Essential Books for the Critic’s Library

The Nation­al Book Crit­ics Cir­cle has a blog and they’ve asked some of the coun­try’s best lit­er­ary crit­ics to list the “five books a crit­ic believes review­ers should have in their libraries.” The series pro­vides a new list every week, and so far the choic­es are inter­est­ing not just for the books picked (and some of the over­laps in picks), but also for the expla­na­tions that the crit­ics offer for their choic­es. Here’s John Updike on Eric Auer­bach’s Mime­sis:

a stun­ning­ly large-mind­ed sur­vey from Homer and the Old Tes­ta­ment up to Woolf and Joyce. Quot­ing a lengthy para­graph or two from each clas­sic, Auer­bach gives us an essen­tial his­to­ry of, as his sub­ti­tle has it, “the Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Real­i­ty in West­ern Lit­er­a­ture.”

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  • Thanks for bring­ing this orga­ni­za­tion and its blog to my atten­tion. Any writer inter­est­ed in join­ing the book world should look into this orga­ni­za­tion and its activ­i­ties.

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