Which countries literature do you think is the best?

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Napp
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Be it British, American, French or Mongolian whom do you think has the best cumulative collection of literature (be it from any and all periods)

Personally, whilst Britain has some real stars, i'm inclined to go with the Russians - the likes of Pushkin, Lermontov, Pasternack, Bulgakov, Nabukov and Ilf & Petrov are outstanding
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dardasiya
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I literally know near-to-nothing about any non-British and non-American authors so.. only someone well-versed in world literature would be able to give a fair-ish answer here I think.

But even then I think the answer is very subjective. Everyone resonates with different cultures. Some really love the Japanese culture & style of writing, others love Russian culture & style of writing etc etc - so depending on your personal preferences (and your personal upbringing / country of origin / background), I would guess that would affect which kind of literature you see as "best".
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tinygirl96
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I love French and German literature
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dardasiya
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
I love French and German literature
cool! I've never read any French or German books! which books would you recommend as particularly good?
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Kallisto
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
I love French and German literature
I would underline your statement, judging by the novels I read.

With Jule Vernes' In 80 Days Around The World and Thomas Mann's The Buddenbrook both the German and the French literaure have a nice pearl. The Columbian literature penned by Garcia Marquez is also worth to mention, see 100 years of Solitude.
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Napp
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(Original post by Kallisto)
I would underline your statement, judging by the novels I read.

With Jule Vernes' In 80 Days Around The World and Thomas Mann's The Buddenbrook both the German and the French literaure have a nice pearl. The Columbian literature penned by Garcia Marquez is also worth to mention, see 100 years of Solitude.
Ah the French do have some rather good ones by Dumas et al. and of course René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
Cant forget Belgium's Herge either
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tinygirl96
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Also you can also read Middle Eastern literature. Other types of literature include medical literature, technical literature, kid friendly literature, horror literature, African literature, you get the point. Look at local bookshops and online etc for recommendations. One kind of literature that you may wish to read is travel literature.
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chazwomaq
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Shakespeare, Donne, Austen, Dickens, Chaucer, Orwell...

Britain wins by a long shot.
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Quick-use
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I doubt many on TSR will have read widely and deeply enough within the scope of comparative literature to be able to answer this.

I will admit that in my readings, both academic and personal, I've been very pleasantly surprised by Latin American literature. Almost everything I've read I've loved.

One thing is for certain is that different civilisations have produced quality texts from various literary ages. While French, Italian and British renaissance literature are historically considered some of the best of their respective countries' literature, Spanish renaissance literature is thought to be God-awful and, if anything, best forgotten... Lol.

In other words, I think different cultures do different genres well. It really does depend on personal preference. For example, I'm not huge on Japanese romance because nothing is ever said or expressed; it's all a psychological tease and 'reading the air'. Whereas, I prefer my romance literature to be light, and to help cheer me up with its effusive romantic interactions.

So, to answer the question, I honestly couldn't say... I opt for each civilisation's literature depending on my mood. Hard to choose my personal favourite, or which I'd objectively deem the 'best'.
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by Quick-use)
I will admit that in my readings, both academic and personal, I've been very pleasantly surprised by Latin American literature. Almost everything I've read I've loved, be it from the 13th century or the present day.
There's 13th century Latin American literature?
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Quick-use
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
There's 13th century Latin American literature?
There isn't, obviously... My sleep deprived self dun goofed and mistakenly referred to orally recorded literature from the Spanish peninsula of that time. Oops. :lol:

I still stand by Latin American literature though. Lol. Everything I've read from the 17th century onwards has been a delight. :hat2:

Edited my initial post. Thanks for pointing it out.
Last edited by Quick-use; 4 months ago
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Pichi
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(Original post by Quick-use)
There isn't, obviously... My sleep deprived self dun goofed and mistakenly referred to orally recorded literature from the Spanish peninsula of that time. Oops. :lol:

I still stand by Latin American literature though. Lol. Everything I've read from the 17th century onwards has been a delight. :hat2:

Edited my initial post. Thanks for pointing it out.
Can you recommend any? I really want to work on my Spanish.
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Quick-use
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(Original post by Pichi)
Can you recommend any? I really want to work on my Spanish.
Sure! What kind of books do you like? Could you name some books you've enjoyed in the past (can be British, Spanish, American etc)?
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Pichi
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(Original post by Quick-use)
Sure! What kind of books do you like? Could you name some books you've enjoyed in the past (can be British, Spanish, American etc)?
My tastes are very varied and aren't really restricted to genres. Some British books I've read include within dystopia (1984, The Sleeper Awakes, Animal Farm), Victorian (the Brontes, Austen, Hardy), Gothic (The Woman in White, Dracula, a bit of Poe, though he's American), modern contemporary (a lot of crime and mystery, like The Secret History, also American though) and historical fiction. I've also just discovered Murakami (I'm sure you know about him), read a tiny bit of Russian literature (The Master and Margarita, I've started Crime and Punishment and I need to get back to it - I love the brooding, pessimistic atmosphere of those two novels), I've been slowly reading the Iliad and have been trying some medieval stuff too (my mum has told me a bit about Don Quixote since she studied it in school and I'd love to reach a level of proficiency to be able to read it in Spanish one day).

I think my top two favourite genres have to be dystopia and modern contemporary though (when done well, that is). I've read a historical fiction Mexican novel translated into English before (The Murmur of Bees, set during the time of the Spanish Flu) which I loved and I currently have Como Agua Para Chocolate on my shelf, waiting to be read. I'm open to any suggestions.

(Oh, and I've seen you around before on TSR and I believe you have studied French? I'm doing it at A-Level and so would love any good recommendations for that too if there's any French literature you've particularly enjoyed. Thank you. )
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Quick-use
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(Original post by Pichi)
My tastes are very varied and aren't really restricted to genres. Some British books I've read include within dystopia (1984, The Sleeper Awakes, Animal Farm), Victorian (the Brontes, Austen, Hardy), Gothic (The Woman in White, Dracula, a bit of Poe, though he's American), modern contemporary (a lot of crime and mystery, like The Secret History, also American though) and historical fiction. I've also just discovered Murakami (I'm sure you know about him), read a tiny bit of Russian literature (The Master and Margarita, I've started Crime and Punishment and I need to get back to it - I love the brooding, pessimistic atmosphere of those two novels), I've been slowly reading the Iliad and have been trying some medieval stuff too (my mum has told me a bit about Don Quixote since she studied it in school and I'd love to reach a level of proficiency to be able to read it in Spanish one day).

I think my top two favourite genres have to be dystopia and modern contemporary though (when done well, that is). I've read a historical fiction Mexican novel translated into English before (The Murmur of Bees, set during the time of the Spanish Flu) which I loved and I currently have Como Agua Para Chocolate on my shelf, waiting to be read. I'm open to any suggestions.

(Oh, and I've seen you around before on TSR and I believe you have studied French? I'm doing it at A-Level and so would love any good recommendations for that too if there's any French literature you've particularly enjoyed. Thank you. )
I'm really impressed by what you've read thus far. That said, it does seem like you've been mostly reading established and classical literature which is completely fine, but it could be nice to read more contemporary or experimental texts. This is actually something I ended up doing more of at uni and I'm really glad I did. Up until then, my reading consisted of practically everything you've mentioned (including Don Quixote), but with a sharp focus on the ever-depressing modernist movement.

As for Hispanic literature, one of the utter best texts I've ever read was Paula by Isabel Allende. She's an exceptional Chilean writer who is basically a household name across both South America and Spain. Another text I'd recommend would be El Club Dumas. This one is definitely more experimental in its storyline, but it's deliciously addictive. It's written by the Spanish native, Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

Moving onto Francophone literature, even if it's considered a 'classic', I can't help but recommend the masterpiece that is L'Avare by Molière. It reminds me of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, in that both have so clearly influenced western comedy to what it is today.
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