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Greatest American fiction novelist?

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Greatest American fiction novelist?

Old 04-02-02, 03:10 AM
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Greatest American fiction novelist?

Who is it? Pick him/her, and qualify.
Old 04-02-02, 08:06 AM
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Moby Dick is clearly the greatest single American novel, but William Faulkner is our greatest novelist. Over four decades he consistently created brilliant, fully realized characters, and did so with a blend of technique and humanity that will likely never be matched. He appropriated the innovations made by European modernists like Joyce and Woolf, and made them both his own and distinctly American. And unlike some of his contemporaries -- Hemingway and Fitzgerald, in particular -- he explored a wide breadth of material. Sure, most of his novels are set in his Yoknapatawpha County (an imagined world that rivals Tolkien's), but his heroes and heroines are from every walk of life.
Old 04-04-02, 12:22 AM
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One response? How underwhelming.

Is Moby Dick better than Lolita?
Old 04-04-02, 12:57 AM
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Originally posted by Three Day Delay
One response? How underwhelming.

Is Moby Dick better than Lolita?

Book forum is notoriously slow ...I haven't read either of those completely so I can't say really.

Faulkner is greatest novelist hands down....greatest novel...so many, many, many to choose from that I couldn't even begin to say... My favorite is "The Grapes of Wrath" and I'd put it in the running for greatest, but I don't know really.

I thought Lolita was written by a Russian - or is it just a Russian named american?
Old 04-04-02, 08:18 AM
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Nabokov was born in Russia, then emigrated to America, and, yes, Moby Dick is better than Lolita. I just love making definitive statements like that.

Ziggy, I'm just curious. What is it about The Grapes of Wrath that you're so fond of? I only ask because it's one of those "great" novels that I've just never connected with.
Old 04-04-02, 11:56 AM
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Moby Dick is awful...how's that for definitive?

Seriously, one of the most boring, over-rated books I've ever read. I've never understood the love it receives.
Old 04-04-02, 02:04 PM
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I agree about "Moby Dick," it's practically unreadable.

My votes for greatest LIVING writer: John Updike, hands-down. Greatest writer of the past, and I cannot believe nobody has mentioned him, Mark Twain.
Old 04-04-02, 02:37 PM
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Mark Twain is the American Novelist, not just because I like his books but because he put the American vernacular into writing. Several other writers can be given credit for this, but Mark Twain was the most affluent.
Old 04-05-02, 11:06 PM
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Another vote for Mark Twain.
His books were written for the common man
Old 04-06-02, 03:18 AM
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Pedantic, moi?

Originally posted by gondorspit
[....] Mark Twain was the most affluent.
.... although I'm sure I read somewhere that Sam Clemens went through a period of poverty in his later years as a result of bad investments.
Old 04-06-02, 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by ziggy



Book forum is notoriously slow ...I haven't read either of those completely so I can't say really.

Faulkner is greatest novelist hands down....greatest novel...so many, many, many to choose from that I couldn't even begin to say... My favorite is "The Grapes of Wrath" and I'd put it in the running for greatest, but I don't know really.

I thought Lolita was written by a Russian - or is it just a Russian named american?
Uhh, The Grapes of Wrath was written by John Steinbeck.

IMO, Lolita is much better than Moby Dick. I think it's one of the very greatest novels I've ever read. All the more remarkable, it is a great American novel written by someone who, when he came to America, spoke almost no English.

As far as Faulkner, I think The Sound and the Fury is truly great.
Old 04-06-02, 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by movielib


Uhh, The Grapes of Wrath was written by John Steinbeck.

IMO, Lolita is much better than Moby Dick. I think it's one of the very greatest novels I've ever read. All the more remarkable, it is a great American novel written by someone who, when he came to America, spoke almost no English.

As far as Faulkner, I think The Sound and the Fury is truly great.


Um, duh sh|t ..... I suppose I should have segued that better...Faulkner is the best novelist, though my favorite novel is The Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck.

Darren H, its hard to say why I liked it so much, I think I just really connected with the characters. There is more, but I can't seem to explain it right now.
Old 04-07-02, 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by ziggy




Um, duh sh|t ..... I suppose I should have segued that better...Faulkner is the best novelist, though my favorite novel is The Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck.

Darren H, its hard to say why I liked it so much, I think I just really connected with the characters. There is more, but I can't seem to explain it right now.
I see what you were saying now. The way I read it, the whole paragraph was about Faulkner. Sorry.
Old 04-08-02, 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by movielib


I see what you were saying now. The way I read it, the whole paragraph was about Faulkner. Sorry.

's ok I don't make myself clear sometimes ...plus, I was probably typing while sleep deprived - I usually am.
Old 04-21-02, 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by Beaver
Moby Dick is awful...how's that for definitive?

Seriously, one of the most boring, over-rated books I've ever read. I've never understood the love it receives.
Old 04-22-02, 02:12 AM
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Mark Twain would probably be the first to come to mind, but a few others would be in the running:

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hemingway
Faulkner
Old 04-22-02, 10:40 AM
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Faulkner or Fitzgerald.

Take your pick.
Old 04-22-02, 04:17 PM
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Theodore Geisel



Last edited by lorenzoh; 04-22-02 at 04:21 PM.
Old 05-10-02, 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by lorenzoh
Theodore Geisel


Old 05-16-02, 11:51 AM
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I'll throw down a modern pick:

Michael Chabon.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is one of the best books I've read in years. The characters are amazingly real and the writing is fantastic. Truely a great American novel.
Old 05-16-02, 12:28 PM
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How about Steinbeck, haven't read him in a while, but I really enjoy his writing.
Old 05-20-02, 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by movielib

IMO, Lolita is much better than Moby Dick. I think it's one of the very greatest novels I've ever read. All the more remarkable, it is a great American novel written by someone who, when he came to America, spoke almost no English.
Actually, Nabokov grew up speaking English, French and Russian and in fact learned to read and write in English before he did so in Russian.

I agree about Lolita v. Moby Dick.
Old 05-20-02, 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by dork


Actually, Nabokov grew up speaking English, French and Russian and in fact learned to read and write in English before he did so in Russian.

I agree about Lolita v. Moby Dick.
I made that previous post based on what I had heard. Doing a little bit of research, I can verify that you are correct about Nabokov's English. In his own words, he said English was his first language:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/03/0...ab-v-talk.html

But what about Mr. Nabokov's English? "It was my first language. I remember my mother taking a Russian book for children and translating it into English." Wasn't that unusual? "No, not in certain circles in Russia," Mr. Nabokov said.
Thanks, dork, for correcting my error and teaching me something.
Old 05-22-02, 09:57 PM
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I know it shouldn't technically count, but I would nominate Nabokov for Pale Fire

Otherwise, this late at night I'd have to say Melville (Billy Budd is one of my favorites)
Old 05-27-02, 10:32 AM
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