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So Many Books...
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From time to time I find myself turning off the main highways of current literature, lined with bestseller franchises and used back lists of well known authors, and into narrow alleys where can be found in the shadowy recesses of cluttered, dusty windowed shops, the works of authors forgotten by the publishing industry.

Well, maybe not shops exactly but sites like Online Books.

Recently I came across One Hundred Best Books, by John Cowper Powys, published in 1916. I was curious to see what was on such a list compiled nearly a century ago. Most of the cited authors would make any classics list today: Austen, Balzac, Conrad, Dickens, Dostoyevsky....

What interested me, though, were the authors I'd never heard of: Michael Atzibasheff, Gilbert Cannan, Remy de Gourmont, Romain Rolland, Hermann Sudermann and others. All highly regarded a hundred years ago but now?

Now few of their works are even available online despite that most of the books are long out of print.

Maybe I am simply ignorant of literary history. All these writers can be looked up on Wikipedia. I did. Romain Rolland won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915! Certainly it would be worth reading something by him, or those others who were at one time considered on a par with Henry James.

Then again, I have read very little by Henry James, preferring his philosophical brother William, or -- glancing over the list -- Thomas Hardy, Turgenev, Joseph Conrad....Okay, I only read one book by Jane Austen but that was quite enough, thank you. Still....

So many books, so little time.

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