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Re: [mythsoc] '50 Greatest Postwar British Writers'

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  • John Davis
    Hi, Another real omission would seem to be Julian Barnes. I may be biased in wanting him to see him right at the top (well, with Tolkien and Larkin, maybe),
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 17, 2008
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      Hi,

      Another real omission would seem to be Julian Barnes. I may be biased in
      wanting him to see him right at the top (well, with Tolkien and Larkin,
      maybe), but even so, he must be one of the few contemporary non-genre
      writers consistently hitting bestseller lists in many different countries,
      he has won many awards, and, for my money, is both technically and
      imaginatively a more competent writer than nearly everyone else on the list.

      (Oh, and the best way I've found to deal with links over two lines that
      don't paste properly into IE7+ is to click the link, then paste the extra
      bit into the end of the address and hit refresh.)

      John

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Deidre" <deidre@...>
      To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 7:24 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] '50 Greatest Postwar British Writers'


      > At 06:57 AM 1/16/2008, you wrote:
      >>2a. '50 Greatest Postwar British Writers'
      >> Posted by: "John D Rateliff" sacnoth@... sacnoth32
      >> Date: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:55 pm ((PST))
      >>
      >>A friend in England sent me this link, which I thought I'd share.
      >>Seems to be an interesting mix of literary and popular. Glad to see
      >>Tolkien made it in the top ten.
      >> --JDR
      >>
      >>http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/
      >>article3127837.ece
      >
      > If one puts angle brackets around URLs, they should then work as a
      > clickable link in most email programs.
      >
      > <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article3127837.ece>
      >
      > I did try copying and pasting the link, but that did not work.
      > Hopefully the angle brackets will.
      >
      > It's an interesting list, but I must confess to being surprised that
      > some of the better mystery writers were let off. I would have
      > thought that P. D. James might have made the list, as her Adam
      > Dalgliesh novels are so wonderfully written and many have been
      > adapted for the small screen. I was pleased by the inclusion of
      > Rosemary Sutcliff, as her Arthurian works are some of the best
      > historical works for the Romano-Celtic period in Britain that I have
      > ever read.
      >
      > Deidre
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
    • David Bratman
      John Davis wrote, ... It _would_ seem to be, except that he s no. 44.
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 17, 2008
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        John Davis wrote,

        >Another real omission would seem to be Julian Barnes.

        It _would_ seem to be, except that he's no. 44.
      • John Davis
        Well, consider me thoroughly embarrassed. I read through the list twice and didn t see him. My eyes must have rebelled at seeing Pullman at no. 43 and skipped
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 17, 2008
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          Well, consider me thoroughly embarrassed.

          I read through the list twice and didn't see him. My eyes must have rebelled
          at seeing Pullman at no. 43 and skipped ahead!

          I'll get my coat.

          John
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "David Bratman" <dbratman@...>
          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:16 PM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] '50 Greatest Postwar British Writers'


          > John Davis wrote,
          >
          >>Another real omission would seem to be Julian Barnes.
          >
          > It _would_ seem to be, except that he's no. 44.
          >
        • Adam Smith
          An interesting list, though of course these lists are made simply to be argued with. There were some important omissions that others have noted - Richard
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 21, 2008
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            An interesting list, though of course these lists are made simply to
            be argued with.

            There were some important omissions that others have noted - Richard
            Adams, Graham Greene, W.H. Auden. The criteria for inclusion on the
            list seems a bit cloudy.

            Larkin, though a talented (and at times downright depressing) writer
            and poet, is a surprise at #1.

            I was rather surprised to see John Fowles & AS Byatt so far down the
            list - I think "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and "Possession" are
            two of the better postwar English novels.

            I also think a case could be made for Robert Holdstock - certainly
            more so, IMHO, than Moorcock.

            Just my two cents (or less).

            Adam
          • John D Rateliff
            Personally, I was delighted to see Larkin at the top of the list. His reputation only took off late in life, just before his death in 1985, but in the years
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 22, 2008
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              Personally, I was delighted to see Larkin at the top of the list. His
              reputation only took off late in life, just before his death in 1985,
              but in the years since it's pretty well been the consensus that he's
              the best English poet of the second half of the twentieth century.
              The big surprise was to see a poet -- any poet -- beat out Orwell (a
              perennial favorite) and Golding (a Nobel Prize winner) for the top spot.
              Moorcock of course I'd have left off altogether: even fiftieth
              place is too generous for an opinionated hack. I don't much like
              Mieville, but surely he's a better writer and deserves the spot more
              than Moorcock. I'd also have bumped up Fowles about twenty places,
              sunk Carter to the very bottom (or removed her altogether), and taken
              Rushdie out (a publicity stunt gone horribly awry doesn't make him
              one of the greats).
              The person I'd most want to see added is Richard Adams: he
              deserves it for WATERSHIP DOWN alone, while GIRL ON A SWING shows he
              can write just as well in a completely different mode (turning
              PORTRAIT OF JENNIE into a creepily effective modern horror novel). I
              also think Gaiman shd be there, not for his novels or (God knows) his
              screenplays but for his short stories and young adult fiction:
              there's no one this side of Ray Bradbury who can equal him there.
              Congratulations to the list-makers anyway for including Tolkien
              in the top ten, and for making room for Rowling and (especially)
              Pullman, though I think he shd have ranked higher than he did.
              --JDR


              On Jan 21, 2008, at 8:44 AM, Adam Smith wrote:
              > An interesting list, though of course these lists are made simply to
              > be argued with.
              >
              > There were some important omissions that others have noted - Richard
              > Adams, Graham Greene, W.H. Auden. The criteria for inclusion on the
              > list seems a bit cloudy.
              >
              > Larkin, though a talented (and at times downright depressing) writer
              > and poet, is a surprise at #1.
              >
              > I was rather surprised to see John Fowles & AS Byatt so far down the
              > list - I think "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and "Possession" are
              > two of the better postwar English novels.
              >
              > I also think a case could be made for Robert Holdstock - certainly
              > more so, IMHO, than Moorcock.
              >
              > Just my two cents (or less).
              >
              > Adam
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