Wednesday, September 08, 2010


The Indispensables

George Gissing (1857-1903), letter to his sister Ellen (August 2, 1885):
Let us think: Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides among the Greeks: Virgil, Catullus, Horace, among the Latins: in Italian, Dante and Boccaccio: in Spanish, Don Quixote: in German, Goethe, Jean Paul, Heine: in French, Molière, George Sand, Balzac, De Musset: in English, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Keats, Browning and Scott. These are the indispensables. I rejoice to say I can read them all in the original, except Cervantes, and I hope to take up Spanish next year, just for that purpose.
William Stott (1857–1900), CMS Reading by Gaslight

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