English 12 ap (Burns) (Do these books even exist) Waiting For Godot (Play)*—Samuel Beckett Vladimir and Estragon wait by a tree for M. Godot to show up. He doesn’t. But another pair of characters does: a master on the way to sell his slave



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Existential Reading List

English 12 AP (Burns)

(Do these books even exist??)





Waiting For Godot (Play)*—Samuel Beckett

Vladimir and Estragon wait by a tree for M. Godot to show up. He doesn’t. But another pair of characters does: a master on the way to sell his slave, Lucky. Lucky indeed. (Approximate pages: 60)



No Exit (Play)*—Jean Paul Sartre

Garcin, Estelle and Inez find themselves in Hell, but they cannot discern a way out (get it, no exit??). Theirs is a love triangle of absurd (or should I say, obtuse) angles. (Approximate pages: 45)



The Metamorphosis*—Franz Kafka

Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to discover that he has turned into an insect. He has to put his pants on just like everybody else, one leg at a time—except it takes him a bit longer, seeing as he now has six of them. He bugs his parents and they bug him. (Approximate pages: 55)



The Stranger*— Albert Camus

Mersault’s mama dies (as recently as today, IIRC), he consorts with his co-worker, Marie, walks on the beach, shoots an Arab, goes to prison and smokes about 10,000 cigarettes. It’s OK, though- he’s French. I will guarantee this is one of the stranger books you have never read. (Approximate pages: 115)

* Each of these selections will make you eligible for a grade no higher than “B” on any/all assignments associated with this unit.

*******


The Trial**—Franz Kafka

Joseph K works in a bank. He is successful, respected, effective. Then, out of nowhere, he is arrested. He doesn’t know why, and, he soon discovers, nobody else does either. The wheels of justice spin, except that the wheels are square, the spokes are bent and the tires are flat. (Approximate pages: 275)



The Road**—Cormac McCarthy

Steven Wright (Google® him) once said “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have enough time.” But what if you don’t? And what if you don’t know where you are walking? A father and son traverse a post-apocalyptic landscape, alone in the world, united by their desperation. National Lampoon’s vacation, this ain’t. (Approximate pages: 290)



The Plague**—Albert Camus

The town of Oran, on the North African coast, is beset with omens which are deemed benign and, summarily, ignored. Soon they have unleashed a plague of biblical proportions—memories are erased and history is twisted, obliterated, driving the citizens to madness. Sort of like listening to Donald Trump. (Approximate pages: 310)



Blindness**—Jose Saramago

Another plague story—except this time, the mysterious contagion robs a city of its sight. Or at least the majority of them. As their world becomes divided among those who can see and those who cannot, Saramago focuses on the vagaries of human nature and sets his sights on exposing the invisible underbelly of our existence. You will see- trust me. (Approximate pages: 320)



Life of Pi**—Yann Martel

“Pi” is both rational and irrational, easy to calculate and impossible to figure. When the freighter carrying his family capsizes in the Indian Ocean, Pi Martel finds himself drifting on a lifeboat in the middle of an endless sea—alone except for a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra and a very hungry Bengal tiger. This could totally happen. (Approximate pages: 300)

** Each of these selections will make you eligible for full credit on any/all assignments associated with this unit.

*******


Moby Dick***—Herman Melville

This is one whale of a book. Captain Ahab has two goals: land the leviathan, Moby Dick, or die trying. One of these goals is achieved. We all have a white whale-maybe this book will be yours. (Approximate pages: 480)



Crime and Punishment***-- Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you were an IB student you would have to read this book… Are really exceptional people obligated to follow the same rules as the rest of us? Tortured student Raskolnikov does not believe so—so he kills a couple of people with an axe, steals their money and retreats to his dreary life in his dreary room in his dreary apartment on his dreary street in his dreary city of St. Petersburg in his dreary homeland of Russia. (Approximate pages: 500)



*** Each of these selections will make you eligible for full credit on any/all assignments associated with this unit. Furthermore, any student reading either of these texts AND receiving a total grade of “B” or higher on all assignments associated with this unit will receive a 10% bonus on his/her 2nd quarter grade. (In the event that this grade is already an “A,” students may bank this bonus for the 3rd quarter.)


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