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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

a list about romance movies that are actually watchable. (post 1990)

(not all of these follow the conventional romance format).

32.Shakespeare in Love - 1998 - John Madden

iconic couple : Joseph Fiennes & Gwyneth Paltrow

31. Hors de Prix (priceless) - 2006 - Pierre Salvadori

iconic couple:
Audrey Tautou & Gad Elmaleh

30.True Romance -1993 - Quentin Tarantino

iconic couple: Christian Slater & Patricia Arquette

29. Knocked up -2007 - Judd Apatow

iconic couple : Seth Rogen & Katherine Heigel

28.Quand j'étais chanteur (when i was a singer) - 2006- Xavier Giannoli

iconic couple: Gerard Depardieu & Cecile de France

27. (500) Days of Summer - 2009 - Mark Webb

iconic couple: Joseph Gordon-Levitt& Zooey Deschanel

26.The Wedding Singer - 1998 - Tim Herlihy

iconic couple - Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore

25.Punch-Drunk Love - 2002 - Paul Thomas Anderson

iconic couple : Adam Sandler and Emily Watson

24.Vicky Cristina Barcelona - 2008 - Woody Allen

iconic couple: Javier Bardem & Penelope Cruz/Scarlett Johanssen/Rebecca Hall

23.Atonement - 2007 - Joe Wright

iconic couple :
Keira Knightley&James McAvoy

22.Chocolat - 2000 - Lasse Hallstrom

iconic couple : Johnny Depp & Juliette Bincohe

21.Il Postino - 1994- Micheal Radford

iconic couple - Massimo Troisi&Maria Grazia Cucinotta

20.Jerry Maguire - 1997 - Cameron Crowe

iconic couple: Tom Cruise & Renee Zellweger

19. Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips) - 2000 - Silvio Soldini

iconic couple -Licia Maglietta & Bruno Ganz

18.Bridget Jones's Diary - 2001 - Sharon Maguire

iconic couple: Renee Zellweger & Hugh Grant/Colin Firth

17. Cyrano de Bergerac - 1990-Jean-Paul Rappeneau

iconic couple:
Gérard Depardieu&Anne Brochet

16.Slumdog Millionaire - 2008 - Danny Boyle

iconic couple : Dev Patel & Freida Pinto

15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2004 - Michel Gondry

iconic couple : Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet

14. Groundhog Day -1993 - Harold Ramis

iconic couple- Bill Murray & Andie Macdowell

13.Låt den rätte komma in ( let the right one in) - 2008 - Tomas Alfredson

iconic couple:
Kare Hedebrant & Lina Leandersson

12. Garden State - 2004 - Zach Braff

iconic couple: Zach Braff & Natalie Portman

11. Pride and Prejudice - 2005 - Joe Wright

Iconic couple - Matthew Macfadyen and Kiera Knightly

Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) - 2004 -Jean-Pierre Jeunet

iconic couple:Audrey Tautou&Gaspard Ulliel

9. Love Actually - 2003 - Richard Curtis

iconic couple : several

8. Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain (Amelie)- 2001- Jean-Pierre Jeunet

iconic couple:Audrey Tautou & Mathieu Kassovitz

Wall-e -2008- Andrew Stanton

iconic couple : Wall-e & Eve

6. Pretty Woman - 1990 - Gary Marshall

iconic couple: Richard Gere & Julia Roberts

Paris je T'aime (Paris ,I love you) 2006 - Various

iconic couple : several

Four Weddings and a Funeral - 1994 - Mike Newell

iconic couple : Hugh Grant & Andie MacDowell

Once - 2007 - John Carney

iconic couple:
Glen Hansard&Markéta Irglová

Before Sunrise - 1995 - Richard Linklater

iconic couple : Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy

1.Before Sunset - 2004- Richard Linklater

iconic couple : Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy

most polarizing footballers.

as would say- this list is satirical (mostly anyway).Criteria for selection- must be an active player during world cup 2006(club or country).(so no complaints about leaving out Baggio and Maradona).

in no particular order:

16. Cristiano Ronaldo - Winger/Forward - Real Madrid

supporters : people who like tricks, people who like one man shows, women, people who like great free kicks

haters: people who like team play, people who don't appreciate divers, homophobics, people who expect players to win back the ball when they lose it instead of turning away and shrugging.

