20th century,  Random

Last week of August!

After a week suffering from summer flu and being in bed, unable to read (what a bore!) I’m back! Basically, I spent the last week in bed, watching ER and looking at my books, deciding what to read next, even leaving them next to bed just in case I felt like reading, which I did not. Now, I plan on reading, but definitely not making up for the lost week. School will start in a few weeks and although I’m eager to start this new year in which I will be doing research, I don’t want to overwork myself. Enjoying the last weeks of summer has always been key for me to start the new year fresh and with lots of energy.

This week I also plan on doing some research on 20th century literature both English and American (and some Canadian, wink wink, Li). I feel that although I’m a class away from graduating, I do not feel like I’ve read enough. Modern literature is my favourite and I always feel I cannot get enough. So, recommendations are always welcome! I would like to know which modern/postmodern work is your favourite and why. I always rely on bloggers to pick up my books and, seeing that many of you are English and American, I would love to know what you think it’s indispensable for someone loving the 20th century.



  • Risa

    Glad to hear you’re better, Elena!

    I wish I could help you with suggestions. But as I’m only just gingerly venturing into the modern era of lit, I more of newbie at it.

    All the best with your research! ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. – I recently downloaded an e-copy of Fitzgerald’s “The Beautiful and the Damned”. It sounds extremely intriguing and I’m hoping to read it before the year is out. Have you read it?

    • Elena

      Thanks, Risa! Glad to have you back. Hope your pregnancy is going great.

      I love love love modern literature so I’m very happy you are discovering it too. Fitzergald is one of my favourite authors, being The Great Gatsby one of my favourite novels ever. โ€œThe Beautiful and the Damnedโ€ is on my TBR list for this year, actually I plan on reading as many of his works as I can. Are you also interested on his wife’s novel “Save me the waltz”? It is pretty controversial due to similarities with one of Fitzerald’s works.

      • Risa

        Oh! I had no idea Fitzgerald’s wife was a writer. I’m not sure as yet if I’d like to try her out. As I’m still feeling my way around with modern literature, I’m trying to play it safe with well know writers and well known works. I re-read Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby last year and enjoyed it immensely…which is why I’m looking forward to reading more of his works. ๐Ÿ™‚

        And thank you, Elena. Baby and I are doing great! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Elena

        She wasn’t really a writer but she had some mental problems and ended up writing. I think if you google her you’ll fall in love with her, she is definitely the 1920’s flapper (and, as many said, the inspiration for Daisy!). Have you checked the Penguin edition for โ€œThe Beautiful and the Damnedโ€? It’s gorgeous.

  • Li @

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better Elena! =) Being sick and unable to read or do much sucks =(

    Your research topic sounds interesting, I hope you’ll be posting a bit more about it has the semester progresses? Best of luck with your research =)

    I’m going to have to think on the recommendations bit for modern/post-modern works that I’ve enjoyed. I usually steer clear for post-modern work (am still a bit old-school in that sense) but I did enjoy Foer’s Everything is Illuminated. There are post-modern/stream-of-consciousness bits in there but I enjoyed that book because of the story, particularly the Foer’s character going to Ukraine to find the person who saved his grandfather during WW2. The humour’s quite black at times and I guess I was also drawn to it because I have studied Ukrainian history/politics quite a bit (the book’s set in Ukraine). So yeah, don’t know if you’d be interested in reading that ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’ll keep thinking =)

    • Elena

      Thanks, Li! I’ll definitely keep you posted here, on Twitter or even via email if you want. I think sharing and discussing it all would be of great help.

      I also accept Russian recommendations, obviously although I must admit I’m a bit afraid of the authors. For me, they are all great men, great authors with very complex works dealing with a history I am not familiar with. However, I’ve read “Uncle Vanya” and some Ibsen and, despite the huge cultural differences, I loved them. Maybe the same will happen with other authors!

  • Leah

    So sorry to hear you’ve been sick! I’m glad you’re feeling better now ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for modern literature, The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favorites. I mean, how can it not be?! Kurt Vonnegut is also fantastic; Slaughterhouse-Five is another one of my favorite books, and Cat’s Cradle is really good, too ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t major in English and didn’t even find time to take an English class until the last semester of my final year, but that Modern American Lit class was the best course I took in all four years of college. Love it!

    • Elena

      Thanks for caring, Leah! I haven’t read anything by Kurt Vonnegut but I should try it since my American literature professor did mention him a few times (but we were out of time to study him).

  • amanda

    I’m sorry to hear you were ill–summertime sickness is no fun–but glad to hear your feeling better. Alas, I’m little good when it comes to 20th century lit recommendations as that’s probably my weakest area. Have you read any Steinbeck? I’m not sure if he’s categorized as a modernist or not, but I really liked both Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men when I read them for school.

    • Elena

      Thanks, Amanda! I read some excerpts from Grapes of Wrath and liked it altough I found it really… tough, even arid due to the descriptions. If you don’t mind, I’m interested in the 20th century literature that you read in high school in the US.

      • amanda

        Hmm…trying to remember: the two Steinbeck I mentioned, The Great Gatsby, The Crucible & Death of a Salesman (plays by Arthur Miller)…can’t remember what else that fits the time period. I read some of Willa Cather’s novels for independent assignments. My college lit course included All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. You could also try the Pulitzer Fiction winners.

        • Elena

          I’m a better reader than I thought! Thanks very much for the titles. I’ll look up more Willa Cather and do some research on the Pulitzer winners.

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