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Smith College Alumnae Reading Suggestions
From Susan Novick ’81, Certified Archivist
|The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell
I first read this book, an intellectual and social history of World War I seen through the eyes of British literary figures, for a history class at Smith taught by Klemens von Klemperer in 1980. It was the first “war” book I read, and it reinforced the fact that history is more than just dates and battles. I met Fussell in the 1990’s and he signed my copy, which I now can’t find in my library!
|The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
I have read this book during transitions in my life. I bought the book in Northampton the day after I graduated from Smith and read it the summer before graduate school. Four years later, I read it again as I traveled through Europe. At over 700 pages of small type, this book is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for book groups whose members recoil at its length. And what a great last sentence, rooted in the beginnings of World War I: “Out of this universal feast of death, out of this extremity of fever, kindling the rain-washed evening sky to a fiery glow, may it be that Love one day shall mount?”