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Which Authors Will We Remember?





AnalogPlayers
Going through history and learning of the early American writers such as Thomas Paine, and up to the Dark Romanticist authors such as Poe and Nathanial Hawthorne, up until the Pre WWII writers such as Steinbeck and Hemingway. It leads me to wonder, in 100 years, what post WWII authors will we remember?

Which authors will be in our history books?

There are two major goals for a book to be remembered, it seems. First of all, the book has to be very well selling, and secondly, the book has to have either lead to a social reformation, or be able to personify the time period in which it was written. For instance, books like Walden by Thoreau was the epitome of the transcendentalist movement.

So far, in my ponderings, I have thought of Joseph Heller with Catch-22, Kurt Vonnegut with books such as Cat's Cradle and Slaughter-House 5, and I was thinking even the graphic novelist Alan Moore could be remembered for his novels such as The Watchmen and V for Vendetta.

So, I wonder, what authors do you feel will be remembered? Not only American authors, I would also like to know of those native to other countries as well.
RiCtee
Definitely J.K Rowling. She has created a phenomenon throughout the whole world with the Harry Potter series. Not only with the books, but also the movies, and tons of franchises. If you asked any kid now, they'll know who Harry Potter is (in a general sense Very Happy).
doppleganger
ask any kid and they will come up with the name K. J. Rowling
harry potter has become a household name and a legend
TurtleShell
Kurt Vonnegut was the first person to come to my mind. This is an interesting question. I need to think about it a little bit more.
rightclickscott
TurtleShell wrote:
Kurt Vonnegut was the first person to come to my mind. This is an interesting question. I need to think about it a little bit more.


I think people are remembering him more now that he's dead. He was my favorite author, and one thing I always wanted was the chance to just sit down and talk to him once when he was still alive. Nevertheless, he still remains one of my idols, even if he's dead.
TurtleShell
Kurt Vonnegut was plenty famous before and after his death. I really don't think his passing has made much difference one way or the other.
Crazy_Canuck
Great topic. I haven't been here in a while, and always find something interesting in the Literature forum.

I totally concur with Kurt Vonnegut--his entire body of work. And also Joseph Heller--or rather, Catch-22 (the one book). His other stuff kind of pales in comparison.

I'd add:
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  • On The Road (Jack Kerouac)
  • Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger)
  • All of Margaret Atwood

Can we consider George Orwell a post WWII author? If yes, then put him on the list for sure.
What about William Faulkner?

Hard to come up with stuff post-1960s. But of that era, we probably need to consider Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Hunter S. Thompson's Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Neither are terrific novels, but both defined the generation, I would suggest.

Which leads to a question: are we talking of recognized high literary quality that will last into the next century, or purely ones that defined their time period or led to social reformation? Somehow it seems there is a difference between these two things for me.
AnalogPlayers
My girlfriend and myself spent a long time debating Beat novelists. Kesey and Kerouac mostly. I feel, that most definitely, if one was to talk about the beat generation, then they would obviously talk about these authors, but I question how popular the beat generation will be in 2107.

Just anything that will be well-remembered. The types of books that will be taught in English classes, moreso. I was just saying that often times, at least in American history, the most famous books today have either centered around, or incited some form of social reform.
Crazy_Canuck
AnalogPlayers wrote:
My girlfriend and myself spent a long time debating Beat novelists. Kesey and Kerouac mostly. I feel, that most definitely, if one was to talk about the beat generation, then they would obviously talk about these authors, but I question how popular the beat generation will be in 2107.
Yes, it's hard to say. I doubt it will be remembered for its literary quality, but rather for its overall contribution to a shift in literary style and a reflection of the era--political, social, cultural, historical and also literary. I bet the Beats will last in that regard, but will be taught as a clump: so we should also add Burroughs' Naked Lunch and Ginsberg's epic poem, Howl. And if we start down the poetry road, I'd make a prediction that Dylan's body of work would be included and recognized as the literature that it is along with these other Beat/60s writers.

