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Lance Olsen’s “Literary Pillars”

1. Petronius, Satyricon (1st century A.D.)

2. Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605, 1616).

3. Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1759-67)

4. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)

5. Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature (1884)

6. Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Gods (1889)

7. Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis (1915)

8. James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)

9. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

10. William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930)

11. Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (1944)

12. Raymond Queneau, Exercises in Style (1947)

13. Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable (1953)

14. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

15. Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jealousy (1957)

16. William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959)

17. Samuel Beckett, How It Is (1961)

18. Carlos Fuentes, Aura (1962)

19. Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch (1963)

20. Thomas Pynchon, Crying Lot of 49 (1966)

21. Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)

22. John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse (1968)

23. Robert Coover, Pricksongs & Descants (1969)

24. J. G. Ballard, Atrocity Exhibition (1970)

25. Peter Handke, The Goalie’s Anxiety Before the Penalty Kick (1970)

26. Raymond Federman, Double or Nothing (1971)

27. Samuel R. Delany, Dhalgren (1975)

28. Guy Davenport, Da Vinci’s Bicycle (1979)

29. Gilbert Sorrentino, Mulligan Stew (1979)

30. Donald Barthelme, Sixty Stories (1981)

31. Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School (1984)

32. Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot (1984)

33. Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985)

34. Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (1986-7)

35. Carole Maso, Ava (1993)

36. William H. Gass, The Tunnel (1995)

37. Ben Marcus, The Age of Wire and String (1995)

38. David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (1996)

39. Young-Hae Chang, Traveling to Utopia (ca. 2000)

40. Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000)

41. Joe Wenderoth, Letters to Wendy’s (2000)

42. Laird Hunt, The Impossibly (2001)

43. Patrik Ourednik, Europeana (2001)

44. Gary Lutz, Stories in the Worst Way (2002)

45. Steve Tomasula, Vas (2003)

46. David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (2004)

47. David Markson, The Last Novel (2007)

48. David Clark, 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (2009)

49. J. M. Coetzee, Summertime (2009)

50. Anne Carson, Nox (2010)

Editor’s Note: This list is part of Big Other’s Tribute to William H. Gass’s 88th Birthday.

Lance Olsen is the author of many novels, including My Red Heaven, Dreamlives of Debris, Theories of Forgetting, Calendar of Regrets, and Head in Flames; five nonfiction books, five short-story collections, a poetry chapbook, and two anti-textbooks about experimental writing, including Architectures of Possibility: After Innovative Writing; as well as editor of two collections of essays about innovative contemporary fiction. Recipient of numerous awards, he teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.

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