A Guardian blog is discussing the 10 most difficult books to read, as determined by The Millions literary website. Here’s the list:
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes; A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift; The Phenomenology of Spirit by GF Hegel; To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf; Clarissa, or, The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson; Finnegans Wake by James Joyce; Being and Time by Martin Heidegger; The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser; The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein; and Women and Men by Joseph McElroy.
As one of the commenters said, Have I read them? Heckfire, I haven’t even heard of most of them. Illiterate me. Guardian writer Alison Flood says she would add Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. I loved Gravity’s Rainbow. I wanted to like Infinite Jest by failed to get very far. A commenter says a second list is needed: “The Ten Most Difficult Novels NOT Worth Reading.
One other person suggests that the most difficult book to read is the first one.