AnalogPlayers wrote:
Just anything that will be well-remembered. The types of books that will be taught in English classes, moreso. I was just saying that often times, at least in American history, the most famous books today have either centered around, or incited some form of social reform.
So, what would be the fate of the Harry Potter series, do you think? I will go out on a limb and say that, if anything, it would be perhaps referenced similarly to the Beat writers, as representative of an overall cluster of fantasy-mythical-allegorical novels, which would include Tolkein and potentially other science fiction writers too.

What else? Hmmm.....
TurtleShell
Tolkien's another good suggestion. If you're going to add LOTR, you could probably add the Once And Future King (TH White) to the list. They already cover that in most high school lit classes anyway:)

...and i was just coming out here to say that Ginsberg (Howl) would be on the list.
RallyMonkey
I don't remember if this has been mentioned before, but 1984 by George Orwell, and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

I am fairly certain that both of those, along with Brave New World, will stick around. I could see future history books talking about all three of them.
TurtleShell
would ayn rand count?
emem
We'll remember Andrej Skubic Smile
Crazy_Canuck
TurtleShell wrote:
would ayn rand count?


Count for what ? Wink

I have such mixed feelings about Ayn Rand. I don't think she ranks up there for literary quality, but as an idealogue ... maybe.
nivinjoy
AnalogPlayers wrote:

Not only American authors, I would also like to know of those native to other countries as well.


So now...being an Indian i can't forget and also no Indians can forget the Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore..

To know more about him see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagore
old2study
Does sucess really matter? John Gay was very successful but it is his friend William Shakespeare that we read. Jane Austin was paid £50 for her novel but Mary Robinson got £500! John Milton was considered the top of the canonical list but is rearly read now. The rights of Man was both successful and social impacting but few read it now. Which of the Marys do we remember, The Rights of Woman or Frankenstien?
There must be more to this writing than success or social impact, yeh?
Radar
If we're talking science-fiction, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein were the Big Three in their genre.
old2study
Radar wrote:
If we're talking science-fiction, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein were the Big Three in their genre.


That is a very good aspect. Those authors are often quoted by NASA and others, so are relivant. Equally they break boundaries and allow others to move beyond the accepted theories. But what of the novel, why Charles Dickens and not Henry Mayhew?
Bluedoll
Quote:
So, I wonder, what authors do you feel will be remembered? Not only American authors, I would also like to know of those native to other countries as well. - AnalogPlayers


I wonder what establishes that remembrance. Certainly a school some books can be put into the limelight but what really which ones stay because of popularity? I am intrigued with things like fashion how clothes will be discarded in one time period and resurface at another time. Maybe it is the same with books.

[/quote]
I'd add:
 To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
 Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
 On The Road (Jack Kerouac)
 Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger)
 All of Margaret Atwood

Can we consider George Orwell a post WWII author? If yes, then put him on the list for sure.
What about William Faulkner

and -Crazy_Canuck
[/quote]

Some books are so good they stay because they seem to be timeless. “to be or not to be, that is the question” but what makes them that way? I do wonder is it people reading and talking about them or is it something else?
_AVG_
Probably Dan Brown can be added to the list, he spurred some huge controversies regarding the Catholic Church in particular. He will definitely be remembered.
old2study
Could it be as simple as being on the academic lists, would Shakespeare be as sucessful if we were not all forced to read him at school?
asnani04
Well, as surely as anything, we'll all remember William Shakespeare for torturing us with his old English. We'd also remember the maestro O'Henry, for his surprise endings.
Agatha Christie is also worth remembering, for her great mysterious murders and the immortal characters of Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple.
asnani04
Dan Brown will never be forgotten. His works provide the best of modern fiction, and his style of writing is most-suited to his genre.

