We have a range of interviews recommending books viewed as “modern classics”. Scott Pack, the co-founder of the Abandoned Bookshop, a digital publisher that specialises in finding forgotten and neglected books chooses his best “forgotten classics”. Meanwhile Michelle Jana Chan chooses her best books on “displacement” and novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein chooses her best philosophical novels and explains how Middlemarch and Moby Dick are both informed by a pre-occupation with the ethics of Spinoza.
Turning to individual authors of modern classics, Laura Varnam chooses her best books on Daphne du Maurier and Sos Eltis discusses Oscar Wilde. Catherine Brown looks at DH Lawrence, Roger Luckhurst at HG Wells and Hermione Lee at Virginia Woolf. Elsewhere, Selina Hastings chooses her best books on Evelyn Waugh and the Bright Young People, Sarah Churchwell looks at The Great Gatsby. Maxim D Shrayer chooses his best books on Vladimir Nabokov.
Daphne du Maurier is one of the most overlooked writers of the twentieth century, says Oxford University’s Laura Varnam. As Rebecca celebrates its eightieth anniversary and du Maurier enjoys a critical renaissance, Varnam explores the books which highlight this novelist’s sheer range and brilliance—from biography and fiction to history and horror.
Ninety per cent of the books we hear about are new, which means we are missing out on countless masterpieces already out there. Scott Pack, co-founder of the Abandoned Bookshop, a digital publisher that specialises in finding forgotten and neglected books, picks five forgotten classics, for lovers not of the new but of the different…
Oscar Wilde cultivated an image of himself as an idle genius, dashing off masterpieces with a lazy brilliance. But below the glittering linguistic surface of his works, suggests Sos Eltis, lies an anarchic politics and a phenomenal analysis of power.
Although less flamboyantly experimental than his contemporaries Joyce and Woolf, D H Lawrence was a modernist, says literary scholar Catherine Brown. Here, she selects five books that make the case for this most contradictory, and often divisive, of writers—a man whose fictions and ‘philosophicalish’ works were by turns brilliant and bewildering, sublime and ridiculous
Often described as the 'father of science fiction', H G Wells was a man of extraordinary charisma and vivid imagination. Yet he suffered terribly from class anxiety and subscribed to political beliefs we now find abhorrent, says the editor and author Roger Luckhurst.
Virginia Woolf was long dismissed as a ‘minor modernist’ but now stands as one of the giants of 20th century literature. Her biographer, Hermione Lee, talks us through the best Virginia Woolf books, novels and essays, and diaries, of Virginia Woolf.
The biographer explores the decadence of the young and rich in 1920s London, and tells us about Evelyn Waugh’s rebellious youth, bullying disposition and later breakdown – as well as just how much (and early) he drank