15. David Beckham -Midfielder/Winger- LA Galaxy

supporters: women, people who appreciate a good free kick, any fashion designer who gets him to wear their outfits

haters: people who think going to MLS was a sellout for the $$, people who expect professionals to do more than deliver a good free kick, premier league goalkeepers (1993-2003) & primera liga goalkeepers (2003-2007)

14. Filippo Inzaghi- Striker- AC Milan

supporters: people who judge by goals only; people who want to be professionals but are too lazy to run, young players who think they've seen a way around running back to defend, people who appreciate positioning

haters: coaches who have to modify their offside trap, people who appreciate teamwork, every defender in Serie A since 1995, people who don't like to see players fall over 10 times a game

13. Ronaldo - Striker -Corinthians

supporters: people who credit him with bringing futsal skills to the pitch, Karim Benzema, Kaka, Zlatan Ibrahimovic ,knee surgeons

haters: Ac Milan and Inter Milan supporters ( possibly the only thing they agree on), people who don't like fat people, some Brazilians who still haven't forgiven him for catching a fit and then requesting to still play during World Cup 1998.

12.Owen Hargreaves - Midfielder/defender - Manchester United

supporters: people who appreciate player who can play anywhere, England fans after 2006, the entire football watching population of Canada

haters: English fans before 2006, Bayern fans who think he jumped ship because they didn't qualify for the Champions league, people who think a Canadian that learnt to play in Germany and is an English international is breaking some sort of illegibility rule.

11. Sergio Ramos Full back- Real Madrid

supporters: people who believe in attacking full backs, people who like goal-scoring defenders, the Spanish National team staff who called him up at 18

haters: people who expect defenders to defend, people who appreciate clean tackling; Real Madrid fans who can't figure why he got Hierro's old number

10. Emerson - Defensive Midfielder - Santos

supporters: Roma , Juventus, Real Madrid and AC Milan managers; people who think Il Puma is a cool nickname, people who want to be professionals but have no talent and need an idol

haters: Roma,Juventus,Real Madrid and AC Milan fans; people who still aren't sure what he does, people who think professionals should be able to contribute something to their team

9. Wayne Rooney - Forward- Manchester United

supporters: English fans, people who are nostalgic for the times when center forwards were large and had no tricks, people who think being large is a skill.

haters:Everton fans, people who think footballers should have discipline, people who think a mutli-million dollar deal for a 24 year old's autobiography is insanity.

8. Ashley Cole - Fullback - Chelsea

supporters: Arsenal fans before 2005, Chelsea fans?

Haters: Cheryl Cole fans, people who think footballers are money hungry(complaining about £55000 a week) , people who think the transfer market needs restructuring, Arsenal fans after 2005

7. Gennaro Gattuso - Defensive Midfielder - AC Milan

supporters : people who like aggressive tackling, people who appreciate hard work, primary school players who think they can build a career by running to anywhere the ball is

haters: people who appreciate discipline, attack minded football fans, people who don't appreciate watching pants- less players running around after a World Cup final.

6. Marco Materazzi - Centre back - Inter Milan

supporters : Italian fans during world cup 2006 who think getting Zidane sent off was the best tactical move ever, people who like goal scoring defenders, tattoo artists

haters: people who expect defenders to be able to tackle cleanly, every supporter of Zidane, people who think he epitomises the worst of Italian football.

