The Most Important Books of the 21st Century - So Far!
21st Century French Fiction: Books
Sometimes, no matter how much interest you have in French, it can feel impossible to continue struggling through those old-fashioned books. After the end of a hard working week full of long and tiring days, the last thing you feel like doing is committing a few hours to grammar study. Another really effective way to stock up on this type of vocab is with FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. As language points show up naturally in dialogue and paragraphs, you can actually see how and when to use particular grammar structures and vocabulary. If you can tie them into a French lesson, better still. When we read really absorbing books, we become completely shut off from the world around us and, as a result, pay more attention to the words on the page.
Actually, constructing a canon of any kind is a little weird at the moment, when so much of how we measure cultural value is in flux. Its supposed permanence became the subject of more recent battles, back in the 20th century, between those who defended it as the foundation of Western civilization and those who attacked it as exclusive or even racist. But what if you could start a canon from scratch? We thought it might be fun to speculate very prematurely on what a canon of the 21st century might look like right now. We asked each of them to name several books that belong among the most important works of fiction, memoir, poetry, and essays since and tallied the results. The purpose was not to build a fixed library but to take a blurry selfie of a cultural moment.
Translated by Sam Taylor. Publication date: Jan. Translated by Charlotte Mandell. In this magisterial, exquisitely erudite novel, the insomniac meditations of the bedridden and lovelorn musicologist Franz Ritter take the reader on a vast, crisscrossing perambulation through the rich history of the commingling of Orient and Occident in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Translated by George Miller. With her children off to college and her documentary filmmaking lover abroad, a novelist meets an impeccably elegant ghostwriter who deftly takes over her life and saps, succubus-like, her will to write and, nearly, to live. Translated by Helen Stevenson.