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9. April 2020

A Canon for the Isolated


Yves Yannick Stork

In the light of last week’s German reading recommendations, we do not want to spare our anglophone readers the pleasure of also receiving a small compendium. Here are four of my personal favourites. Some will make you want to leave the house for good, others will urge you to stay at home. Pick your poison!

Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast
Hemingway’s memoir about his younger years as a journalist in Paris. Reading this will make you want to go to the French capital for a visit to Shakespeare & Company and a stroll on the banks of the Seine. Hopefully, sooner rather than later! In the meantime, grab your Daiquiri and enjoy the read.

Julian Barnes: England, England
What about visiting a theme park replicating a tourist’s vision of England on the Isle of Wight? Vacationing at home – the simulacrum is real!

Joris-Karl Huysmans: Against Nature
Sure, this is originally a French novel. However, if the translation was good enough to inspire Oscar Wilde to write The Picture of Dorian Gray, it will do for us. Plus: Reading Huysmans will reward you with social isolation skills like no other!

Sarah Bakewell: At the Existentialist Café – Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails
Want to know about Existentialist philosophy, but reading up on Heidegger, Kierkegaard and Camus does not exactly sound tempting? This is your book! Bakewell is intelligible, humorous and enables you to discuss the philosophical qualities of your next cocktail – no matter whether you will have it at home, or not. YS/MM