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Top 100 books on European Literature


 
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Nana

By: Emile Zola

At nine o'clock in the evening the body of the house at the Theatres des Varietes was still all but empty. A few individuals, it is true, were sitting quietly waiting in the balcony and stalls, but these were lost, as it were, among the ranges of seats whose coverings of cardinal velvet loomed in the subdued light of the dimly burning luster. A shadow enveloped the great red splash of the curtain, and not a sound came from the stage, the unlit footlights, the scattered d...

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Nana

By: Emile Zola

Excerpt: Chapter One. At nine o?clock in the evening the body of the house at the Theatres des Varietes was still all but empty. A few individuals, it is true, were sitting quietly waiting in the balcony and stalls, but these were lost, as it were, among the ranges of seats whose coverings of cardinal velvet loomed in the subdued light of the dimly burning luster. A shadow enveloped the great red splash of the curtain, and not a sound came from the stage, the unlit footl...

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Swann's Way

By: Marcel Proust

Excerpt: OVERTURE FOR a long time I used to go to bed early. Sometimes, when I had put out my candle, my eyes would close so quickly that I had not even time to say ?I'm going to sleep.? And half an hour later the thought that it was time to go to sleep would awaken me; I would try to put away the book which, I imagined, was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had been thinking all the time, while I was asleep, of what I had just been reading, but my thoughts...

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Hedda Gabler

By: Henrik Ibsen

Hedda Gabler is a play first published in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. In it, Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic General, has just returned from her honeymoon with George Tesman, an aspiring young academic, reliable but not brilliant, who has combined research with their honeymoon. The reappearance of Tesman's academic rival, Eilert Lovborg, throws their lives into disarray. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia by wildemoose)

Literature, Play, Humor

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Hedda Gabler

By: Henrik Ibsen

Introduction: From Munich, on June 29, 1890, Ibsen wrote to the Swedish poet, Count Carl Soilsky: ?Our intention has all along been to spend the summer in the Tyrol again. But circumstances are against our doing so. I am at present engaged upon a new dramatic work, which for several reasons has made very slow progress, and I do not leave Munich until I can take with me the completed first draft. There is little or no prospect of my being able to complete it in July.? Ibs...

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A Doll's House

By: Henrik Ibsen

Excerpt: ACT I. (SCENE.--A room furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly. At the back, a door to the right leads to the entrance-hall, another to the left leads to Helmer?s study. Between the doors stands a piano. In the middle of the left-hand wall is a door, and beyond it a window. Near the window are a round table, arm-chairs and a small sofa. In the right-hand wall, at the farther end, another door; and on the same side, nearer the footlights, a st...

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Doll's House, A

By: Henrik Ibsen

A Doll's House, written two years after The Pillars of Society, was the first of Ibsen's plays to create a sensation and is now perhaps his most famous play, and required reading in many secondary schools and universities. The play was highly controversial when first published, as it is sharply critical of 19th Century marriage norms. It follows the formula of well-made play up until the final act, when it breaks convention by ending with a discussion, not an unravelling...

Fiction

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The Doll's House: A Play

By: Henrik Ibsen; Henrietta Frances Lord
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Fathers and Sons

By: Ivan Turgenev

Excerpt: Chapter One. ?WELL, PYOTR, STILL NOT IN SIGHT?? WAS THE QUESTION ASKED ON 20th May, 1859, by a gentleman of about forty, wearing a dusty overcoat and checked trousers, who came out hatless into the low porch of the posting station at X. He was speaking to his servant, a chubby young fellow with whitish down growing on his chin and with dim little eyes. The servant, in whom everything ? the turquoise ring in his ear, the hair plastered down with grease and the po...

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Fathers and Sons

By: Ivan Turgenev

The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the character Yevgeny Bazarov has been referred to as the first Bolshevik, for his nihilism and rejection of the old order. Turgenev wrote Fathers and Sons as a response to the growing cultural schism that he saw between liberals of the 1830s/1840s and the growing nihilist movement. Both the nihilists (the sons) and the 1830s liberals sought Western-based socia...

Fiction, Literature

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Fathers and Sons

By: Ivan Turgenev

Chapter 1: WELL, PYOTR, STILL NOT IN SIGHT? WAS THE QUESTION ASKED ON 20th May, 1859, by a gentleman of about forty, wearing a dusty overcoat and checked trousers, who came out hatless into the low porch of the posting station at -- X. He was speaking to his servant, a chubby young fellow with whitish down growing on his chin and with dim little eyes. The servant, in whom everything -- the turquoise ring in his ear, the hair plastered down with grease and the polite flex...

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First Love, And Other Stories

By: Turgenev, Ivan Sergeevich, 1818-1883; Hapgood, Isabel Florence, 1850-1928

First love -- A correspondence -- The region of dead calm -- It is enough -- The dog

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First Love

By: Ivan Turgenev

The title of the novella is almost an adequate summary in itself. The boy-meets-girl-then-loses-her story is universal but not, I think, banal - despite a surprise ending which notoriously turns out to be very little of a surprise. First Love is given its originality and poignancy by Turgenev's mastery of the piercing turning-point (akin to Joyce's epiphanies) that transforms the character's whole being, making a tragic outcome inevitable. Even the nature symbolism is re...

Fiction

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Lost Illusions

By: Balzac, Honoré De, 1799-1850; Marriage, Ellen

E?dition de Luxe

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Lost Illusions

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Cousin Betty = La Cousine Bette

By: Balzac, Honoré De, 1799-1850
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Cousin Bette

By: Balzac, Honoré De, 1799-1850; Wormeley, Katharine Prescott, 1830-1908
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The Red and the Black

By: Henri-Marie (Stendhal) Beyle
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Red and the Black, Volume I, The

By: Stendhal

Stendhal - a German pen-name for a French writer who hated the English. Contemporary to some of the great names of French literature like Balzac and Flaubert, Stendhal is quite often considered a writer that doesn't seem to fit a defined genre. Some say he's a Romantic, others that he's a Modernist and that Le Rouge et Le Noir is the first modern novel. On one point they are all agreed: the novel is a masterpiece that shows a young theology student - Julien Sorel - intel...

Literature

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Cyrano de Bergerac a New Version in English Verse

By: Edmond Rostand
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