5.Ronaldinho - Attacking Midfeilder - AC Milan

supporters: people who like tricks (before 2006), people who think talent alone can't keep you at the top (after 2006), nightclub owners

haters: defenders around the world (2002-2006), everyone that has ever been told 'braces are necessary', Dunga

Peter Crouch - Striker - Tottenham Hotspur


haters: the football watching population of Trinidad and Tobago, people who think someone that tall should be able to header properly,

3. Karim Benzema - Striker - Real Madrid

supporters : Lyon fans, fans of unorthodox players, people who want to be professionals but don't want to play the same way as everyone else.

haters: France fans (who want to see a performance like he does for Lyon), current Real Madrid fans , Algerian fans who wanted him in their team

2.Oliver Kahn - Goalkeeper - Bayern Munich

supporters: German fans( especially during 2002 world cup), Bayern Munich fans (especially during 2001 Champions league), anyone who's ever wanted to cheat on their wife with someone they met in a club & needed a role model.

Haters: Jens Lehmann, opposition strikers, people who don't approve of extra marital affairs.

1. Didier Drogba - Striker - Chelsea

supporters: people who like big fowards, people who judge by goals,

haters: people who don't appreciate diving, people who think that slapping someone is a stupid way to get sent off, people who think throwing coins is stupid, people who dont appreciate foul language on live TV


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A list about novels that won the Booker Prize.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known in short as the Booker Prize, is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe.The winner of the Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and success and, for this reason, the prize is of great significance for the book trade.

12.Life of Pi - Yann Martel -Canada - Winner in 2002

11.The Inheritance of Loss -Kiran Desai - India - Winner in 2006

10. The Sea, the Sea -Iris Murdoch - Ireland/United Kingdom- Winner in 1978

9.Oscar and Lucinda - Peter Carey - Australia - winner in 1988

8.The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga - India - winner in 2008

7.The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy -India - Winner in 1997

6.The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje - Sri Lanka/Canada - winner in 1992

5.Possession: A Romance - A.S. Byatt - United Kingdom -Winner in 1990

4.The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - United Kingdom/Japan - Winner in 1989

Rites of Passage - William Golding - United Kingdom - winner in 1980

2.Disgrace - J.M. Coetzee - South Africa - winner in 1999

1.Midnight's Children -Salman Rushdie - India - Winner in 1981

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a list about cartoons/animated films.(21st century)

24.Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003) - Virgin Music - Kazuhisa Takenouchi

23.Metropolis (2001) -Toho -Rintaro

22.Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust ( 2001) - Urban Vision Entertainment-Yoshiaki Kawajiri

21.A Scanner Darkly (2006) - Warner Independent Pictures - Richard Linklater

20. Ice Age (2002) - 20th century Fox- Chris Wedge

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride(2005) - Warner Bros. - Tim Burton

Happy Feet(2006) - Warner Bros. - George Miller

17. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)- Tri-Star Pictures- Shinichiro Watanabe

16.Monsters, Inc. (2001) - Pixar - Peter Doctor, Lee Unkrich & David Silverman

The Incredibles -(2004) - Pixar -Brad Bird

14.Chicken Run (2000) -Aardman Studios - Nick Park &Peter Lord

13.Coraline (2009) -Focus Features - Henry Selick

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)- Studi Ghibli - Hayao Miyazaki

11.Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003) - Diaphana Films - Sylvain Chomet

10.Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) - Aardman Studios - Nick Park & Steve Box

9.Finding Nemo (2003) - Pixar - Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich

8.Up (2009) - Pixar -Pete Doctor

Persepolis (2007) - Sony Pictures Classics-Marjane Satrapi

6.Shrek (2001) -Dreamworks - Andrew Adamson& Vicky Jenson

5.Ratatouille (2007) -Pixar - Brad Bird

Waking Life (2001)- Fox Searchlight Pictures - Richard Linklater

Spirited Away (2001) - Studi Ghibli - Hayao Miyazaki

WALL-E (2008) - Pixar -Andrew Stanton

Vals Im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir) -(2008) - Bridgit Folman Film Gang -Ari Folman

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

a list of documentaries.made in the 21st century.that you should see.

