1. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Anglo-American Tradition

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Byzantine Bandit, Jun 5, 2013.

    I'm looking to compile a list of older texts (at the very very least 50 years old) that would give me a handle on the general Anglo-American tradition. So, I've got these so far:
    1. Beowulf
    2. The Bible
    3. Works of Shakespeare
    4. Works of Tolkien (at the very least because he was a scholar in the Anglican part of this)
    5. Works of Twain

    Any recommendations? Is it bad that I'm an American yet the Americans are severely underrepresented? Thanks!
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Hemingway
    Steinbeck
    Ginsberg
    Kerouac

    The list is endless......
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Because there are so many Anglo-American works, it would be better if you could narrow it down to a certain theme or time period.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what do you mean by that?

    in what, by whom?
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    The bible is an example of Anglo-American tradition?
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I admit, I'm also not sure what you mean by "Anglo-American tradition". There are a number of definitions for "anglo-american", and none really clarify what tradition you're referring to. Clarification might get you some better suggestions.
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It might, given that no one actually uses it in its original language, but instead in the translation ordered by King James. The translation puts a marked spin on countless aspects of the text that are a reflection of the place and time of translation. *shrug*

    As a professional translator I can tell you that the King James version of the Bible is the cliché example we use as regards how best to lose all reputation and good standing within the community of translators.
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    and the fact is was translated nearly 1300 years after the original bibles were compiled. Still not sure what's American about it though even if it is used in the US.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The OP is attempting to ingest the Anglo-American Tradition, which would include America and the U.K. equally. I am going to assume the OP to be a Yank. Had s/he hailed from the other side of the pond, I'm sure s/he would have said Amero-Britannic Tradition. ;) :D
     
  10. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Well, when Christianity was the dominating force in a culture for over a thousand years, I'd say that'd make the Bible at least important to being able to properly understand the writings of said culture. Not necessarily the KJV, but I think a basic familiarity with the text is important to be able to understand all the allusion.

    Wow. Is it that obvious? :sheepishgrin:


    And when I said the Americans are underrepresented, it was in my list, because the only notable American I listed was Twain, which is bad because I am myself American.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ha! :D No worries, poppet. Though my idiolect tends toward the Dickensian, I too hail from 'Murica!
     
  12. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    But what do you exactly mean with 'Anglo-American' tradition?
     
  13. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Haha! Mine is a mix of Pittsburghese and perhaps a bit of Tolkienean!

    The whole literary corpus of America and Britain. I'm looking for representative works which show the general mindset of the people and their literary development. So, not necessarily things that were written by them, but even perhaps just extremely influential works.
     
  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's still a pretty broad arena - like, centuries. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays. Literary and genre fiction. You could just as easily google "great American authors" or "great English authors" and get hundreds of answers.
     
  15. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    Could you say Edgar Allen Poe here? some of the stuff in his writing seemed to be akin to what happened both sides of the pond?
     
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I was about to mention Poe, too. Also Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson. That should help fill out the nineteenth-century American side of things.

    Britain has a vastly longer history than the USA, so before the nineteenth century, nearly everything on the list will be British.

    Question: Is Irish literature to be included on the list?
     
  17. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a stand alone ;) I saw a bbc programme where they Joyce in as a British writer :eek: - Anglo/Irish/Americano

    William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett as you know all won a Nobel Prizes and let's not forget Joyce - All from Dublin and of course Seamus Heaney, (poet)another Nobel winner, this time from Donegal.
     
  18. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Yes. Also Native American. Especially songs.

    And I'd add here Chesterton for 19th-20th century British. He was friends/debating buddies with George Bernard Shaw, and had an influence on Lewis and Tolkien.
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    YES! Let's include the Irish, and this list is a great place to start.

    I don't know much about Native American songs, but as far as stories are concerned, you should probably start with Stith Thompson's Tales of the North American Indians, first published in 1929. It includes myths and legends from both American and Canadian Natives, but that, of course, is merely a political division that occurred long after these stories were first told, so it won't bother you.

    Another influence on Tolkien and later fantasy writers was Lord Dunsany. Maybe he should be on the list, too.
     
  20. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Why don't I remember hearing about him before??? Just looking through his corpus on Wikipedia, he seems pretty cool.
     
  21. Aprella
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    Aprella Senior Member

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    Steinbeck? He has three books that take place around the great depression.
    Sir Gawian and the Green Knight is a good example of an Arthurian Romance (writer unknown) and then you have Chaucer with the Canterbury tales. It's the first story that approaches Realism.
    You have Wilde, Woolf, Tennyson, Dickens, Austen, Brontë, More, Swift.... there are sooo many! My Norton Anthology is full of them :p
     
  22. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    A question from someone outside the A-A tradition :) : if you include native American oral tradition in the list, shouldn't you then include literary traditions of most of the immigrants? While English is the official language, there are almost as many descendants of German immigrants as there are Irish and English combined. Not to mention Italians, Poles, and descendants of African origin. Not to mention the fact Native tradition played a very limited (to put it mildly) role in the American literature up until the late 20th century.
    Just saying... :)

    So, I think "literary tradition in English language important to American literature" would be a more appropriate google search? :)
     
  23. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    So wait, just to be clear you want "representative works" of the "whole literary corpus" of the American and British traditions, including all realms of the UK (but presumably in English), and I assume, all Commonwealth countries (which up until the 30s formed part the Empire at least), and Native American texts too. And by your own inclusion of the Bible, I'm assuming non-native American or British texts that have influenced British or American literature, and with no genre or time frame specified (though your inclusion of the Bible seems to indicate at least pre common era). Conceivably, then, you want any book (or, wait, do you mean text, or any work that has a "literary" component? Does Hammurabi's code qualify?!) ever produced in all of history which has had an impact (what sort of impact, again, unidentified) on American or British society.

    That, sir, is madness.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... of the maddest kind...

    you're talking about at least hundreds of titles... maybe thousands up to millions... what for?... what would you do with such a list, if one could even be assembled?

    sorry, but your request is not making any sense... to me, at least!
     
  25. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't forget Irish lit... .
     

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