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Extreme Product Comparisons: the Literary Death Match

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Initial post: May 7, 2012 8:19:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 8:20:30 AM PDT
Hi everyone, long-time lurker, first time poster.

I run a kind of literature appreciation blog at, and we occasionally imagine how a head-to-head match-up might go down between various works of literature. (Nineteen Eighty-Four vs. Brave New World for "Best Book set in a Dystopian Future London," Treasure Island vs. King Solomon's Mines for "Best Victorian Adventure Novel Involving a Map," and today's match: Jane Eyre vs. Wuthering Heights for "Best Book by a Brontë Sister.")

We've got more matchups up our sleeves, but thought this group might be able to suggest some others. If you don't mind my asking, I'd like to hear what kind of matchups you think would be interesting to see?

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 10:17:23 AM PDT
Frank Mundo says:
How about the Battle of the Banned Bildungsromans with To Kill a Mockingbird versus The Catcher in the Rye?

Posted on May 7, 2012 11:21:19 AM PDT
I like it.

But how funny! I was thinking about that exact same match-up, only billing it as a "battle of the one-hit wonders" given the authors' lack of subsequent novels.

Posted on May 7, 2012 4:11:42 PM PDT
M. C. Buell says:
I'm not sure Salinger can be classed as a one-hit wonder, as "Franny and Zooey" is fairly well known. Also, don't count him out yet; Salinger's daughter said that he kept writing all the way up to his death, and planned on his novels being published posthumously. He loved to write, but hated the publishing process.

How about a battle of the Russian giants: Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" vs. Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov"?

Or a battle of the descent into madness: Plath's "The Bell Jar" vs. Jelinek's "The Piano Teacher"?

Posted on May 7, 2012 10:00:39 PM PDT
Quinton Blue says:
How about Richard Brautigan's small anti-novel "Trout Fishing In America" vs. Ernest Hemingway's long short story "Big Two-Hearted River"?

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 1:18:24 PM PDT
I like it. We're actually doing two short works next time around: "Best Play by a Lost Generation Novelist" with Hemingway's The Fifth Column going against F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Vegetable.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 1:20:00 PM PDT
Great suggestions.

And like you, I wait with bated breath for anything posthumous from Salinger.
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Discussion in:  Literary Fiction forum
Participants:  4
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  May 7, 2012
Latest post:  May 8, 2012

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