People don't watch a lot of documentaries.Maybe that's because everyone associates then with boring, drawn out chronicles of something they have no interest in. and unfortunately a lot are exactly like that.but some are good, really good. here's a list (in no order), with a quick line summary of why you should watch it:

22. Capturing the Friedmans(2003) - Andrew Jarecki

why: a film about how mysterious every person is, while documenting the very disturbing topic of child abuse.throughout the film everyone seems both clearly guilty and then completely innocent. makes you realize facts are subjective.

21 .Spellbound (2002) - Jeffrey Blitz

why: a film about setting goals and achieving dreams, even when that dream is to be a national spelling bee champion. more than that, it's about the 8 competitors who manage to be appealing and completely enthralling.

20.To Be and To Have (etre at avoir)- (2003) -Nicolas Philibert

why: this one has the slow parts, teaching in a one room school in France isn't really that exciting. but somehow you get caught up , and the great scenes become even better because they're spread out.

19.De Fem benspænd (The Five Obstructions) - 2003- Lars von Trier&Jørgen Leth

why: a documentary about experimental films, von trier challenges leth for him to remake his old film 'the perfect human', with 5 obstructions. philosphical, funny and an insight into the creation of film istelf.

18.Super Size Me -2004-Morgan Spurlock

why: a film about the evils of fast food by it's effect on health and lifestyle. pretend Mcdonald's is KFC..

Bigger, Stronger, Faster* - 2008 - Christopher Bell

causes the viewer to reevaluate their pre-conceived notions of steroid use. Interviews with several prominent athletes, makes you realize how far some people will go for success.

16.The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - Seth Gordon -2007

why: Hilarious film about a man who wants to be the best ,and break the highest donkey kong score. also serves as a metaphor for the decline of Western civilization?

15.A Complete History of My Sexual Failures - 2008- Chris Waitt

why: take a look a the title, what more do you need? Chris Waitt tries to find out why everything went wrong and then tries to come up with new strategies.

14.Grizzly Man - 2005 - Werner Herzog

why: did he disrespect nature by crossing the lines between predator and prey?was he just misguided or did he relate to bears more than people? this film asks a lot of questions, but it's about a man who got eaten by bears, so it it should.

13. Long Night's Journey into Day - 2000 - Deborah Hoffman & Frances Reid

(couldn't find a movie poster)

why: About the Truth and Reconciliation comittee in post-apartheid South Africa. Makes you sit rethink every idea on pain, suffering and the vengefulness that you had. A strong film about facing the past

12.Le Peuple Migrateur - 2001 - Jacques Perrin

why: A film of outstanding cinematography. Makes you see thing from wholly original perspectives.

11.Bowling for Columbine - 2002 - Micheal Moore

why: A film that will make you laugh if you're not American, and that will make you annoyed and a bit confused if you are. It shows that guns availibilty aren't really the problem for violence in the US, it's the media instilling fear and the govenrment's agressive acts.

10.The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara - 2003 - Errol Morris

why: A film about what the US sectary of Defense during the Vietnam War learned about warfare. About one of the most controversial figures in politics of the last century, a new view on a man who wasn't known for his humanity.

9.Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids - 2004 - Zana Briski &Ross Kauffman

why: Not just born there, the children more or less live their whole lives in brothel walls. They were given cameras and taught photography, this film shows that even if the worst of conditions there can still be hope and potential.

8.La Marche de l'empereur ( March of the Penguins) - 2005 - Luc Jacquet

why: It's a well shot, unsentimental film. but who can be unsentimental about penguins, penguins are just fun to watch.

7.Jesus Camp - 2006 - Heidi Ewing&Rachel Grady

why:A frank look at what Evangelists believe, preach and teach their children. I still don't know if to laugh, be angry or just confused that people can believe that teaching their children that way is logical.

Twist of Faith - 2004 - Kirby Dick

why: A complicated film which let victims of sex abuse realize they are not alone. Apowerful and damning look at the long-term impact of sexual abuse as well as the nature of humanity in tragedy.

5. Sicko - 2007 - Micheal Moore

why: even more relevant now with healthcare reform dominating American news. Entertaining look at American healthcare, while showing the lengths insurance companies will go to not pay.

