Joseph Brodsky’s Reading List For an Intelligent Conversation

Brodsky’s list is pure inspiration and I aspire to read every title on the list, given a long enough life.

Bhagavad Gita
Mahabharata
Gilgamesh
The Old Testament
Homer: Iliad, Odyssey
Herodotus: Histories
Sophocles: Plays
Aeschylus: Plays
Euripides: Plays (Hippolytus, Bacchae, Electra, The Phoenician Women)
Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War
Plato: Dialogues
Aristotle: Poetics, Physics, Ethics, De Anima
Alexandrian Poetry: The Greek Anthology
Lucretius: The Nature of Things
Plutarch: Lives
Virgil: Aeneid, Bucolics, Georgics
Tacitus: Annals
Ovid: Metamorphoses, Heroides, Ars Amatoria
The New Testament
Suetonius: Lives of 12 Caesars
Marcus Aurelius: Meditations
Catullus: Poems
Horace: Poems
Epictetus: Discourses
Aristophanes: Plays
Aelian: Historical Miscellanies, Characters of Animals
Apollonius: Argonautica
Psellus: Lives of Byzantine Rulers
Gibbon: Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
Plotinus: The Enneads
Eusebius: The Ecclesiastical History
Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy
Pliny the Younger: Letters
Byzantine Verse Romances
Heraclytus: Fragments
Augustine: Confessions
Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica
St. Francis: The Little Flowers
Nicolo Machiavelli: The Prince
Dante: Divine Comedy (Tr. By John Ciardi)
Franko Sachetti: Novellas
Icelandic Sagas
Shakespeare (Anthony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry 5)
Rabelais
Bacon
Martin Luther: Selected Works
Calvin: Institutes
Montaigne: Essays
Cervantes: Don Quixote
Descartes: Discourses
Song of Roland
Beowulf
Benvenuto Cellini
Henry Adams: Education of Henry Adams
Hobbes: Leviathan
Pascal: Pensees
Milton: Paradise Lost
Jone Donne
Andrew Marvell
George Herbert
Richard Crashaw
Spinoza: Treatises
Stendhal: Charterhouse of Parma, Red and Black, The Life of Henry Brulard
Swift: Gulliver’s Travels
Lawrence Sterne: Tristram Shandy
Choderlos de Laclois: Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Montesqui: The Persian Letters
Locke: Second Treatise on Government
Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations
Leibnitz: Discourses
Hume: Everything
The Federalist Papers
Kant: Critique of Pure Reason
Soren Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling, Either/Or, Philosophical Fragments
Dostoevsky: Notes From the Underground, The Possessed
Tocqueville: Democracy in America
Goethe: Faust, Italian Journey
De Custine: Journey for our Time (Empire of the Czar)
Eric Auerbach: Mimesis
Prescott: Conquest of Mexico
Octavio Paz: Labyrinths of Solitude
Sir Karl Popper: The Logic of Scientific Discovery, The Open Society and Its Enemies
Elias Canetti: Crowds Are Power

[Source: here and here.]

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