Talk:Modern Library 100 Best Novels

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I've listed it in copyright problems as per the discussion in Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Copyright_question_related_to_lists. --Ragib 04:47, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I rewrote it as a summary, not as an infringing list. – Quadell (talk) (bounties) 14:35, 8 September 2006 (UTC)


Why isn't it mentioned anywhere that this list contains only (or at least almost only, I haven't checked thoroughly enough) novels written in English?

Strangely, one book (Darkness at Noon) is a work in translation - at least, I have only been able to find it in translation (e.g., Daphne Hardy's translation published by Vintage). The list was supposed to be English language only. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, just saw the note explaining the Darkness at Noon situation! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Fact disputes[edit]

I highly doubt that the "most recent" novel is written in 1908. So all 100 novels were written between 1900 and 1908??? To the Lighthouse and Invisible Man, both mentioned, are published later than that. DHN 18:17, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

No fear. The CURRENT list shows books from the year I was born, in 1961, as the latest.Wzrd1 (talk) 03:53, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Should be mentioned[edit]

I don't know how to make it NPOV, but if this is to be an article at all, it should mention that the Reader's List of 100 best clearly got bombed by Scientologists, Objectivists, and other fringe groups. The top 3 in Fiction and Nonfiction are by either Ayn Rand or L. Ron Hubbard with the exception of a book entitled "Objectivism" at no. 3 in the nonfiction list. While the official list is quite fine, I think the silliness of the reader's lists seriously merits mention in this article. 03:45, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Hear,Hear. The "readers' list" is clearly completely crazy, and IMO needs to be deleted as not just "silly" but totally meaningless. --Andy.hawthorn (talk) 16:43, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm in full agreement that clearly Scientologists and fan boys of Ayn Rand have made a concerted effort to sway the Readers' List. To NOT address this issue is to give a POV bias to the article. -William Malmstrom, Clearwater, FL (talk) 20:54, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' by Joyce appears in two positions: #3 and #57 Cathalism (talk) 02:01, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Dune and LotR, on the other hand, are two of the most influential works of genre fiction. Just goes to show that online polling is... well... hit and miss.Simonm223 (talk) 15:08, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

I think it's totally fine that the reader's list is on there. Did the voting get overwhelmed by Objectivists and Scientologists? Sure. Does it reflect much more of a pop fiction sensibility than a literary one? Of course; that's what the reader's list is for. It's going to have authors like Stephen King and JRR Tolkien on there, but you know, it also has Hemingway and Orwell and Faulkner and lots of classic authors as well. It also has some that might be considered "overlooked", ie Beloved by Toni Morrison. But I digress. My point is that it works well in the article to create a contrast between the two and it provides a little more insight into the schism (or occasional lack thereof) between critics and the general public. I don't see anything particularly detrimental about the list being there. The only reason given for its removal or irrelevancy is that it represents belief groups that are in the minority, which, in the context of this list, isn't an issue at all. Razorhead (talk)Razorhead 20:00 29 November 2009

Kind of asinine for you to say that in the context of the list, the representation of minority belfef groups isn't an issue when you state that the voting was overwhelmed by Scientologists, etc. Well, that is an issue because it shows the voting was skewed by these groups stuffing the ballot box, so to speak. It invalidates the list; if you think it doesn't, or that it doesn't invalidate wikipedia's vaunted (and seldom followed) NPOV stance, then you are just demonstrating you are on equal terms of stupidity with the Hubbardists and morons who suckle at the Randian teat becasue they can't fend for themselves mentally. Change your name to Bonehead so people online recognize your stupidity; I'm sure all those who deal with you in the real world already are well aware of that fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

If the article is to be informative, there needs to be factual comment about what the reader's list represents. It might be useful to include details about how polling was conducted - this is explained quite well in the wiki article: "Modern Library". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

The full list[edit]