4.No End in Sight - 2007 - Charles Ferguson

why: there's a lot of documentaries about the Iraq war but if you can only see one, this is it. Shows how all the military and technical logic was overrun by political loyalists. Makes you realize how incompetent the decision makers were.

3.Encounters at the End of the World - Werner Herzog - 2007

why: it's Antarctica, you'd think it's not somewhere to go. you might reconsider. a look at how the people at the most remote place on the planet bond together, beautiful visuals and somehow it's funny too. there's more humanity here than some urban cities.

2.Scottsboro: An American Tragedy - 2001 - Daniel Anker & Barak Goodman

why: A look at courtroom racism where 9 teenagers were accused and wrongly jailed and its outcome. Manages to shape a very complicated story in to linearity, while never diverting attention from the main idea - racism affecting justice.

1. Man on Wire - 2008 - James Marsh

why: The way this is shot, you're convinced they're planning some huge bank robbery. It's Phillipe Petit, the tightrope walker who makes this film by being his incredibly charismatic self . his walk was uplifting ,although I'm still not sure how.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a list about roles which changed the way you looked at the actor/actress (post 1988)

Roles that made you reconsider the way you looked at the actor/actress. as in you didnt realize they were that could, or could even play that sort of role. breakthrough performances are another category. more a list of actors breaking out of their accustomed roles. post 1990

22.Sergi Lopez - pon's labryinth,dirty pretty things.
21.audrey tatou -À la folie... pas du tou
20.tom hakns- road to peridtion
19.tom cruise - collateral
18.christopher walken - hairspray
17.ben kingsley - sexy beast
16.natalie portman- closer
15.jack palanche - city slicker
14.bruce willis -die hard
13. anne hathaway - rachel getting married
12. reese witherspoon- walk the line
11-. jim carrey- eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
10. Jamie Fox -Ray
9. Charlize Theron - Monster
8.Tom Hanks- Big
7. Robin Williams - dead poets society.
6. javier bardem - no country for old men.
5. heath ledger - batman & brokeback mountain
4.ryan gosling - half nelson
3.ellyn burnstein - requim for a dream
2eddie murphy - dreamgirls
1. Robert de Niro - stardust

Sunday, October 11, 2009

a list of overrated movies(post 1990)

(in no particular order)

20.The English Patient(1996)
19.Brokeback Mountain(2005)
18.Ghost World(2001)
17.Kill Bill 2(2004)
16. The Sixth Sense(1999)
11. I am Legend(2007)
10. Reservoir Dogs(1992)
9. The Others(2001)
8.Shakespeare in Love(1998)
6.The Blair Witch Project(1999)
4.Hustle & Flow(2004)
3.Erin Brockovich(2001)
2.As Good As it Gets(1997)
1. Ghost(1990)

a list of films that weren't the best of the nominees.but still won best picture oscar. (post 1970)

7. Rocky - 1976

other nominees :
Taxi Driver; Network; All the President's Men

Ordinary People -1980

other nominees : Raging Bull; The Elephant Man

5. Amadeus - 1984

other nominees :The Killing Fields ; A Passage to India

4. Dances with Wolves - 1990

other nominees : Goodfellas; Awakenings

3. The English Patient - 1996

other nominees : Jerry Maguir; Shine ; Fargo

2. Shakespeare in Love - 1998

other nominees : La Vita e Bella; Saving Private Ryan; The Thin Red Line

1. Out of Africa - 1985

other nominees : Prizzi's Honor; The Color Purple; Kiss of the Spider Woman

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a list about writers who should have won the nobel prize.but didnt

Nobel's choice of emphasis on "idealistic" or "ideal" (in English translation) in his criteria for the Nobel Prize in Literature has led to recurrent controversy. .In the early twentieth century, the Nobel Committee interpreted the intent of the will strictly and did not award certain world-renowned authors of the time such as Henry James, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Emile Zola, Anton Chekov and Henrik Ibsen .More recently, the wording has been interpreted more liberally. Since there was a reason , albeit a exceedingly poor one, for exclusion of these authors this list only refers to more recent authors who were snubbed (i.e writers who died after 1920).

