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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Flawed but Great Literature

A BBC Radio program, Today, asked AL Kennedy and William Boyd to nominate some great but flawed works of literature. What prompted this public discussion was the recent, left-hand awarding of the Costa Book of the Year for The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, with the comment that it was flawed.

The article provides an audio link to the radio program and a printed summary of the works considered flawed, including: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway--'Wholly misguided attempt to render Spanish into English. The dialogue is full of "thee" and "thou" and therefore unreadable and unbelievable, not to say laughable.' Other cited authors of works from the body of great literature include: Fitzgerald, Dickens, Joyce, Nobokov, Melville, Heller, Tolstoy and H√łeg. See the article for the explanation of the selections. Radio callers made their own nominations as well.

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