21 Titles to Educate the World

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21 Titles to Educate the World

heinäkuu 21, 2017, 10:12 pm

I was pretty excited about the 5 greatest novels topic, and some of that opined therewith. So I wondered which twenty one of your books (you can include multi-volumes but they can't be collections), you would take with you, knowing full well no other books would be in existence? I choose 21, because 20 is simply too few and it's too easy to get carried away. At least ten of them need to be Folio Society Editions, since you're all devotees. I'm curious to see the lists of a seemingly diverse group. Let us pretend that Mathematicians survived and oddly brought with them dictionaries for all. It's still really hard and I hate the thought of leaving books behind. This list might not be great, and could easily change if I was staring at all of them right now, but here it goes.

1. Holy Bible
2. The History of the Church and English People, Bede - FS
3. The Deeds of the English Kings, William of Malmesbury - FS
4. The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon
5. Whiston's Josephus
6. The Histories, Herodotus - FS
7. The Histories of Polybius
8. The Works of John Adams
9. A New Birth of Freedom, Abraham Lincoln - FS
10.Memoirs from Beyond the Tomb - FS
11.Gods, Graves and Scholars
12.Rural Rides by Cobbett - FS
13.War and Peace -FS
14.Huckleberry Finn
15.Dracula -FS
16.Winnie the Pooh
17.The Hobbit - FS
18.Piers Plowman -FS
19.The Epic of Gilgamesh -FS
20.A Midsummer Night's Dream
21.Pride and Prejudice (my wife would kill me if I left this book)

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 21, 2017, 11:11 pm

Another fantastic topic. Nice work!

1: Holy Bible
2: Eusibius - The History of the Church FS
3: City of God FS
4: The Aeneid FS
5: Iliad and Odyssey
6: Dante
7: Paradise Lost FS
8: Essays of Michel De Montaigne
9: The Leopard
10: Aristotle - Ethics FS
11: Cicero - On the Good Life FS
12: Marcus Aurelius - Meditations FS
13: Boethius - The Consolation of Philosophy FS
14: Thomas Gray FS
15: Robert Frost - Selected Poems FS
16: Dune FS
17: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea FS
18: Much Ado about Nothing FS
19: The Spiritual Man - Watchman Née
20: John Keats - Selected Poems FS
21: Matisse in the Barnes Foundation - Quasi FS

heinäkuu 22, 2017, 1:44 am

>1 Foghorn29: >2 Sorion:

Both great lists.

heinäkuu 22, 2017, 3:29 am

The Origin of Species - FS
The Descent of Man - FS
The Voyage of the Beagle - FS
The Ascent of Man - FS
Micrographia - FS
History of Western Philosophy - FS
The Oxford Companion to the Book - OUP
Marks of Genius - Bodleian Library
Leonardo da Vinci: Complete Painting and Drawings - Taschen
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - LEC
Citizens - FS
If this is a Man - FS
The Gulag Archipelago - FS
Hamlet - LEC
King Lear - LEC
Frankenstein - FS
Bleak House - FS
The Trial - LEC
Les Miserables - LEC
News from Nowhere - FS
Siddhartha - Penguin

toukokuu 4, 9:54 am

This is actually an interesting topic, in that, what would we need to keep or know again that's worthy? I dunno... If I were to choose worthy information, and I'll steal some from lists above and try to do the whole in Folio, except 1:

The Bible - FS
Pilgrim's Progress - Bunyan LE
Micrographia - Hooke LE
Principia - Newton FS
Piers the Plowman - Langland FS
History of the Church - Eusebius FS
Deeds of the English Kings - Malmesbury FS
First Folio - Shakespeare FS
The Early History of Rome - Livy FS
The Histories - Herodotus FS
Structures - Gordon FS
Pensees - Pascal FS
The Well Tempered Garden - Lloyd FS
The Hobbit - Tolkien FS
A Christmas Carol - Dickens FS
Huck Finn - Twain FS
Jane Eyre - Bronte FS
Hansel & Gretel and Other Stories - Grimm LE
A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle FS
Johnson's Dictionary - Johnson LE
Essays - Emerson LEC

toukokuu 4, 11:23 am

I find it interesting that the Bible is the only religious text mentioned so far.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 4, 5:36 pm

>6 Willoyd: Do Pilgrim's Progress, Piers the Plowman, and Eusebius count as religious texts? How about Boethius and Milton? These are all religious content. Perhaps by texts you mean something like a primary source of religious doctrine?

toukokuu 4, 5:57 pm

>6 Willoyd: and >7 Betelgeuse: One might bypass those individual titles and instead include Diarmaid Macullough's A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, Folio Society's three volume set.

toukokuu 4, 9:49 pm

>7 Betelgeuse: >8 jillmwo:
I think he means no Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist text. Rather one-sided from that point of view.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 4, 10:28 pm

I've limited myself exclusively to works that I've read in their entirety (hence, no Bible, no Canterbury Tales, Montaigne, no Emerson, no Lyrical Ballads, etc.). Behold the gaps in my reading!

