Best Poets of the 20th Century

Great writers of the 20th century

Herman Hesse
1922 - Siddhartha
1927 - Der Steppenwolf (Steppenwolf)
1930 - Narziss und Goldmund (Narcissus and Goldmund)
1932 - Die Morgenlandfahrt (Journey to the East)
1943 - Das Glasperlenspiel (The Glass Bead Game, also published as Magister Ludi)

I remember reading Hesse's books as a teenager. They definitely made an impression as I was a student in Catholic School at the time, and for me, Hesse opened the door to existentialism.

In literature, James Joyce extended the envelope for later writers both with Ulysses, and Finnegan's Wake. Prior to Joyce I doubt if any writer had so broadly exhibited such a level of inventiveness and innovation in the use of language as had Joyce. The ripple effect extended down through Beckett, Huxley, et al, and later through the 'renaissance' of the 1950's and 1960's. Of course as I am of Irish descent so I may be biased.

When a teenager I could not get enough science fiction. Writers from the early 20th century, whom I have thoroughly enjoyed, include Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. G. Wells, and Fritz Lang. However, George Orwell comes to mind as a writer of great influence, both in fantasy and science fiction, as well as general fiction. Of course Orwell had very pointed political beliefs which he expressed in his work. To me J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite fantasy and science fiction writer of the 20th century (although he may not be considered 'early' 20th century). He really knew how to tell a story. I read the 'Tolkien trilogy' at least six times.

Of course honorable mention would have to go to F. Scott Fitzgerald and the 'Lost Generation' writers, although, with few exceptions (such as Hemingway), I found them fairly boring. Of course I read them as a teenager when I had the attention span of a pigeon.

The only writers that come to mind from this era are Upton Sinclair and H. L. Mencken.

Good topic. How about writers from the 1950's and 60's? What do you reckon the influence of Jack Kerouac was on 20th century literature and culture?


Andy and or John, as I am not an academic, I was just wondering if my posting here may not be entirely suitable. I posted to the subject as I have read many books in my life and I was thoroughly tempted. However, I didn't think about the academic 'Correctness' of my posting here, prior to posting.
Source: educationforum.ipbhost.com
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