Notes from underground

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The Times Literary Supplement’s 100 Most Influential Books Since the War

Someone posted a link on Facebook to a list of the most influential books since the Second World War.

The Times Literary Supplement’s 100 Most Influential Books Since the War

I found it interesting to see how few I had read, yet I have probably seen the thought of many of them retailed by other writers. It doesn’t say whether the influence was good or bad — that’s probably a “readerly” decision, as the postmodernists might say.

The ones I have read are:

  • Albert Camus: The Outsider
  • Arthur Koestler: Darkness at Noon
  • George Orwell: Animal Farm
  • George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-four
  • Norman Cohn: The Pursuit of the Millennium
  • Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago

That’s not much out of a list of 100, only 6%, but I suppose “influential” means that the thought of those books has also permeated other books. I have, for example, read many books that cite Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, though I haven’t read Kuhn’s book myself.

I also don’t know how the list was compiled, or who compiled it, though perhaps it says that elsewhere on the site.

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3 thoughts on “The Times Literary Supplement’s 100 Most Influential Books Since the War

  1. Duff link there to the TLS site!

  2. Only two on there that I’ve read, both Orwell, and only one that I do plan to read which is E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class.

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