Well, OK, it’s with a slightly different basic criterion: – the most memorable novels of the c20th; – a criterion I do tend to use myself in my own dubious grading system (especially for downgrading novels a few months after I’ve read them, when it occurs to me that I can’t remember a thing about them any more).
The Wikipedia intro mentions Beigbeder pontificating on the curiously Franco-centric nature of the list: no doubt in the great tradition of c20th intellectuals putting forward the bleeding obvious as profound thought. -Maybe he’s not seen the English/American list, which goes a whole step further by ignoring anything originally in a foreign language. – The English books are pretty similar (apart from the odd crime novel – ah yes, the French have always liked crime novels); the French books give me a few ideas (I’ve got Boris Vian’s Froth on the Daydream – perhaps I should read it); the other language books are entirely predictable.
Camus’ The Stranger top? – Hmm. – The only thing I remember about it was thinking it would have been a better novel if he hadn’t been guilty anyway. That just seemed to defeat the point; – though perhaps I never understood the point, it’s entirely possible. – I can’t get away though from the idea that the list was entirely compiled by a group of well-educated French teenagers, eager to impress.
Ahh, I’ll put up some posts with thoughts in them soon. I had in mind some “literary death-matches” – a sort of (half-arsed) comparative analysis.