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An analysis of influential literature in the 1900s (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
w00t, go ultra-boring subject lines!

Anyhow, what books do you think had the most significant impact on the writing scene as a whole in the 1900s.

My picks:

Fantasy - The Lord of The Rings
I may not care for it, but you cannot deny that contemporary fantasy owes many of its common influences to this trilogy released by Tolkien.

Political - 1984
It changed the way America thought of totalitarianism, and raised serious issues that are still relevant today in our society. Plus, it created one of the most famous book slogans of all time: "Big Brother is watching you."

Satire - Animal Farm
Another masterpiece by Orwell that recreated the Russian Revolution in the metaphorical story of the farm animals overpowering the farmer, and launching into a corrupt system of vicious propaganda and half-truths that eventually destroyed them all.

In General - The Great Gatsby
Another book I dislike immensely, but you can't deny its effect on pro-jazz-age literature.


Senior Member
It would be more accurate to say 'the twentieth century' rather than 'the 1900s', as that implies only the first ten years of the century.


Senior Member
After thinking about it a bit, I agree completely with you on those picks.

I'd also add Catch 22, by Joseph Heller to the list.


Senior Member
It would be unwise, I think, to ignore the tremendous impact Joyce and Woolf had on literature. Ulysses was a benchmark for all that is modern in literature and beyond, as are the various works of Woolf that ushered in a new era of aesthetics in writing (To the Lighthouse comes readily to mind). I agree with your two Orwell picks, and I would definately place the writing of Tolkien on a list of the most influential writing.


Senior Member
No mention of JD? For Shame.

Short Story: The Metamorphosis by Kafka
Existentialist philosophy in one giant gulp. The sign of a great work: has increased with appreciation with each passing generation.

Novella: Generation X by Douglas Coupland
Yes, this is where the name originated. Defined and named an entire generation. How many books have done that?

Novel: Cathcher in the Rye by JD
I don't think any other book has had as much influence on modern writers. His unique brand of humour can even be found in the scripts of Seinfeld.


you also have to think about how certain books changed the way syntax and word choice were used, so you have to give credit to ginsberg and kesey. Orwell's got some pretty good ideas on language, some essay i can get the name of explores it, but he never really pulled it into his fictional work.


Senior Member
Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Reanimator, amongst others. I believe that without Lovecraft horror could never be what it is today.