(This list will be biased towards writers who wrote in English or French. Or whose works have been translated into those languages. There are many writers in other languages who are likely to have deserved a Nobel, but a lack of comprehension of those languages makes the judging of their works impossible. Obviously, only works which are still in print or available in libraries can be read and considered)

in no particular order:

12. Khalil Gibran

major works : The Prophet, The Madman, Secrets of the Heart, al-Ajniha al-Mutakassira

Considered to be the third most widely read poet in history behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. There are still copies of The Prophet being released by new publishing companies. Gibran merged the classical and the new like no other author. His work was deeply based in mysticism and religion and remain some of the most inspirational poetry and poetic essays of the Twentieth Century. There is no other poet who impacted on popular perception in recent times as he did

11. Joseph Conrad

Major Works: Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, Nostromo, Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad is still widely read today, both for pleasure and in the classroom. His novels were written at the height of the British empire and deal with the topics of a world empire as well as the effects on the human psyche. One of the most complete and lyrical writers of prose of 20th Century English Literature, the term prose poet is especially applicable.

"Naipaul is Conrad's heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.". That quote was used by the Nobel Institute when announcing the selection of V.S. Naipaul as a Nobel Prize winner. It is obvious then that the Nobel institute realizes the importance of Joseph Conrad but they still somehow neglected to award him the prize.

10. Jorge Luis Borges

Major Works: Labyrinths;
The Book of Sand;Ficciones

For at least twenty year Borges was at the forefront of the literary world and was widely believed to be a candidate for the prize for several years. It is believed that the Nobel committee refused to give him the award because of his open support of right-wing dictators, Augusto Pinochet the most prominent. The major debate here is that the Nobel institute regularly awarded the prize to supporters of left wing dictators, such as the case of Pablo Neruda who was a supporter of Josef Stalin. Politics shouldn't be a factor in deciding a literary prize, especially deciding between right and left.

Vladimir Nabokov

Major Works:
Speak, Memory ;Lolita ;Pale Fire

A highly influential writer, first in his native language Russian and then in English. Novels such as Lolita shaped not only the literary world but also seeped into everyday use. Also wrote several volumes of criticism and translated many works into Russian. He was nominated in 1974 but lost in a travesty of a decision to Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson, who were both Nobel judges and completely unknown outside of their own countries. Nabokov's novels are still widely read today while it is close to impossible to even find a copy of any book by Harry Martinson or Eyvind Johnson .

8.James Joyce

Major works: Ulysses; Dubliners; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Finnegan's Wake

A pioneer of the literary form, Joyce's novels reshaped the entire way in which people saw that a novel could be written. Works such as Finnegan's Wake helped to develop the concept of speculative fiction, while Ulysses was a landmark in the stream of consciousness writing style. An influence on writers as diverse as Samuel Beckett, Salman Rushdie, Jose Luis Borges and Flann O'Brien, his writing shaped modern literature.
Even more confusing is the fact that the prize was awarded to T.S. Elliot in 1948. Elliot was especially known for his poem, The Waste Land, which has many structural relations as well as similar motifs, so much so that Joyce referred to the poem as a derivation of his work.

W. H. Auden

Major Works: Poems; The Orators;Funeral Blues

A major 20th century poet, his style influenced almost all modern poets.Especially those writing in the English language. Still incredibly popular today (which is not something most live poets can claim), "Funeral Blues" &"September 1, 1939" still turn up in movies and radio broadcasts.
It is believed that he was ignored for the prize because of errors in his translation of 1961 Peace Prize winner Dag Hammarskjold "Vagmarken" and because of statements he made suggesting Hammarskjold was a homosexual (like Auden).
It seems harsh to be denied because of translation mistakes and being wrong about someone's sexual preference.

