A few of my favorite writers and some of their best work

1. “1984” George Orwell

“The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.”
– George Orwell, 1984

2. “Ask the Dust” John Fante

““Los Angeles, give me some of you! Los Angeles come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town.”

-John Fante , Ask the Dust

3. “Siddhartha” Herman Hesse

“”He saw all these forms and faces in a thousand relationships to each other, all helping each other, loving, hating, destroying each other and become newly born. Each one of them was mortal, a passionate, painful example of all that was transitory. Yet none of them died, they only changed, were always reborn, continually had a new face: only time stood between one face and another.”

-Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

4. “On the Road” Jack Kerouac

“”I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was — I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds.”

-Jack Kerouac, On the Road

5. “Noted from Underground” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“I am a sick man…. I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man.”

-Fyodor Dostoevsky

6.”The Gay Science” Friedrich Nietzsche

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

7.”Suttree” Cormac McCarthy

““Suttree stood among the screaming leaves and called the lightning down. It cracked and boomed about and he pointed out the darkened heart within him and cried for light. If there be any art in the weathers of this earth. Or char these bones to coal. If you can, if you can. A blackened rag in the rain.”

-Cormac McCarthy

8. “Junky” William S. Burroughs

“They just drifted along until they got hooked.If you have ever been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict.”

-William S. Burroughs

9. “The Metamorphosis” Franz Kafka

“One side of his body rose up, he was tilted at an angle in the doorway, his flank was quite bruised, horrid blotches stained the white door, soon he was stuck fast and, left to himself, could not have moved at ale his legs on one side fluttered trembling in the air, those on the other were crushed painfully to the floor-when from behind his father gave him a strong push which was literally a deliverance and he flew far into the room, bleeding freely. The door was slammed behind him with the stick, and then at last there was silence.”

-Franz Kafka

10.”A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Gabriel García Márquez

On the third day of rain they had killed so many crabs inside the house that Pelayo had to cross his drenched courtyard and throw them into the sea, because the newborn child had a temperature all night and they thought it was due to the stench. The world had been sad since Tuesday. Sea and sky were a single ash-gray thing and the sands of the beach, which on March nights glimmered like powdered light, had become a stew of mud and rotten shellfish. The light was so weak at noon that when Pelayo was coming back to the house after throwing away the crabs, it was hard for him to see what it was that was moving and groaning in the rear of the courtyard. He had to go very close to see that it was an old man, a very old man, lying face down in the mud, who, in spite of his tremendous efforts, couldn’t get up, impeded by his enormous wings.

-Gabriel Garcia Marquez


10 thoughts on “A few of my favorite writers and some of their best work

  1. very good list. I really appreciate Kerouac becaus I felt the American bit generation, Orwell is perfect up-to-date, Siddharta was a young discovery. About Dostoevskj I prefer Karamazov brothers and Crime and punishment

      • Excellent choice. I have only read it twice, but feel that it is one of those books that must be read over and over, throughout a lifetime. Have you read any of Herman’s other novels? I am working on trying to read all of his work.

      • Yes, I was on big Hesse kick for a while. I’ve read Demian, Narcissus and Goldamund, Steppenwolf and I’m still working on the Glass Bead Game. Siddhartha is the best, although if I ever understand the Glass Bead Game, I may change my mind. 🙂

        Thomas Mann is also great, if you like the Germans…

  2. Deborah,
    I love the Germans. Thanks for the recommendation regarding Thomas Mann. I tried reading Heidegger but it was pretty difficult. In regards to Hesse, I would like to read everything…

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