About to go into college to major in English. What books are best to read to impress other people? I've already read the meme trilogy, but it seems like they are read enough to the point that no one is impressed by them anymore. Any other options?
mfw the "go back to reddit" posts are almost becoming as cancerous as the reddit-like posts themselves
Unless you're going to an elite college, no one is going to even know what you're reading if you go beyond the syllabus. You won't impress anyone. You'll garner way more attention being seen reading Game of Thrones than you will with William Gaddis.
All of Shakespeare, if you can pick up on all the allusions and references (and there are lots) on first read people MAY be impressed.
I say Shakespeare because he is the most referenced along with the bible. Also be familiar with the bible.
so, you like literature enough to have it as your major, and you want people to be impressed in what you've read, i think you're misunderstanding the importance of passion in literature. wouldnt you rather have your passion be impressive, even regarding a mundane and well known book, that gives insights that people may not have seen before, wouldnt you prefer to be interesting and compelling based on your own ideas instead of those you are familiar with that were created by others? I mean, sure, you can find a whole bunch of unknown stuff, but what happens when you truly hate those books, and you just want to appreciate and love the books that got you into this subject in the first place? my suggestion is to leave the popularity behind in search for further passion in your interests. and you might be surprised when people acknowledge you regardless of whether or not you give the slightest attention to them.
If you're going to an ivy-tier, you're fine. If not, seriously do not do this anon. If it's so grim that you can't imagine majoring in anything else, take a year off and support yourself working a job. I beg of you.
If you're ivy-tier though I assume you've done the Shakespeare, classical, restoration and early 20th c. / modernist basics. Pick up some trendy NYRB and Mcsweeney's shit and stock up on Toni Morrison/Alice Munro/Lauren Groff, for girls.
Women and Men
there are a lot more but all of those are a good mix of being semi-obscure and highly-acclaimed works but not too obscure enough that only other /lit/ users will know several of them, not everything there perfectly fits that description though
OP you're already off to a sad start. This path will only take you to alienation and loneliness. Reading just to "have read" is a superficial and empty pursuit and completely antithetical to what makes literature great. If you actually want to "impress" people, that is, be liked and have friends, try actually cultivating yourself and becoming a good person. Also try to actually read books to learn something from them, otherwise you're in for a long, wasted, unfulfilling undergraduate.
If you're only concerned with being superior to others, which is implicit in trying to impress them with fancy books, people who are actually of substance will see right through this. You will not make good friends. You will only attract other insecure, shallow, banal social climbers. You're still young, I get, but please correct this erroneous thinking or your life is going to be shit,mseriously.
To add to this, one of the venomous and arguably worst side effects of /lit/ is thinking that being inculcated in our hallowed "canon" makes you into some sort of elite patrician that others recognize in you. This is not true. Most people you encounter won't recognize many of these writers, because they are in fact relatively obscure to common people, and a lot of people entering undergrads at 17/18 don't arrive steeped in the western canon. Lastly, give up on your obsession with what we tell you to read. If you don't learn to think for yourself and develop you're own tastes then you're just a worthless superficial she'll.
OP here. This post was only half serious, but thanks for the advice. I get that reading a list of difficult books doesn't actually make you smarter or superior, but I guess I'm at the time in my life where I feel a need to prove myself in some way. I still definitely have a genuine interest in literature, however, so I'm not planning on forcing my way through a bunch of books I don't like just to maybe impress a few people.. It's more that I needed some book recommendations and thought I might as well fulfill my desire to impress (as long as I still enjoy the books of course) in the time leading up to college when I didn't really have any other plans.
Prove yourself by getting good grades. Trying to prove yourself in a social situation, that is, moving forward with the attitude that "I want this person to find me interesting," is actually correlated with people finding you less interesting.
It's spread all over the site. I've been on 4chan but not /lit/ for months and "back2reddit" is one of the first things I see when I come here. Someone should do an experiment and see how fast a new shitpost spreads between all boards like a virus.
you seem to think theres some sort of audience clinging onto you and your interests
get a fucking grip man
generally speaking, no one gives a shit. you have no audience. most of the people you talk to wont give a shit about what you read and wont even remember the shitty meme canon you shove down their throats
read for yourself