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The World Library is a list of the 100 best books, as proposed by one hundred writers from fifty-four different countries, compiled and organized in 2002 by the Norwegian Book Club. This list endeavours to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods. Eleven of the books included on the list are written by women, eighty-five are written by men and four have unknown authors. Each writer had to select his or her own list of ten books. The books selected by this process and listed here are not ranked or categorized in any way; the organizers have stated that "they are all on an equal footing," with the exception of Don Quixote which was given the distinction "best literary work ever written."
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World's Greatest Novellas A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. While there is some disagreement as to what length defines a novella, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000. Although the novella is a common literary genre in several European languages, it is less common in English.
An Excerpt From "The Late American Novel": The Best Books Will Be Written Long After You Are Dead This essay is from the new collection The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, co-edited by Jeff Martin and C. Max Magee, of The Millions. In the book, Jonathan Lethem, Rivka Galchen, Nancy Jo Sales and many others consider the landscape as the literary world faces a sudden change in the way we buy, produce and read books. Say it was 1910, and say on a breezy day you stopped me on Broadway, and say you asked me: “Sir, whither American letters?” And say that the answer I gave you was fantastically correct. Say I predicted all about Modernism.
[This guest post by John Glassie is partially adapted from A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in a Time of Change, his new book about Athanasius Kircher, published by Riverhead Books.] No one reads Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), a seventeenth-century Jesuit priest and polymath who wrote more than thirty big books on everything from optics, acoustics, linguistics, and mathematics to cryptology, Egyptology, numerology, and Sinology. Kircher was born on the eve of a municipal witch-hunt in what is now central Germany. As described in his memoirs, he then survived stampeding horses, a severe hernia, and the armies of an insane bishop, among other things, before showing up in Rome in 1633, just a few months after the Galileo trial. He lived there for more than forty years until his death.