"French literature is second only to Anglo-American literature in my opinion, and Gustave Flaubert may well be the greatest novelist in the Francophone world. The Alan Russell translation is unbeatable."
"I don't agree that Tolstoy was Russia's greatest novelist, but "Anna Karenina" was indisputably his greatest accomplishment (in my opinion). Don't read the Constance Garnett translation -- it's overrated. Instead read the newer Pevear/Volokhonsky translation."
"Has anyone in American literature ever surpassed Twain in both quality and quantity? I don't think so. Is anyone ever likely to accomplish that feat? I doubt it. It's difficult if not impossible to recommend a single work of Twain's as THE work to read. One could spend a lifetime reading no one else and never miss the rest of the American canon."