Back in 2006 the full list was removed for copyright reasons. However this makes no sense. It should be possible, even desirable, to create a category containing the 100 novels. The category itself would be the list (machine generated; not in order). Does it then become "illegal" to mention that a book is on the list (in the article of that book) because it is semantic information that could be used to compile a full list? It makes no sense. There are tons of examples like this on Wikipedia - Tables of Contents from books. Other lists taken from books. The Pulitzer Prize list. Lists like this were meant by the publisher to be disseminated and copied, the publishers retain the copyright (I assume?) to prevent people from altering it, not to prevent copying it. It really does hurt the Wikipedia project not to have the full list here, and takes the idea of copyright to an extreme not practiced in the real world, indeed just the opposite of what the real world does. Fothergill Volkensniff IV (talk) 03:48, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The Great Gatsby appears twice in the list[edit]

It appears on the 2nd and 13th positions - probably a mistake. I looked on the Modern Library's official website and there, the 13th position belongs to Geroge Orwell's 1984 (which I'd say is quite fair). I'm not very experienced on editing Wikipedia articles, but I'll give it a try.--Ronaldogalves (talk) 11:31, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

who ever is responsible for maintaining standards of this page needs to ensure the readers list is removed —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:53, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Religion in List[edit]

It's interesting how religious groups like the Objectivists and Scientologists had an affect on the second list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I was contemplating the other day that a major credibility destroyer of open knowledge-bases like Wikipedia might be the ease of which extremists and fanatics (I label scientologists the latter) can skew information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

What the hell is this shit?[edit]

(Ayn Rand is largely unknown outside the U.S.A. In the U.S. there is an institution which provides Ayn Rand's books free of charge therefore, one must be suspect of the "popularity" of the book except with Enron executive types. For a 21st century view, read Raj Patel (Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing); her other two fictional books—Anthem and We the Living—appear as #7 and #8, respectively.

Shit is of what one eats. You've illuminated that fact greatly.

This is Wikipedia, not a blog, where you can denigrate the values, views or opinions by either personal attacks or profanity. You offer only ONE POV against ANOTHER POV, disregarding NPOV.Wzrd1 (talk) 03:57, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree with the language, but do agree with the sentiment. There is something very suspicious about a Top Ten list of 20th century books that is largely made up of the works of Ayn Rand and Ron Hubbard. Who are the "Readers", anyway?Nigelrg (talk) 22:47, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Why include the "Readers' List" at all, since it was obviously coopted by Randists and Scientologists? --Petzl (talk) 22:43, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Non-free content concerns[edit]

This list has been truncated for copyright concerns following advice from the Wikimedia Foundation's associate counsel. Please see the conversation at Wikipedia talk:Non-free content. According to our counsel, copyright concerns exist with lists of this sort, which must be guided by fair use principles. Historically, we have retained small percentages of long lists (as with The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, which displays 10). If you have questions or comments about this, please feel free to come by my talk page, or to voice them at Wikipedia talk:Non-free content. Our communal goal, of course, is to facilitate the free flow of information within the allowances of our policies. Thank you. Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:36, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I'll address your further on your talk page, but! When I seek encyclopedic information, I do NOT expect abridged information. I expect encyclopedic information! ALL should be there, being granted by the author's requests, rights to list or the ENTIRE ARTICLE should not exist!Wzrd1 (talk) 04:00, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
(Moonriddengirl's link updated to point to the archived discussion.)  Sandstein  17:50, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, yes! Please elaborate upon this topic- the Modern Library is an extremely reputable source; insightful book should be listed to broaden a reader's knowledge and literary interests. However, with this potent piece of information in mind, there are few ways to further this article. How should we expand this article then? Through critiques? Through reader's lists? Explorser (talk) 00:09, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Bombing by fans[edit]

Logically speaking, the Readers' List is no more nor less vulnerable to being bombed by fans of certain politics/philosophies than is Wikipedia. That seems like something that should be noted somewhere. - (talk) 20:06, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

If the Readers' List had a mechanism for correcting the effects of the bombing, the analogy would be logical. But it didn't and the effects of the vandalism remain. The discussion of the vandalism should dominate that section, as that is what is most notable about the list. Rsjaffe (talk) 17:49, 12 March 2016 (UTC)