Also, the billionaire J.K. Rowling is one of the best contemporary authors, having grossed all her money from Harry Potter books, that have earned her many many titles. Wink
pravojednostavno
Dan Brown
ibraltan1
In order to guess the answer of this interesting question, two assumptions can be made. First of all, as the time passes, new generations become more and more less-lover of reading. There are so many people that cannot stand to read even the abstract of those lovely novels. The second assumption, most of the people tend to be affected by the power of the media. Movies, television broadcasts, newspapers, magazines have huge impact on society. That is, there are ones who want to be directed and there are ones who want to direct. Using these assumptions, it can be said that the possibility of the remembrance of an author whose work has impressed the movie producers and film directors is higher than others. If they choose a novel to use for a movie, millions of people will be aware of that. As you guess, the implicit precondition is the high degree of the success of the film that is produced using that novel. Apart from this, the novels and novelists being able to be subject of the media that is being mentioned above have more chances to be remembered.
Pankratios
Douglas Adams for sure, his style is quite legendary.
Annettekroghhansen
Are there anybody reading Alice Bailey here?
Blummer
Ray Bradbury. He is not my favorite author, since I haven't read much of him, though I admire his works. I'm just saying he was and still will be one of the top science fiction influences.
Insanity
I think we will remember the most prolific writers more than the famous ones for writing one or two books. These would be people like Stephen King, JK Rowling, or George RR Martin -- the ones that wrote a lot, or had a famous series of books. Or they could be people who were the most controversial in their writing, like Stephenie Meyer, who write Twilight. People wouldn't say that it's necessarily the best writing, but it would be one of the most popular despite being panned by critics as having bad writing. I don't know if her books would remain in the public consciousness though, since it's more of a very specific fan base. The movies and other merchandise might make her last longer though in terms of being in the public eye.
ibraltan1
Apart from media appearance and ads, I believe, writers who awarded eith important prizes willl potentially be in most remembered list. For example Sully Prudhomme, Theodor Mommsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Giosuè Carducci, Rudyard Kipling, Rudolf Christoph Eucken, Selma Lagerlöf, Paul von Heyse, Maurice Maeterlinck, Gerhart Hauptmann, Rabindranath Tagore, Romain Rolland, Verner von Heidenstam, Karl Adolph Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan, Carl Spitteler, Knut Hamsun, Anatole France, Jacinto Benavente, William Butler Yeats, Władysław Reymont, George Bernard Shaw, Grazia Deledda, Henri Bergson, Sigrid Undset, Thomas Mann, Sinclair Lewis, Erik Axel Karlfeldt, John Galsworthy, Ivan Bunin, Luigi Pirandello, Eugene O'Neill, Roger Martin du Gard, Pearl S. Buck, Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Gabriela Mistral, Hermann Hesse, André Gide, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Bertrand Russell, Pär Lagerkvist, François Mauriac, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Halldór Laxness, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Albert Camus, Boris Pasternak, Salvatore Quasimodo, Saint-John Perse, Ivo Andrić, John Steinbeck, Giorgos Seferis, Jean-Paul Sartre, Mikhail Sholokhov, Shmuel Yosef Agnon have the potential to be remembered.
kolaylezzet
There are lots of writers to be remembered...
ibraltan1
If we follow same approach there are many more writers who have the potential to be remembered. For example Nelly Sachs, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Yasunari Kawabata, Samuel Beckett, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Pablo Neruda, Heinrich Böll, Patrick White, Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson, Eugenio Montale, Saul Bellow, Vicente Aleixandre, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Odysseas Elytis, Czesław Miłosz, Elias Canetti, Gabriel García Márquez, William Golding, Jaroslav Seifert, Claude Simon, Wole Soyinka, Joseph Brodsky, Naguib Mahfouz, Camilo José Cela, Octavio Paz, Nadine Gordimer, Derek Walcott, Toni Morrison, Kenzaburō Ōe, Seamus Heaney, Wisława Szymborska, Dario Fo, José Saramago, Günter Grass, Gao Xingjian, V. S. Naipaul, Imre Kertész, J. M. Coetzee, Elfriede Jelinek, Harold Pinter, Orhan Pamuk, Doris Lessing, J. M. G. Le Clézio, Herta Müller, Mario Vargas Llosa, Tomas Tranströmer, Mo Yan, Alice Munro, Patrick Modiano. Some of them are well- known, some of them are not so famous. But as the time passes, some valuable writers are reexplored and are brought to the agenda by some famous people whose words are taken seriously by the public.
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