100 Books For The Ideal Library

Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale

In the early 1950s Raymond Queneau asked several dozen French authors and critics to list the hundred books they would choose if they had to limit themselves to that number. He reproduced all their responses in the book Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale (Gallimard, 1956), along with the overall top 100 list reproduced above.

1. First Folio by William Shakespeare
2. The Bible by Christian Church
3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
4. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
5. Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
6. The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
7. Pensées by Blaise Pascal
8. The Works of Moliere by Molière
9. The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
10. The Red and the Black by Stendhal
11. The Complete Works of Plato by Plato
12. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal
13. The Poems of Francois Villon by François Villon
14. Collected Poems by Arthur Rimbaud
15. Memoirs of Cardinal De Retz by Cardinal de Retz
16. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
17. The Memoirs of the Duke of Saint-Simon on the Reign of Louis XIV. and the Regency by Louis de Rouvroy Saint-Simon (duc de)
18. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
19. The Complete Plays of Jean Racine by Jean Racine
20. The Persians by Aeschylus
20. The Suppliants by Aeschylus
20. Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus
20. Oresteia by Aeschylus
20. Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
21. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
22. Collected Poems by Stéphane Mallarmé
23. Fables of La Fontaine by Jean de La Fontaine
24. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
25. Alcools by Guillaume Apollinaire
26. A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
27. The Odyssey by Homer
28. Plays by Pierre Corneille
29. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
30. Memoirs From Beyond the Grave by François René De Chateaubriand
31. The Human Comedy by Honoré de Balzac
32. Ajax by Sophocles
32. Antigone by Sophocles
32. Oedipus the King by Sophocles
32. Women of Trachis by Sophocles
32. Philoctetes by Sophocles
32. Electra by Sophocles
32. Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles
33. Ulysses by James Joyce
34. Dangerous Liaison by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
35. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
36. One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine
37. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
38. A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud
39. Discourse on Method by Rene Descartes
40. Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost
41. Selected Poems by Pierre Ronsard
42. The Clouds by Aristophanes
42. The Birds by Aristophanes
42. Lysistrata by Aristophanes
43. Histories by Cornelius Tacitus
43. Annals by Cornelius Tacitus
44. Ethics by Baruch de Spinoza
45. Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin by Friedrich Hölderlin
46. Les Filles du feu by Gerard de Nerval
47. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
48. Confessions by Augustine
49. Maldoror (Les Chants de Maldoror) by Comte de Lautréamont
50. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
51. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
52. The Complete Writings of Alfred de Musset by Alfred de Musset
53. The Journal of Jules Renard by Jules Renard
54. The Iliad by Homer
55. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
56. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
57. The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky
58. Candide by Voltaire
59. The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake by William Blake
60. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Parallel Lives by Plutarch
62. The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette
63. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
64. Adolphe by Benjamin Constant
65. The Figaro Trilogy: The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, The Guilty Mother by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
66. Les Tragiques by Agrippa d’Aubigné
67. Les Destinées by Alfred de Vigny
68. Poems of Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca by Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca
69. Man’s Fate by Andre Malraux
70. Maximes by François duc de La Rochefoucauld
71. Les Caractères by Jean de La Bruyère
72. Lettres de madame de Sévigné by Marie de Rabutin-Chantal marquise de Sévigné
74. Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry
75. The Collected Works of Paul Valéry by Paul Valéry
76. The Provincial Letters by Blaise Pascal
77. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
78. Carmen by Prosper Mérimée
80. Fragments by Heraclitus
81. Marivaux: Three Plays by Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux
82. La légende des siècles by Victor Hugo
83. The Trial by Franz Kafka
84. Correspondence by Voltaire
85. Calligrammes by Guillaume Apollinaire
86. Journals: 1889–1913 by André Gide
87. Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Anderson
88. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
89. History of My Life by Giacomo Casanova
90. One Thousand and One Nights by India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt
91. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
92. Philosophical Writings by Novalis
93. Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
94. Three plays: The hostage, Crusts, The humiliation of the father by Paul Claudel
95. Wry-Blue Loves: Les Amours Jaunes by Tristan Corbière
96. Les Contemplations by Victor Hugo
97. La Nuit obscure by Jean de la Croix
98. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
99. The Aeneid by Virgil
100. The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos

Source: bobsecrets.org, bookadvice.co