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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Novels That Influenced Novel Writing

Yesterday, I wrote about plotless novels; that got me thinking about how certain, often experimental and plotless, novels have changed how subsequent novels were written.  On this topic, I found a relevant Barnes and Noble blog which lists 50 game-changing novels:  “The novel has been the dominant form of literature for centuries, evolving and changing in exciting, unexpected ways over the years. Just when you think we know what a novel can do, a book comes along that does something no one ever thought of before. Every now and then that innovation is so powerful, it changes the way subsequent novels are conceived” (  I like that there is a brief explanation as to the influence of each book and that modern books, not just classics, are mentioned. 

The only author that has two books on that list is James Joyce; both Finnegans Wake and Ulysses are considered very influential.  Ulysses is probably more approachable than Finnegans Wake, but even it is not an easy book to read.  It contains 30,030 different words, and endless puns, allusions, and stylistic curiosities.  For that reason, I was interested in a TED-ED video entitled “Why Should You Read James Joyce’s Ulysses?” (

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