1 Homer, The Iliad (FS)
2 Homer, The Odyssey (FS)
3 Sophocles, The Theban Trilogy
4 Vergil, The Aeneid (FS)
5 Ovid, The Metamorphoses (FS)
6 Dante, The Divine Comedy (FS)
7 Shakespeare, Complete Works
8 Milton, Paradise Lost (FS)
9 Shelley, Frankenstein (FS)
10 Dickens, Great Expectations (FS)
11 Flaubert, Madame Bovary (FS)
12 Tolstoy, War and Peace (FS)
13 Dostoevsky, The Brother Karamazov (FS)
14 Ibsen, The Complete Major Prose Plays
15 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
16 Conrad, Lord Jim (FS)
17 Joyce, Ulysses (FS)
18 Woolf, Orlando (FS)
19 Beckett, The Complete Dramatic Works
20 DeLillo, Underworld
21 Coetzee, Disgrace (FS)

toukokuu 4, 11:20 pm

Maybe the thread should be 21 Western titles minus South America? From the responses you'd swear 3/4 of the world never wrote a book!

toukokuu 4, 11:27 pm

>11 Joshbooks1: That is an interesting observation. Perhaps you can expand on the point by sharing which 21 books from around the world would be on your list?

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 5, 12:01 am

>11 Joshbooks1:

Well, I tried to use Folio books, and pretty much you could say that they see Western works are printed more often. I also am not going to pretend that I have enough regard for other religions to have them invade my measly 21 books. Give me 50 books, and I might bring another religion's doctrine, call me scandalous, but with this sort of opportunity I'm playing favorites.

I tried to bring a variety of subject matter as well.. . 21 books isn't a lot.

>9 jroger1: Well, the Bible does include Moses' five books.

toukokuu 5, 12:39 am

>6 Willoyd:
Shouldn’t the Gilgamesh Epic count?

toukokuu 5, 9:05 am

>6 Willoyd: It's on pretty much every Western Canon list and is a whole library on its own. Wisdom sayings, songs, history and biography, prophecy - a bit of everything. It's a bit of a cheat that way, and Shakespeare collections are as well.

Using FS books has a clear western and english bias and that shouldn't be surprising at all. It's a bit strange to suppose they should steward the entire world. Even so, there's some variety to choose from. The Myths & Legends series had entries for the Near East and India. Daodejing and Analects have nice editions. Tale of Genji had a pretty 2016 edition. But most of us are readers living in the west, so do we reach for indian legends or asian literature in a list of 21 books? In fact I'd probably be even more provincial and ensure the Icelandic Sagas get carried along. The Scandinavian portion of FS publishing is a bit thin otherwise. Knut Hamsun? I'll return with a more thought through list.

toukokuu 5, 9:07 am

For essential worldwide education in our current political times, I can't believe no-one's yet mentioned, 'The Meaning of Hitler' by Sebastian Haffner, published by Folio in 2011.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 5, 9:20 am

>16 cronshaw:

I thought about that, but I'd argue if there's only 21 books - he doesn't deserve to be remembered. There's plenty of villains and despots in some of the other books to take lesson from. We didn't learn anything from that era either. Considering how many people want the government to control so many things, Hitler, Che, Mao, Stalin can all disappear, and I won't feel bad.

toukokuu 5, 9:34 am

>17 CobbsGhost: The book's relevance isn't because it is about Hitler himself, rather the whole phenomenon of nationalism, scapegoating and demagoguery. I can't think of a single book more relevant to 'educating the world' today.

toukokuu 5, 9:54 am

>18 cronshaw:

I understand the sentiment, I just think this same cycle occurs over and over and I see nothing unique about today's idiocy vs yesterday's idiocy in spite of these lessons. We will fall for the same traps and it's amazing how often the sideism creates the problem because there really is no good side to choose. We think we are fighting good and evil, but moving either direction gets us consumed by an evil power no matter what. The leaders are the problem on either side and trusting either side will get the same result.

toukokuu 5, 11:30 am

I think that it is no coincidence that the Travis McGee series contains 21 books. After all in the new world we will all be living on boats, diving for salvage and pontificating life's mysteries. Now if only FS will do this series next:

The Deep Blue Good-by
Nightmare in Pink
A Purple Place for Dying
The Quick Red Fox
A Deadly Shade of Gold
Bright Orange for the Shroud
Darker than Amber
One Fearful Yellow Eye
Pale Gray for Guilt
The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper
Dress Her in Indigo
The Long Lavender Look
A Tan and Sandy Silence
The Scarlet Ruse
The Turquoise Lament
The Dreadful Lemon Sky
The Empty Copper Sea
The Green Ripper
Free Fall in Crimson
Cinnamon Skin
The Lonely Silver Rain

toukokuu 5, 12:46 pm

>15 A.Godhelm: Well the title was 21 books to teach the world. Literature as a whole would at most get, what, 4 or 5 of those slots? I'd go as far to say not one literary author in the US or UK would be deserving.

