Who is the best American novelist of all time? - Xtratime Community
View Poll Results: The Best American Novelist?
Kurt Vonnegut 1 4.76%
Nathaniel Hawthorne 0 0%
Thomas Pynchon 0 0%
Don DeLillo 0 0%
Herman Melville 0 0%
J.D. Salinger 2 9.52%
William Faulkner 2 9.52%
Paul Auster 1 4.76%
John Steinbeck 1 4.76%
William Gaddis 0 0%
Jack Kerouac 2 9.52%
Truman Capote 0 0%
Sinclair Lewis 0 0%
John Updike 0 0%
Ernest Hemingway 5 23.81%
Mark Twain 2 9.52%
Henry David Thoreau 0 0%
Cormac McCarthy 1 4.76%
John Dos Passos 0 0%
Jack London 0 0%
Dick (Philip K.) 1 4.76%
Henry James 0 0%
F.Scott Fitzgerald 1 4.76%
Ray Bradbury 1 4.76%
Wila Cather 1 4.76%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old December 16th, 2010, 23:04 Thread Starter
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Who is the best American novelist of all time?

It is very likely that by now America has produced more great novelists than any other nation. It is difficult and maybe even pointless to select "the best"...well in this case, select your favourite from the list then..

I would say it's Faulkner. Pretty much everything I've read from him has been great...Light In August, The Sound & The Fury, As I Lay Dying, Absalom Absalom etc. He's an excellent short story writer too and these in fact might be the best place to start reading Faulkner.

Did I miss anybody important in the poll?

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 00:43
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Did I miss anybody important in the poll?
On purpose? hell yeah!....I guess there are reasons we are going to read after this post about why Fitzgerald, Miller, Mailler, London, Twain, are not in the list, go for it Andy, trash them (trash Neruda in the meantime too).

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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 00:57
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Mark twain and my personal favorite - Henry David Thoreau.

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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 01:52 Thread Starter
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On purpose? hell yeah!....I guess there are reasons we are going to read after this post about why Fitzgerald, Miller, Mailler, London, Twain, are not in the list, go for it Andy, trash them (trash Neruda in the meantime too).
I definitely agree about Twain.

Basically I only entered 15 poll options and then filled these with the first 15 choices that came into my head. Maybe a mod could add those you mentioned and Thoreau too of course. Although it would be kind of weird if anybody would claim Fitzgerald or London as America's greatest novelist ever. Then again same could be said about Kerouac or Auster.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 02:44
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I definitely agree about Twain.

Basically I only entered 15 poll options and then filled these with the first 15 choices that came into my head. Maybe a mod could add those you mentioned and Thoreau too of course. Although it would be kind of weird if anybody would claim Fitzgerald or London as America's greatest novelist ever. Then again same could be said about Kerouac or Auster.
nah not necessary, I thought you had some fun agenda against for instance Fitzgerald, not because of thinking he is the greatest or anything, just because is a huge name to beat down...there is more fun in trashing Scott than Cohelo

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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 04:23
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The only names not being trashed are Melville, Faulkner, Hemingway or Hawthorne. The rest is just ok. But why adding a list if Melville just make easier to answer...

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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 05:13
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I voted for Kerouc, his name sounds like kurac which means penis in Serbian.

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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 06:27
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Ayn Rand.

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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 09:21 Thread Starter
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*loads shotgun*

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 13:13
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I voted for Kerouc, his name sounds like kurac which means penis in Serbian.
subtle!
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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 13:47
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Did I miss anybody important in the poll?
Nabokov? Heller? Henry James? Dos Passos? Maybe Mccarthy and Franzen if you want to cover the present day authors?
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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 16:59
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Nabokov is not american. If he is, Henry James is english.

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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 18:24 Thread Starter
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ok can a mod add the following:

Mark Twain
Cormac McCarthy
John Dos Passos
Henry David Thoreau
Jack London

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 18:28
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Why are you not considering Henry James and Fitzgerald?

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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 18:32 Thread Starter
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Haven't read much from James...Fitzgerald is overrated IMO, I don't really understand how it happened that he got so much praise.

Feel free to add them if you think they deserve this.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #16 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 18:38 Thread Starter
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oh and one important name I forgot is Philip K. Dick

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #17 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 18:42
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Nabokov is not american. If he is, Henry James is english.
He considered himself an american author and wrote his best stuff in english. Where would you put him?
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post #18 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 18:45 Thread Starter
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it's a tricky question.

I'm pretty sure though that he's usually not considered as a part of American literary tradition and is seen as a Russian (emigrant) writer.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? And….it’s the football, that’s the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #19 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 18:47
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oh and one important name I forgot is Philip K. Dick
If he was there, he'd get my vote. I adore the Dick. Yeah, I said it.

Legitimate my favourite author of all time. Don't care if that makes me an uncultured moron, I read for pleasure.

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post #20 of 72 (permalink) Old December 17th, 2010, 19:46
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Dick is very good to be honest. You actually forgot the genre authors, so I would say Ray Bradbury could easily be there (and that he is better than Dick).

Fitzgerald is fine, I do not think he is close to Hemingway, Faulkner, Melville, Hawthorne, Twain, etc. But your polls is much inclusive, so he could be right there. Anyways, it is risking to look like Harold Bloom canone list... But James is up there with the hemingloids...

As Nabokov is a russian in exile. He started to write in english after 40 years, the question goes, what is kafka?

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