Graham Greene

Major Works: The Heart of the Matter; The Quiet American;
The End of the Affair

Greene was one of the most widely read novelist of the 20th-century, a superb storyteller. Adventure and suspense are constant elements in his novels and many of his books have been made into successful films. His works are noted for their leanness and their realism. His descriptions, though empty of embellishment, still retain cinematic sense.

Some attributed this to his being too populist a storyteller, others to the rumour that he had cuckolded a prominent member of the selection committee. The second reason is widely popular but remains unconfirmed and is likely to remain that way.Greene himself believed he was always one vote short of the prize, withheld by one judge, who disliked his Catholicism and left-wing sympathies, and "who seemed determined to outlive him".

Salman Rushdie

major works: Midnight's Children, Shame, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Satanic Verses

The novelist by which every Indian writer writing in English is measured by. Also one of the most controversial writers alive today, due to the fatwa imposed on him by Ayatollah Khomeini. Strictly speaking, since he's still alive he could still win.

In 1997 Rushdie was tipped to win the award. However the award went to Dario Fo, primarily a performer. The Nobel committee were quoted as saying the choice of Rushdie would have been " too predictable, too popular". Apparently the Nobel committee are convinced that if a writer is popular that means automatically that they cannot win a Nobel prize.

Arthur Miller

Major works: Death of a Salesman,The Crucible ,A View from the Bridge

The most influential American playwright of the last century, helped by his continually being in the public eye. As The writer of The Crucible he was one of the first to openly criticize the Communist hunts going on in America after the Second World War which he likened to the Salem Witch Hunts of the 1600s. His plays are still performed around the world to this day, usually to packed theaters.

Arthur Miller was also seen as a strong candidate for the 1997 Nobel Prize and it was believed that the award would either go to him or Salman Rushdie. The Award went to Dario Fo, who was more shocked than anyone stating "I am flabbergasted.". The Nobel Institute went against the popular decision, making the criteria for winning the Prize even more confusing.

3. Evelyn Waugh

Major Works: Scoop, A Handful Of Dust, Brideshead Revisited, Vile Bodies

The funniest English writer of the twentieth century. No one wrote satires as well as he did. Capable of serious works as well and part of the writers who brought travel writing into public perception as a viable literary form. Was widely popular during his lifetime. Created many innovations in his writing which have become the norm today, such as writing entire chapters in dialogue.

2. George Orwell

Major Works: 1984, Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London, Why I write, Burmese Days

We've all read Animal Farm. Or were supposed to anyway. Even people who don't know a thing about communism or Soviet history can appreciate the satire of hypocrisy. Not just a novelist, his autobiographical travel books were highly respected and influential.
Also wrote hundreds of articles and book reviews. His articles on politics and in particular his stance on anti-communism may have prevented him from being giving the award for fear of controversy.
And he did give us the word "Orwellian"

1. Marcel Proust

Major Works : A la Recherche Du Temps Perdu

This one is possibly the most debatable about deserving the prize. Proust did only write one book after all. But that book is " A la Recherche Du Temps Perdu". And there has been nothing like it ever written.
That novel changed the entire landscape of European Literature, moving it away from being plot driven and so making modern and post-modern genres possible Proust explored almost every topic there was in A la Recherche and gave us the ,now conventional, idea of involuntary memory.
A la Recherche du Temps Perdu was the most important novel of the Twentieth century. And Proust should have been recognized for writing it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

10 (20th century) novels that you can summarize the plot of in two lines. and completely miss what makes it good.

10. Remembrance of Things Past ( À la recherche du temps perdu) - Marcel Proust - 1913–1927

Summary: A man remembers large parts of his past, involuntarily. All because of an incident where he dips a madeleine into tea.

In a book where basically nothing happens except the very ordinary life of the narrator, the story still manages to capture one's attention. Also the author manages to make every experience, thought and emotion seem as something that everyone has either experienced or can relate to. Written with almost every word in the vocabulary, it is condensation of innumerable literary, structural, stylistic, and thematic possibilities.