But, if we are strictly speakiny about Western canon then that changes things.

toukokuu 5, 12:50 pm

Who is going to explain to our post-apocalyptic inheritors that we didn't bring them any modern science or medicine, but we brought the bible and some old mythology stuff, thereby condemning them to rebuild society circa 100 A.D?

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 5, 2:00 pm

If the point is really to "teach the world," then books probably aren't going to be particularly helpful. To "teach the world," I'd say we need access to research databases: Scopus, Web of Science (WoS), PubMed, EBSCO, CNKI, etc.

toukokuu 5, 2:04 pm

>22 ubiquitousuk:

Ha, interesting points and a huge topic of discussion. It seems like the condemnation only stems from ignorance generally, regarding science and medicine. The hardest things to overcome is the unsettled nature of pagan/atheist ritual, in which generally folks like to make themselves slaves to their passions and this precludes anyone from differing in opinion vs. those with a religious tendency assuming they have a role in forcing their salvation onto others.

I think technology has advanced surgery and is the most regrettable loss from my list. However, the statistics on mental suffering in our recent timeslot, indicates we are doing as much harm as good. At least we live longer! Maybe, we can learn to live forever! Yay!

If we have created this apocalypse, then good riddance to the modern world. If we have to rebuild, then it will give folks something to do and create a duly earned sense of regard for life and purpose, just remember to wash your hands!

toukokuu 5, 2:10 pm

Seems like a few boo bears on what appears intended as a fun post. 😂 The question is what 21 from our own collection would we take with us if that's all there would be (including 10 FS titles)? The world would be dumb from my collection because I'm taking what I want to read.

1. Moby Dick
2. The Book of Disquiet
3. The Complete Short Stories of Clarice Lispector
4. The Wedding of Zein
5. The Guns of August/Proud Tower (FS)
6. Melville's Complete Shorter Fiction (FS)
7. Antony & Cleopatra (FS)
8. Larkin's Collected Poems (FS)
9. Eugene Onegin (FS)
10. Third Policeman (FS)
11. Folio Book of Science (FS)- I guess some progression in scientific knowledge should survive
12. Churchill's The World Crisis (FS)
13. Gogol's collected Stories
14. Crime & Punishment
15. Death in the Andes
16. Madame Bovary (FS)
17. The Complete Elizabeth Bishop
18. Os Maias
19. Dubliners (FS)
21. Age of Innocence

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 5, 3:35 pm

>22 ubiquitousuk: >24 CobbsGhost: Just to ensure I don't trigger an unintentional flame war, let me stress that my post is in no way intended as a dig at others' faiths or the cultural value of these historic texts to us. I'm just trying to imagine what a future humanity, which has to survive on whatever knowledge we leave for them, would value the most.

toukokuu 5, 2:57 pm

>25 LBShoreBook: Ha, touche. But then again it's the same old recurring post of what are your favorite books, 21 to be exact.

Im more in line with >22 ubiquitousuk:

toukokuu 5, 3:04 pm

>27 Joshbooks1: LOL, sure, the world is screwed with my list but I'll be entertained for the short time I have left. I figure if we only have 21 books the world is screwed regardless of the chosen 21.

toukokuu 5, 3:36 pm

>26 ubiquitousuk:

No problem with me, I enjoy a good conversation. Humans arrived at that point hypothetically, and they will either get back to whatever that is, or not. My 21 books will only be a factor if the 21 people who read them can actually comprehend what it means to be selfless and have the capacities to pass it on. Otherwise, square one leads right back to apocalypse, which is almost certain.

toukokuu 5, 7:05 pm

So many lols...

Question for the stalwart defenders of the so-called "Western canon"... if it's such a tremendous vector of virtue, how did we get what we got in the first place: genocide, endless wars, endless exploitation of anyone deemed weaker?

Cultured gentlemen listened to classical music played by the orchestras destined for the ovens the next days. Cultured gentlemen raped "natives" by the dozen while composing sonnets for the fiancées back homes. Oxbridge prats filled with Greek and Latin to the gills bequeathed us open sores of conflict from Israel to Kashmir.

As for religion, the eternal justification of the worst people can do... eh, not worth expending the pixels.

toukokuu 5, 7:51 pm

>30 LolaWalser: Critiques of the western canon are also part of it. The building blocks of the very system of tolerance and diversity of opinion, to the way our world is fundamentally run, enabling us to discuss it on a highpoint of technological development, and in a more peaceful world than not. For better and worse the west won. I really hope they publish The Open Society and Its Enemies next since it seems we need it.

I think people are taking this thread a bit too seriously. It's just a take on books you'd bring to a desert island really.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 6, 7:17 am

>30 LolaWalser:

If some haven't read those works or can't understand them, they aren't helpful.

Feel free to make a worthy list of diverse paperback novels with diverse authors for...minds, to help pass the time.

Could one just randomly choose for diversity or do we have quota, maybe insert 2 Darwin as religious text, insert 5 women, 5 people of color, 5 science works, a couple of LGBTQIAA+ books, and put in Marx's two popular works and we have your canon?