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And time yet for hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions

says T.S. Eliot, and time to read those neglected classics. Or, perhaps, time to forget about them and give it up as a bad job, like these famous authors who confess their literary blanks to Slate, along with some page-turners they’d rather read instead of, say, Middlemarch or Moby-Dick.

All right, I have read Moby-Dick, thanks to Professor Louis Rubin’s American Literature course at UNC-CH, but I probably would never have gotten through it without his guidance and the combined carrot/stick encouragement of a grade. Middlemarch—sorry, but I have read a boatload of Dickens.

What’s the point of this kind of feature? I’d say—read all you can, at least give the “great books” a try, but few of us will have time or inclination (or, perhaps, ability) to read everything. If you’ve found at least a few authors and books among the “greats” that feed your soul, you’re well on your way.

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