Philip Larkin tops Times 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945 listJanuary 5th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by admin
London, Jan 5 (ANI): English poet Philip Larkin has topped The Times 2008 list of The 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945.
The late poet bagged the number one spot, beating the likes of George Orwell, Iris Murdoch and J R R Tolkien.
Larkin struck a chord with many readers not normally enthusiastic about poetry. His number one position can be justified by an unusual combination of literary merit and popular appeal, Times Online quoted Sir Howard Davies, who chaired last years Man Booker judges, as saying.
However, Larkins name at the top of the list left some literature fans disappointed.
Kate Mosse, co-founder of the Orange Prize and author of the best-selling novels Labyrinth and Sepulchre, said that the top name on the list, according to her, should have been Murdochs.
Im an enormous Larkin fan but his writing is very specific of a place and time, and it is poetry, whereas there are other authors who have written in a range of areas. Murdoch seems to me an all-rounder, and if you are going to put somebody in at No 1 then maybe thats it, Mosse said.
Even Sir Davies pointed out that he was astonished by the absence of such talents as David Storey, David Lodge and R S Thomas.
I am very surprised to see no mention of David Storey, David Lodge, Malcolm Bradbury or Angus Wilson, and astonished by the absence of R S Thomas. All of those would, to me, rank higher than Alan Sillitoe, who is at No 20, he said.
Doris Lessing, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature last year, got the fifth position, while The Lord of the Rings author Tolkien, was relegated to 6th place.
Novelist Philippa Gregory, a judge of this years Orange Prize, said: I loathe literary lists. They are just like literary prizes only without the cheque or the party. (ANI)
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