META NAME="Forgotten Classics" CONTENT="neglected novels forgotten authors."

forgotten classics

'Reading neglected writers so you don't have to' A Time Out column and a blog for books that seem to be undeservedly forgotten, from John Galsworthy to Rose Macaulay, from Amos Tutuola to DH Lawrence, from W. Somerset Maugham to Fanny Burney. What books do you think we should revive? If you love a writer who has lapsed in popularity please let me know! Are my choices controversial?

Sunday, May 28, 2006


It is interesting to think about forgotten classics that aren't novels - an
obvious one for me is drama (it is a big Shaw anniversary this year but is
anyone doing anything to celebrate him?). I was also thinking about big
non-fiction books. This might include critical academic milestones - does
anyone read F.R Leavis or G. Wilson Knight any more? I read AJP Taylor ages
ago but is he now at all important? Academia is obsessed with moving on
sharpish and I'll admit that I view anything published before 1980 with
suspicion... How about in science, where things aren't just discounted but
disproven? However, I'm more motivated to think about popular non-fiction
books, which can be extremely time-specific (the kind of equivalent of
Michael Moore's Stupid White Men, those books you come across in second hand
shops or on market stalls and realise sold millions of copies though you've
never heard of them) or just overly fashionable (will anyone understand the
fuss made of Schott's Miscellany in 10 years). There are, however, loads of
volumes of popular history and science and travel and biography and literary
criticism that have been unfairly overlooked and that we should revisit -
Antonia Fraser, Lytton Strachey, Bruce Chatwin, Pevsner, William Shirer, to
name just a few....


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