistic at best, it seems that the overly pragmatic premises of H.G Wells and Jules Verne, where people contemplate disbelief towards the wonders of science and its utility as a destructive force to control others make it seem that technology is dangerous. The Time Machine, Nautilus and the Carolinium bombs seem to perpetuate greed and messiah complexes (Koalar, Captain Nemo, and in "The World Set Free") and seem to be more "realistic" as compared to Asimov and Heinlein's works.

Though I wish Huxley's idea of the Malthusian belt actually came true.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.

Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2012-09-28 at 04:02.
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Old 2012-09-28, 03:46   Link #12
Om Nerabdator
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Robert jordan and the wheel of time series they are just epic!! everything i love is in it!

Magic, MC leads an army, The lord dragon(come on thats just awesome), a foursomesome....kinda, MC is kind but turns ruthless over the course of the books ^^
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Old 2012-09-28, 04:03   Link #13
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Put it this way, it won't be Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyer.

JK Rowling could go either way.
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Old 2012-09-28, 04:11   Link #14
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So where does Lovecraft fits in ? He writes pulps yet it's hard to ignore the impact he had on litreature as he is the first to blend horror with sci-fi.
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Old 2012-09-28, 04:13   Link #15
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He would count, and quite a lot, but as the OP wrote, he wanted mostly post-1950s authors. Lovecraft died in '37 so...
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Old 2012-09-28, 04:19   Link #16
ganbaru
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To be honest,I thought than Lovercraft was already condidered as a classique, like Heminguay, Arthur C Clarke, Ray Bradbury or George Orwell to name a few.
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Old 2012-09-28, 04:32   Link #17
MakubeX2
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In that case, I would opt for Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. An entire generation had grown up reading their works alongside Grimms and Andersen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
To be honest,I thought than Lovercraft was already condidered as a classique, like Heminguay, Arthur C Clarke, Ray Bradbury or George Orwell to name a few.
Yes, his works are classics but still pulps. He had never published a single book by himself in his life. It was only by a stroke of luck that his genius was recognised by August Derleth and preserved. Lovecraft's work could had easily gone the way of so much of his peers.

Which brings to the point that there might be many good writters today that are ignored by publishers because they do not have that mass appeal.
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Old 2012-09-28, 06:41   Link #18
DonQuigleone
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Certainly Roald Dahl, but I don' think Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie will have the staying power. Boh of them were essentially writing genre fiction, and it's rare for that to stick around for more then a generation. Roald Dahl, on the other hand, had an edge to him. His books didn't really fit into a set formula (other then the fact the adults were always horrendously cruel...). They have a similar quality to Louis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland.

Also, why no mention of J.R.R. Tolkien? I'd say his books will stick around (but not his immitators).

In the pre-1950 category I'd also nominate Brave New World.

Also, what about Catch 22?

I'd like to see Isaac Asimov's books continue to be remembered, but I think his works will date, much like Agatha Christie. That and Sci-Fi gets no respect from the literary establishment...

Also, those who think our writing has degenerated has clearly been reading the wrong books.
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Old 2012-09-28, 07:20   Link #19
MakubeX2
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Certainly Roald Dahl, but I don' think Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie will have the staying power. Boh of them were essentially writing genre fiction, and it's rare for that to stick around for more then a generation.
I would disagree. Blyton writes good inspirational juvenile fiction that are easily digest by their target audience.

Agatha Christie had made her mark on the detective fiction with And Then There Were None. If Holmes has the tenacity to stick around, I don't see the reason why Christie doesn't.
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Old 2012-09-28, 07:57   Link #20
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by MakubeX2 View Post
I would disagree. Blyton writes good inspirational juvenile fiction that are easily digest by their target audience.
While my elder sister, and yourself, read Enid Blyton, less people in my generation really read her books. Not only that, but a lot of her work contains extremely dated attitudes, like this.
Quote:
Agatha Christie had made her mark on the detective fiction with And Then There Were None. If Holmes has the tenacity to stick around, I don't see the reason why Christie doesn't.
While Agatha Christie was indeed prolific, I see her popularity waning. While Conan Doyle is still going strong, Christie is no as prevalent in the popular conciousness. For one thing, while Christie adaptations were extremely frequent on television in my youth, today they exist only as reruns.

Not only that, but Agatha Christie's novels (with the possible exception of And Then There Were None) are all extremely formulaic. She basically wrote the same novel again and again with minor variations. The same also goes for Enid Blyton too, who also wrote largely to formula.

To illustrate, for Poirot there are 33 novels and 50 short stories, all of which are largely the same. Likewise, there ar 21 Famous Five novels, which again are all largely the same. Both of them were too prolific for their own good, and so no single work of theirs can ever stand out.

A similar criticism might be leveled at Conan Doyle with Sherlock holmes, but on the other hand Holmes wrote a larger variety of plots (it wasn't all murder, as it was with Christie), and Doyle placed a much larger emphasis on the relationship between Holmes and Watson, which makes the series more interesting. But I wouldn't even be sure of Conan Doyle having that much staying power either, even though he's already managed to last this long.

I'd say these figures could end up like Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a best selling author in his time who's now obscure.
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