Thursday, August 9, 2007

More Outmoded Authors suggestions

Update: List is now closed, no further suggestions are being taken.

Hello everyone! I decided to take advantage of my motivation while it still hung around to get things started on this challenge. I'm going to be a bit dictatorial in deciding which authors actually make it to the Outmoded list. Despite the biases displayed in the lists so far, do not feel that you have to suggest Western authors. I'm quite open to cheating and adding authors who were never in fashion in this part of the world (but may be outmoded in yours). I also intend to go through some old Paris Review issues as they have quite a few really good contributions from writers I never heard of before then.

These are the ones I've decided on so far with the help of my readers at The Books of My Numberless Dreams:
  • Malcolm Lowry
  • Andrew Salkey
  • Sybille Bedford
  • D.H. Lawrence
  • Walter Scott
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • C.L.R. James
  • Elizabeth Bowen
  • G.K. Chesterton
  • Dawn Powell
  • Radclyffe Hall
  • W. Somerset Maugham
  • John Glasworth
  • Freya Stark
  • Orlando Patterson
  • E.R. Eddings
  • Olivia Manning
  • Marian Engel
  • Sarah Orne Jewett
  • The Fireside Poets
  • J.K. Huysmans
  • May Sarton
  • Mercé Rodoreda*
  • John Dryden
  • Cesare Pavese
  • Anna Kavan
  • Violette Leduc
  • Jesse Hill Ford
  • Rosalyn Drexler
  • Janet Frame
  • Djuna Barnes
  • Italo Svevo
We have 24 authors now. I'll cap the list at 30 to keep things manageable. I have in mind 3 authors about whose fashionable status I am still unsure: Andre Dubus, Arthur A. Cohen and William Morris. What say you?


Daniel said...

I have another suggestion: Alfred Chester, once heralded as the next coming of Faulkner by way of Genet—then he lost his mind and fell out of favor.

Imani said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I admit I was rather thrilled to see that you're a member of the David R. Godine blog. I do love that publisher -- it's where I discovered Dubus and Arthur A. Cohen and I recently acquired Obscene Bird of Night on a whim.

I wonder if Dubus would qualify as being out of fashion? Everyone always seems to be talking about the son and not the father, to my irritation.

litlove said...

I have a couple more! Lawrence Durrell and J.K. Huysmans. Olivia Mannings' wonderful Balkan trilogy ought to be there too. And not many people read Aldous Huxley now, either.

Dorothy W. said...

What about John Dryden? He's so outmoded that nobody will want to read him ... except maybe me. Or any of the poets you'll find here:
such as Longfellow.

Dorothy W. said...

Hmmm ... my link got cut off and I'm not sure you can use it -- but I mean poets like Longfellow and Lowell and Holmes, known as the fireside poets.

Ted said...

Dawn Powell, magnificent though she is, just had a pretty highly publicized renaissance courtesy of... was it Gore Vidal? Her complete works were reissued. Although, perhaps your point is that's she's still not widely read? She's a magnificent choice, at any rate.
How about May Sarton?

Wendy said...

I won't be able to do this one, Imani - I've too overchallenged right now! BUT, I've added you to my challenges blog to give you some advertising! And I'm thinking seriously about joining your other challenge :)

Imani said...

litlove wonderful suggestions as usual!. For Huxley, do you mean that he's not widely read with the exception of his Brave New World? Or has even that lost its cachet? (I've never read it.) I will mull that one over a bit.

(Hmm...yes come to think of it I never hear about anything else except Brave New World and only from cult fans.)

Dorothy that group is perfect! TLS had a glorious cover earlier this year about Longfellow living again but the actual article was far more subdued. In any case this challenge is allowed to include recently revived authors.

Ted so that means we can stick with Dawn Powell. Is she the one who got a Library of America reissue? We'll put some needed momentum in her meteoric resurrection. ;)

Especially if her writing is magnificent.

Wendy thank you so much for the support!

Ted said...

I'm not sure how outmoded Dubus is, but he sure is a wonderful writer. John Nichols?
J. B. Preistly?
Neville Shute?
Sorry, couldn't resist.

Imani said...

Yes, I figured I would be stretching it if I included Dubus. Glad to see someone else is familiar with his stories.

And please, don't resist suggestions! I'll be off to google and see what I think of them.

Dark Orpheus said...

Capping it at 30 will be challenging - there's so many authors that's outmoded but deserves to be more widely read.

Meanwhile I'm throwing more authors at you for consideration:

Janet Frame - is she read widely outside of New Zealand?
Dorothy Parker (?)
Djuna Barnes - a nice bookend to Radclyffe Hall
Katherine Anne Porter
Anna Kavan
Violette Leduc
Mina Loy
Jean Genet (?)
Italo Svevo
Cesare Pavese
Stefan Zweig

Imani said...

Dark O you star! Have you read all of those authors, already? If so I'm damn jealous.

Imani said...

One thing though, is Zwieg really "outmoded" anymore? Since the NYRB and other small publishers have been reprinting his work he's received quite a lot of renewed notice for a while now. He's so good though that if you care to put up an argument I'd consider it.

SFP said...

A few more suggestions:

Elspeth Huxley
L.P. Hartley
Christina Stead
John Ehle

Would Rebecca West fit the category?

Imani said...

No idea SFP and I'm not inclined to consider it too much because the list was already completed before you commented. BUT since I hadn't edited this post to reflect that a few of your choices will make it under the line.

Thanks for the suggestions! I hope this means that you're joining us. :)

SFP said...

Yes! Please sign me up. My email's

Thanks. This is a GREAT challenge.


Dark Orpheus said...

Ah, alas, have not read all these woonderful authors. You have just peeked into authors I aspire to read.

Have read Mina Loy's poetry, a bit of Stefan Zweig, a bit of Dorothy Parker - but everyone else are authors that have been recommended highly.

Michael Dirda is a bad, bad man for recommending a lot of obscure but worthy writers. :)

So we await September 1st. Meanwhile, the geek in me says - research. Then we play.