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THE MOST DIFFICULT BOOKS EVER WRITTEN

Brian A. Oard
The list author says: "Here's a list of EXTREMELY difficult books that are still (probably) worth reading."
Phenomenology of Spirit
Phenomenology of Spirit
"Whew! This is hard. Hegel's 'Phenomenology' may be the slowest read ever written."
Finnegans Wake (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Finnegans Wake (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
"If you believe in reincarnation, you might spend several lives plumbing the depths of every paragraph in this book. It's the Great Impossible Novel."
The Cantos of Ezra Pound (New Directions Paperbook)
The Cantos of Ezra Pound (New Directions Paperbook)
"If you can keep every image and every theme in your head simultaneously it might all add up to...well, to something. There are wonderful passages here, if you're willing to dig through the dross."
Being and Nothingness
Being and Nothingness
"This is Sartre at his most technical. Again, there's some great stuff in here."
Ecrits: The First Complete Edition in English
Ecrits: The First Complete Edition in English
"Lacan writes in an intentionally difficult, obscure style. Interesting ideas, but couldn't they be expressed more clearly??"
The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (Vol. Book XI)  (The Seminar of Jacques Lacan)
The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (Vol. Book XI) (The Seminar of Jacques Lacan)
"This is what passes for clarity in Lacan's oeuvre. It's still pretty tough."
Margins of Philosophy
Margins of Philosophy
"The essay 'Differance,' included here is wrongly considered a good intro to Derrida's thought. A much easier point of entry to Derrida is the essay 'Force and Signification' in "Writing and Difference.""
Glas
Glas
"Whoa! What's that now, Jacques?"
Selected Poems (Poets, Penguin)
Selected Poems (Poets, Penguin)
"Some of Ashbery's poems are brain-breakingly difficult."
Critique of Pure Reason (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant)
Critique of Pure Reason (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant)
"An important work, or so I've heard."
The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (English and German Edition)
The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (English and German Edition)
"Try to keep all of the Duino Elegies in your head at once. Only then will you understand them as a whole."
The Complete Poems of Hart Crane (Centennial Edition)
The Complete Poems of Hart Crane (Centennial Edition)
"I've spent several years now trying to understand exactly what happens at the end of "The Broken Tower." It's some kind of dialectical synthesis that pushes language to the beaking point. Or something like that..."
Being and Time: A Translation of Sein und Zeit (SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)
Being and Time: A Translation of Sein und Zeit (SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)
"ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! Heidegger is best taken in very small doses."