Classic literature from every country, please

Diziet Sma

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#41
I'm not Mexican but I could add books by Juan Rulfo, Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz amongst others...
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#43
getting this back in.
I have read many from your recommendations and feel better for it. I'm elbow deep in Joyce now (irish) and will keep going .

but I have Iran to add.
just read The Conference of the birds~ Farid Ud-Din Attar a dense poem of allegory considered a masterpiece (1177AD)

I'll be reading more this year and will just edit it larger
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#45
Very few Lithuanian classics have been translated to English and my favourites don't make it into that list, unfortunately. There's a bit more choice if you can read Polish or German translations, though (or Latin if you're interested in Renaissance epics and poetry).

For those that have been translated and are readily available, I have two suggestions:

First, The White Shroud (Balta Drobulė in Lithuanian) by Antanas Škėma. It's a piece of modernist fiction written in a stream of consciousness. I've often seen it compared to Camus' L'étranger, not necessarily because of the plot, but due to prevalent existentialist and absurdist themes. It's primarily set in 1950's New York, but the narrative jumps around to multiple points in Garšva's (the main character's) life in Lithuania and Germany.

I see it was translated again this year. Here's a link to the publisher's description, explains it better than I do: https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/bookshop-changelings/white-shroud

It's on amazon.uk as well, but I can't find it on the US version.

I also recommend The Forest of the Gods (Dievų Miškas) by Balys Sruoga, which is a memoir of author's time in a Nazi concentration camp. He wasn't Jewish, so it doesn't really focus on Holocaust, but on his personal experience instead. What sets this book apart from all the others, in my opinion, is how funny it is. There are scenes from the prisoners' as well as the SS soldiers' point of view, however the author's real feelings are mostly concealed through the heavy use of irony, sarcasm and dark dark humour. It's sometimes hysterically funny, but at it's core it's a protest of an almost powerless victim and an attack on the totalitarian regime. A very compelling read.

I haven't been able to find an English version of the book online. There are old editions, but they cost a lot. There's a film adaptation as well, if you're interested. I heard it's pretty good and there should be a translation available.
 
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Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#46
Very few Lithuanian classics have been translated to English and my favourites don't make it into that list, unfortunately. There's a bit more choice if you can read Polish or German, though (or Latin if you're interested in Renaissance epics and poetry).

For those that have been translated and are readily available, I have two suggestions:

First, The White Shroud (Balta Drobulė in Lithuanian) by Antanas Škėma. It's a piece of modernist fiction written in a stream of consciousness. I've often seen it compared to Camus' L'étranger, not necessarily because of the plot, but due to prevalent existentialist and absurdist themes. It's primarily set in 1950's New York, but the narrative jumps around to multiple points in Garšva's (the main character's) life in Lithuania and Germany.

I see it was translated again this year. Here's a link to the publisher's description, explains it better than I do: https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/bookshop-changelings/white-shroud

It's on amazon.uk as well, but I can't find it on the US version.

I also recommend The Forest of the Gods (Dievų Miškas) by Balys Sruoga, which is a memoir of author's time in a Nazi concentration camp. He wasn't Jewish, so it doesn't really focus on Holocaust, but on his personal experience instead. What sets this book apart from all the others, in my opinion, is how funny it is. There are scenes from the prisoners' as well as the SS soldiers' point of view, however the author's real feelings are mostly concealed through the heavy use of irony, sarcasm and dark dark humour. It's sometimes hysterically funny, but at it's core it's a protest of an almost powerless victim and an attack on the totalitarian regime. A very compelling read.

I haven't been able to find an English version of the book online. There are old editions, but they cost a lot. There's a film adaptation as well, if you're interested. I heard it's pretty good and there should be a translation available.
.
thanks for the additions

don't feel like you are restricted to your own country for giving recommendations, if you know enough of another I encourage selections.

poland, no one has given polish recommendations yet, and I don't think Germany either (country not language, we should have Czech and Austrian selections for sure)
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#47
.
thanks for the additions

don't feel like you are restricted to your own country for giving recommendations, if you know enough of another I encourage selections.

poland, no one has given polish recommendations yet, and I don't think Germany either (country not language, we should have Czech and Austrian selections for sure)
I'm not well-versed in these languages either. I meant to say that there are more Lithuanian translations in Polish and German than in English and some Latin originals written by poets from Grand Duchy of Lithuania. I guess there are some works from The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth era, but I doubt English translations are available.

For Germany, I'm only familiar with Goethe and Herman Hesse.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#48
no one has given polish recommendations yet
Well, there's always Sapkowski and his Witcher series, but that's not classic literature, that's fantasy.

But I'm sure you can find some recs on google. I don't think we currently have any Polish users (active ones in any case).
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#49
Well, there's Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz. The full name in English is: Sir Thaddeus, or the Last Lithuanian Foray: A Nobleman's Tale from the Years of 1811 and 1812 in Twelve Books of Verse. I think it's the national epic of Poland, but being a Commonwealth author, some of his works, including Pan Tadeusz, are compulsory in Lithuania as well. The book is set after Napoleon formed the Duchy of Warsaw, but before the Congress of Vienna and has two main plot lines: the love story between Tadeusz and Zosia of two different families and a revolt against the Russian occupants. There're funny occurrences, heroic battles, silly intrigue, secrets and a nice mix of political and rural elements. It could be a good introduction to Poland, IMO, especially if you're keen on Napoleonic era.

There's also Polish-Lithuanian poet Czeslaw Miles, a Nobel literature prize laureate. There are English translations of his works.

Other than these two, I'm not familiar with any Polish authors other than Sapkowski.