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https://www.duolingo.com/Vina1912

Non-English Classic Novels?

I would really appreciate any suggestions of classic literary works which weren't originally written in English such as War and Peace (Russian) and The Three Musketeers (Spanish).

1 year ago

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/gatiquo
gatiquo
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The Three Musketeers was written in French.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JensBu
JensBuPlus
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Les Trois Mousquetaires was originally written in French.

http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/233393/top-15-classics-of-literature-in-spanish-#.WV8QktqGOUk

An advice I can give you is to know a bit about the background of the time and history. For example if you read baroque poetry in Spanish you should know a bit about the Spanish baroque, it's ideas and circumstances. It makes it much easier to fully understand what is going on.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Koopafro
Koopafro
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First French classic authors which come to mind are Victor Hugo (Les Misérables, Notre-Dame de Paris), Emile Zola (les Rougon-Macquarts), Albert Camus (l'Etranger, la Peste), George Sand and la comtesse de Ségur (les Malheurs de Sophie). I'm a huge fan of Arsène Lupin (Maurice Leblanc), but not sure if it can actually be considered a classic.

Also, Patrick Süskind's Das Parfum.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.Gregor
E.T.Gregor
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I'd add Balzac and his Comédie humaine to that. My personal favourites are "Père Goriot", "Splendeurs et misères des couritsanes" and "La cousine Bette". No exactly easy to read, mind. Jules Verne is another classic, that I at least also find easier to read.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Koopafro
Koopafro
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Well, I've never actually managed to enjoy one of Balzac's books, but it's true those are considered classics.

If you ever feel like giving plays a try, Molière (Dom Juan, le Mariage de Figaro, l'Ecole des Femmes) still manages to give an acurate reading on society after more than three hundred years, but might be a little hard to read depending on your level. Jean de la Fontaine would make an easier choice reading-wise, and his fables are another must-read of french litterature.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.Gregor
E.T.Gregor
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Mariage de Figaro is by Beaumarchais, isn't it?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoDuffy
DuoDuffy
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Je les aime tous!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Koopafro
Koopafro
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And since op was asking about good french books which have an english translation, I must mention Amélie Nothomb. She's a belgian writer who writes strange half-biographies half-fictional books.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoDuffy
DuoDuffy
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Les miserables? Probably spelt it wrong, and if you want to read a good contemporary book you could go for Le sac de billes (A bag of marbles) it's in french and it's about the Jewish concentration camps after the Nazi occupation of France.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeeBrownst1
LeeBrownst1
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See "http://sonic.net/~rteeter/grtbloom.html" for Yale literary critic Harold Bloom's list of western classics

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elagui
Elagui
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Don Quijote
Lazarillo de Tormes
I'd also suggest putting a list of Spanish authors together and picking up one of their works. I remember Jorge Luis Borges who was mentioned as one of Argentina's best in an episode of Destinos. I have an Isabel Allende in my library - I think I picked it up from a goodwill or used book store on the cheap.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fire-ergens
Fire-ergens
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Dutch classics:

  • https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_van_de_Nederlandse_letterkunde#Literaire_werken The 125 most important Dutch works of literature. Below you can find some of my picks:

  • Karel ende Elegast (Karel/Charlemagne and Elegast) by unknown author (Middle Dutch "Fraeye historie ende al waer Mach ic u tellen hoort naer"..... Basically Charlemagne is told by an Angel that GOD has commanded him to go plundering.He goes out and does exactly that. Stuff happens.

  • Van den Vos Reynaerde (Of the fox Reynaerde/Reynard/other variation on the name) (Middle Dutch) The (often quite vile) antics of a very, very sly fox. May not be for those with a weak stomach. It gets pretty graphic within like 100 verses.

  • Lucifer by Joost van den Vondel Beautiful but archaic language in the original Dutch But once you get into it, the words color a very vivid picture. Familiartity with the Bible can really come in handy here.

  • Max Havelaar, of De koffieveilingen der Nederlandse Handelmaatschappij, by Multatuli (Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company) A classic which had had quite a big influence on the development of Indonesian nationalism and ultimately: the decolonization of Indonesia. It even has a page on Fictiontropes.

  • De Ontdekking van de Hemel (The Discovery of Heaven) by Harry Mulisch. Voted one of the best Dutch books of all time. Includes goats interupting left-wing politics meetings, many discussions about many things and a whole lot of 'divine intervention'.

  • Nooit meer Slapen (Officially translated as: Beyond Sleep, literally as: To never sleep again) by Willem Frederik Hermans. Beautiful descriptions of the Norwegian landscape, philosophical discussions, a dash of nihilism and a host of mosquitos that may or may not possibly occupy the position of minister-president in the afterlife. (I'm not kidding about the mosquitos) One of my favourites.

  • Lof der Zotheid (Praise of Folly) by Erasmus. Didn't read this one (yet) but apparently it was pretty influential in it's day. Originally written in Latin by the way.

  • Eline Vere by Louis Couperus. Louis Couperus, the king of ridicuously long descriptive sentences, most involving some sort of longwinded monologue by some fancy person about the 'oh so horrible unavoidable fate that cannot be escaped', and master of occasionally throwing in the genetive which was already quite archaic at that time. No seriously, this one is intense in a fairly depressing way. It is certainly very well-written, but I wouldn't reccomend it.

  • Oeroeg by Hella Haasse. To properly understand the genius of this book, you must understand the history of the Indonesian Nationalism movement and the Dutch-Indonesian relationship in general. If you know something about that, you'll discover that the book contains some interesting parallels.

I did not put the books in chronological order, but the older books can generally be found online. In many cases you should be able to find an English translation at Project Gutenberg, for other works some more searching is required.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geneven
genevenPlus
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I wonder why you specifically want classics? I think you can find the Sherlock Holmes stories translated from English into practically any language. Novels by Jane Austen are translated into many languages. If you are looking for more contemporary classics, I would look for books by Haruki Murakami. They were written in Japanese originally, but it is hard to tell they didn't start in English.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vina1912

I usually read classic literature novels (I have a bookshelf of them) and I would like a novel that would also definitely have an English translation so I could compare them. I just wanted some novels that could act as an end goal sort of for learning languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vina1912

Thanks for all of the responses! I'll definitely make sure to check some of them out! I gave all of you a lingot, I think so at least.

1 year ago