9.Ulysses - James Joyce - 1922

Summary : The entire book follows a day in the life of Leopold Bloom on 16th June 1904 through the streets of Dublin.

A deceptively simple plot but while reading the plot itself becomes secondary or even forgotten. Most of what makes this book a classic are the hundreds of references and allusions to other works, structuring and experimental prose. If you can figure these out, even just some of them the humorous nature of the book is revealed. Even if you don't find it funny, finding out the clues are reward enough.

8.Lord of the Flies- William Golding - 1954

summary: A group of schoolboys crash onto a deserted island. They attempt to govern themselves.

This book discusses how civility created by man fails and how man shall always turn to savagery. But it does so allegorically. If you don't look into it too deeply, you can pass this off as a depressing way to look at a classic desert island scenario.And it is. But written during such uncertain times as the start of the Cold War, it's a lot more too.

7. Possession - A.S. Byatt - 1990

summary: Two present day academics follow a trail of clues from various letters and journals as they attempt to uncover the truth about the relationship between two Victorian Era poets.

The novel uses several styles such as letters and poetry. As well it satirizes modern academia and the nature of mating rituals. A book that is difficult to put down and also makes you realize the how much the written word can convey. At times it feels like you're seeing every detail , not just reading and imagining it.

6. A House for Mr. Biswas - V.S. Naipaul - 1961

Summary: A story about a man who continuously attempts to find success and is generally met with failure. Marries into a family and is dominated by it , until the only goal he can think of is his own house.

A novel by an author who tells it how it is. A sharp look at post colonialism as well as the state of affairs in Trinidad during that time. At times comic and at times tragic, it is a familiar story of events beyond control defining the major parts of a person's life. While the story is simple, themes such as establishing one's identity and overcoming obstacles are present.

5.The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway - 1951

summary: An out of luck Cuban fisherman struggles with a giant marlin out in the Gulf Stream.

A story about struggling against defeat and finding the real place of man in the natural world. Several references about Christianity are found, with comparisons of the main character to Christ. Ideas about life and death, respect for the opponent and dignity are also present. Such is the symbolism in the book that it can hardly be read without thinking it means something, and different readers will find that it means different things.

4. The Stranger - Albert Camus - 1942

Summary :
An emotionally detached young man learns that his mother's dead, gets engaged to his girlfriend for no particular reason and shoots an Arab because the sun gets into his eyes. Then he has monologues about philosophy while in prison.

A book which explores several philosophical schools of thought including absurdism, existentialism, atheism and nihilism. Written with short, terse sentences which make you feel as though there is much more beneath the surface than what is said. The story initially captures the reader but it is the idea that everything is absurd which remains.

3. The God of Small Things -
Arundhati Roy - 1997

It is a story about the childhood experiences of a pair of fraternal twins who become victims of circumstance.

The book is a description of how the small things in life build up, translate into people's behavior and affect their lives. Partly a protest against South Asian prudery which stands in the way of love, as well as an insight other aspects of Indian culture which still remain such as the caste system. Written from the point of view of children, it gives an original insight.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia- C. S. Lewis - 1950-1956

Summary: These books present the adventures of children who are magically transported to Narnia where they play major roles in its history.

A classic of children's literature. Obvious allegorical references to Christianity, beginning with Genesis in the first book and culminating in Appocalpse in the final, the character of Aslan also ressurects in the second book. More recently, it has been suggested that the books were representive of the seven medivial planets with characters having specific attributes of those planets. No one is entirely sure how much or even exactly what external influences affected the writing of the books.

1.Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - 1937

summary: two displaced migrant ranch workers find a new job at a ranch during the great depression. they intend to save enough money to but their own land.

A book where one's own land represents independence and the achievement of the desire to be someone. A common theme shared by all the characters is that of dreams, where none of the major characters are content with their current situation. Loneliness is also a major part of each character as a consequence solitude. Underlying to the story is the powerlessness felt and how fate affects everyone, to the detriment of aspirations.