Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Fanny Howe on Edward Dahlberg (at TPF) — how many have you read?:

We met in cafes in New York and once at Elaine's where he was disgusted by what he saw. I was proud to be with him, my secret teacher, and only Frank MacShane shared my interest, my desire to please him. He sent me a list of writers I was instructed to read by June, 1967. This is that list, verbatim:
Osiris by Wallis Budge
Egypt by Maspero
The Book of Job by Morris Jastrow
The Song of Songs
The Gentle Cynic
The Voyage of the Beagle by Darwin
L'Amour by Stendhal
Physiology of Marriage by Balzac
Enquiries into Plants by Theophrastes
The History of Greece
Greek Poets by John Addington Symonds
Lives of the Greek Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius
Last Essays by Eric Gill
Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion by Jane Harrison
Amiel's Journal
The Goncourt Journals
Imaginary Conversations by Landor
And later he handed me a further list:
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy
Sir Thomas Browne
Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
Animals and Birds by Buffon
Les Characteres by Lydell
Love of the Nymphs by Porphyry
Gil Blas by Le Sage

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Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

Oh dear, I am laughing at myself even as I say this, I think I might be overly abstruse in my reading - but I would say that the second list is more sensibly a "must-read" list (I have read most), whereas the first is a "what I have been reading and finding interesting" and not at ALL the sort of thing one should issue as a recommendation (I think I have read only a couple of 'em which is rather strange!)! That said, I feel that I spent my teenage years combing the writings of Ezra Pound and Anthony Burgess for reading recommendations that were possibly as odd...

11:03 PM  

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