What are the best modernist literary works?

asked by Anonymous
448 contributors
18 solutions
  1. 47


    Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel, Lolita, tells the story of Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged literature professor, and his obsessive desire for his stepdaughter, 12-year-old Dolores Haze.

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    Shaurya Mehta
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "This is a great modernist book that everyone in college should read. It has a plot with universal appeal and the writing is very approachable. I think that this is something that will also enrich the lives of people even before college."
  2. 42

    #2A Farewell To Arms

    A Farewell To Arms
    A Farewell to Arms is a novel by Ernest Hemingway. Set in Italy during the First World War, it tells the story of Frederic Henry, an American in the ambulance corps of the Italian army, and his relationship with a British nurse.

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    Aarav Chopra
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "A Farewell To Arms is a novel that people many consider to be one of the best in the modern era. Ernest Hemingway is a famous author and his story about Italy during the first world war involves a conflicting love story."
  3. 40

    #3Absalom, Absalom!

    Absalom, Absalom!

    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner is published in 1936. This book tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, a man who finds wealth and marries in order to have children to be his heir someday. 


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    David Ortiz
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "This is one of those books you'll find yourself reading in high school over the summer for a project for your AP writing/reading class. I say that because the writing style is masterful and incredibly insightful. Faulkner describes the morning air as if you were the one breathing it in, giving it a meaning you never thought possible. This book is incredibly deep on different levels and deserves to be read by everyone looking to add some culture to thier life."
  1. 39

    #4As I Lay Dying

    As I Lay Dying

    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner tells the story of Addie Bundren and her family and her wish to be buried in Mississippi, her hometown. This novel is narrated in the perspectives of many characters including when Addie is still alive. 


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    Kimberly Ortiz
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "Faulker is one of a kind and a "best" for sure. Wonderful read. I did have to adjust my thinking and engage my brain for this book - I had to read the first chapter twice before I was able to adapt to the rythm of the narrative. Once I got it, though, I enjoyed every word. By writing in his "stream of consciousness" style, Faulkner allows the reader to experience the story as if the words on the page are, thoughts originating in the reader's own mind. Be aware, though, that the author does not spoon feed the story to you. You do have to have motive to concentrate and draw conclusions on your own. "
  2. 37

    #5For Whom the Bell Tolls

    For Whom the Bell Tolls
    For Whom the Bell Tolls is a book by Ernest Hemingway. Widely regarded as his greatest masterpiece, it tells the story of Robert Jordan, an American who fought with leftist guerrillas during the Spanish Revolution in the 1930s.

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    Andrea Perkins
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Seems like a nice story to read!"
  3. 34

    #6The Complete Stories

    The Complete Stories

    With the exception of his three novels The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, The Complete Stories includes all of Franz Kafka's literary work, even those published posthumously.


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    Peter Payne
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "This story book contains few short stories written by Kafka"
  4. 33

    #7A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce and edited by Seamus Deane is published in 2003. This Penguin Classics edition portrays religious rebellion, including one's development intellectually and emotionally.


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    Terry Pierce
    Written on April 1, 2018
    "A book everyone should read in their lifetime. James Joyce is a genius. This book is all about rebellion, it really speaks to younger audiences too."
  5. 29

    #8The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

    The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

    This is a definitive collection of Ernest Hemingway's short stories such as his most beloved classics like The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Hills Like White Elephants, and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. 


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    María de Lourdes Martínez
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Stories in this book are wonderful.. "
  6. 27

    #9Light in August

    Light in August

    Light in August by William Faulkner tells the story of different characters: Lena Grove searching for the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower being haunted by visions of Confederate horsemen; and Joe Christmas who is caught up by his mixed ancestry.


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    Samantha King
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "Very interesting book. Its a very remember-able story. A bit hard to follow but so worth the effort"
  7. 26


    Considered one of the greatest 20th-century novels written in English, James Joyce's Ulysses pulls from Greek Mythology to create a modern version staring Ulysses as he journeys through 20th century Ireland. 

