The Guardian's 1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list
By Lucas Klein, published December 31, 2013, 10:11p.m.
UK's The Guardian is out with a set of "1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list"--and this is definitive, people, so if you haven't read a thousand novels in your lifetime, or not these particular thousand novels, then really there's no accounting for you.
The Guardian doesn't let on what's going to happen if you don't read these novels, but let's just say I don't want to be around to find out (fortunately, the list isn't titled "must read before you die," as some are, so that should buy us all a bit more time).
Anyway, as you may recall, I raised a stink about Flavorwire's "50 Works of Fiction in Translation That Every English Speaker Should Read" not including a single work in Chinese. Fortunately, Chinese fiction fares better when it comes to the top thousand in any language: two whole novels! That's 0.2% of the best long fiction written in the history of the world! Chinese fiction isn't in such bad shape, after all!
Also, given recent controversies, it's good to note that the Nobel doesn't mean that much. I mean, The Guardian demands we read three novels by William Faulkner, three novels by Toni Morrison, two by Gabriel García Márquez, and one by Nadine Gordimer, but none by Gao Xingjian or Mo Yan.
Still, it's too bad. Just think, if Chinese novelists had worked just a little harder, they could have had as much representation as Stephen King.
At least Pearl Buck didn't make the list, either. I can't wait to see what they come up with for their definitive list of poems everyone must read.