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    Alexander Richardson
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "A very difficult to read book. It's a very literary kind of book and not for one who is a casual reader."
  8. 25

    #11The Leopard

    The Leopard

    The Leopard is a story written by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa but was posthumously published in 1958. It was adapted to a film of the same name in 1963. It tells the story of a powerful Sicilian family who is threatened by the rise of democracy.


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    Sandra Ortega
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "In my opinion one of the best modernist literary works has to be The Leopard. This book takes a lot of the modern literary concepts and puts them together in a way that really worked for me."
  9. 22

    #12The Third Policeman

    The Third Policeman

    The Third Policeman is a novel written by one of Ireland's best comic geniuses, Flann O'Brien. This dark comic book portrays death, existence and time. This book is published in 2002.


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    Adrián Leal
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "One of my favorite books is The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien. It's brilliantly dark, but also quite funny. I was enthralled while reading it."
  10. 17

    #13The Cantos of Ezra Pound

    The Cantos of Ezra Pound

    The Cantos of Ezra Pound is an epic poem book written by Ezra Pound. It was released in 1996 by New Directions. It includes the Italian Cantos LXXII and LXXIII. The work is accepted as one of the most important poems of the 20th century.


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    Janice Armstrong
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Poetry lovers like myself will find themselves positively gleeful over The Cantos of Ezra Pound. This epic poem is an intense read that require great attention, but is well worth the intellectual effort. The use of diverse languages throughout adds to the feeling that reading the Cantos are a true journey."
  11. 8

    #14To the Lighthouse

    To the Lighthouse
    To the Lighthouse is an award-winning novel written by renowned literary icon Virginia Woolf. It was first released in 1927 and won the Northcliffe and Femina Vie Heureuse prizes. Since then, it was translated into many languages. 

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    Phillip Carroll
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "To the Lighthouse is one of Virginia Woolf's best modernist literary works. It's a deeply moving novel that has such strong developed characters it's hard to put down. This story, although not happy, is beautifully magnificently written. It truly is a work of art. "
  12. 3

    #15Swann's Way

    Swann's Way

    Swann's Way is the first book in the À la recherche du temps perdu series by Marcel Proust. This book was originally published in 1913. This book is a classic European literature.


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    Rose Martin
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Swann's Way was pretty good. I thought it was a bit boring, but I understand the classical background behind it. Overall, it's an interesting read, and memerorable, but not amazing."
  13. 1

    #16The Man Without Qualities

    The Man Without Qualities

    The Man Without Qualities is a philosophical written by literary icon Robert Musil. It was published in English in October 1997 with the translation of Sophie Wilkins and Burton Pike.


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  14. 0

    #17Owls Do Cry

    Owls Do Cry

    Owls Do Cry is a dramatic and inspirational novel for young adults written by Janet Frame. It was originally released in 1957. It is about an epileptic boy trying to find his purpose in life in a small New Zealand town.


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    Rachel Ruiz
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "If you are looking for a modern work of literature, "Owls Do Cry" may not be for you. The novel released in 1957 centers around a young boy with epilepsy trying to navigate life in a small New Zealand town. Although a nice read, it lacks some of the modern day struggles a child in today's world would face when dealing with a medical condition. "
  15. 0



    Taft is a contemporary novel written by Ann Patchett which centers on former jazz musician John Nickel who starts to reconstruct the life of a man he never met after his son was taken away from him and he hired Fay as his waitress in his bar. 


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    Jeffrey Morris
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "It's by no means a bad book and the writing is nice. The only reason I think even slightly bad upon this is because I've seen the elements in other books, done better. I'm also a little fatigued on these types of stories."


Best What are the best modernist literary works
1LolitaBooks 47 Paid
2A Farewell To ArmsBooks 42 Paid
3Absalom, Absalom!Books 40 Paid
4As I Lay DyingBooks 39 Paid
5For Whom the Bell TollsBooks 37 Paid
6The Complete StoriesBooks 34 Paid
7A Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManBooks 33 Paid
8The Complete Short Stories of Ernest HemingwayBooks 29 Paid
9Light in AugustBooks 27 Paid
10UlyssesBooks 26 Paid

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