Greatest Americans - Part 2-Artists & Writers
Our readers voted John Wayne their greatest American actor or director, so now it's time to move on to artists and writers. This category, which Discovery's show doesn't even include (fools!) was so hard to narrow down to nine. I decided to pick 4 writers, 4 artists and then stick in Frank Lloyd Wright, because I didn't know where else he'd fit in.
I could have put about 30 names on this list, but these are the nine I have. Vote away!
Note: Polling is over. Mark Twain was our winner.
Posted by at May 12, 2005 02:25 AM
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|# May 12th, 2005 8:07 AM countertop|
|Having once been an architecture student, I would say that Frank Lloyd should most certainly be listed as an artist.
Of course, its interesting that you put Georgia O'Keffe in (don't disagree with that) but certainly think Ansel Adams deserved a place as well (certainly more so than Grant Wood or Winslow Homer - heck, speaking of Grant Wood, where is Norman Rockwell??)
|# May 12th, 2005 8:34 AM kris|
|I didn't even THINK about photographers and so I completely missed Ansel Adams.
I put O'Keefe (and frankly, Dickinson too) in there because I wanted some women on the list so as to stay closer to the methodology that Discovery obviously used.
What's so funny is that their list has almost NO artists or writers at all. I don't know what they were thinking as this is by FAR the hardest category to narrow down.
|# May 12th, 2005 8:39 AM BrianH|
|I was forced to read Steinbeck (and Hemingway who you left off the quiz) in high school english class. God I hated those books. They're the most god-awful depressing books I've ever read.
My english teacher loved them.
|# May 12th, 2005 8:46 AM kris|
|my methodology for the authors was to pick Mark Twain (who stands alone in my opinion), a poet (Dickinson in this case), a playwright (Williams) and then a more "serious" author. It came down to Hemmingway, Steinbeck & Faulkner. Personally, I prefer Faulkner but it seems like Steinbeck's body of work is more respected, so I went with him.
I was really trying to figure out a way to include Harper Lee or F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The next category is athletes, so if you have any suggestions, get them in now.
|# May 12th, 2005 9:44 AM drew|
|I went with Dickinson. Twain had the one great work |
|# May 12th, 2005 10:15 AM james|
|ansel adams should certainly be on the list. but what list of american artists is complete without norman rockwell? how can you have a list of american authors that doesn't include andy warhol? what list of american authors is complete without f. scott fitzgerald?
on another note - drew, did you intend for those words to be
|# May 12th, 2005 10:16 AM james|
|what about poe?
|# May 12th, 2005 10:47 AM kris|
|given that I only have 9 slots available, who would you replace with your suggestions?
i was thinking that i might put upton sinclair in "champions of causes"
|# May 12th, 2005 10:52 AM james|
|i would have made one category for artist, a separate category for writer, and i would have left architect off the lists entirely.
on your list, though, i would have gone no FLW, no wood, no whistler, no o'keefe, no dickinson, no williams. instead id have listed poe, fitzgerald, sinclair, adams, warhol, and rockwell
|# May 12th, 2005 10:59 AM kris|
|like i said, i'm trying to stay as close to the Discovery list as possible. what's funny is that they have NO categories for either artists or writers, so even this is a big addition from their stupid list.
Okay, if I could have 9 artists, I would have chosen:
Frank Lloyd Wright
John Singer Sargent
Edgar Allen Poe
F. Scott Fitzgerald
|# May 12th, 2005 11:08 AM james|
|what, no brothas on your list? you think a black man can't be great?
have you thought about including your list here and linking it to the appropriate post?
|# May 12th, 2005 11:35 AM countertop|
|Of course, you could always just drop the list of athletes. Somehow, I just can't think of any athlete I would single out as a great American.
Sure, there are some who did great things - but those great things are notewoorthy not because they were an athlete, but because they were great in another aspect - re: Ronald Reagan the sports announcer and swimmer; General Pete Dawkins, the heisman trophy winner, rhodes scholar and 24 year vet of the US miliary; Byron White theformer college footbal All American who had a successful NFL career as well as being a Rhodes Scholar and Deputy AG of the US and Supreme Court Justice.
Just my $.02 though.
|# May 12th, 2005 11:36 AM kris|
|Nah, I'm going to keep the athletes. I mean, this is ALL kind of silly because in the Final Nine, I'm sure the ultimate winner will be a former President anyway. |
|# May 12th, 2005 11:40 AM BrianH|
|It just goes to show that there are too many great Americans to pick only a few. And when it comes to picking authors, artists, etc. there's a great deal of personal taste involved too.
And Drew, Twain had more than just one great work. Read some of his short stories. I especially like his "what happens to good boys and bad boys" (no that's not the exact title) morality stories.
|# May 12th, 2005 2:45 PM countertop|
Mark Twain only had one great work???
- A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court
- Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn
- Adventures Of Tom Sawyer
- The Mysterious Stranger
- The Prince and the Pauper
- The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
- Life On The Mississippi
- Roughing It
- The Stolen White Elephant
- Wit Inspirations Of The "Two-Year-Olds"
- The First Writing-Machines
- The Danger Of Lying In Bed
- The $30,000 Bequest
- My First Lie, And How I Got Out Of It
- Hunting The Deceitful Turkey
Can you tell me which one it is? Perhaps its one of his many many other works and I just missed it amidst all this pedestrian rubbish????
|# May 12th, 2005 8:32 PM james|
#2, Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn
any other questions?
heh, just teasing
i voted twain b/c he's the quintessential "american" author. the "best" author, though, should be faulkner, imho. which was i supposed to vote for, kris? the best or the most typical of americana?
|# May 12th, 2005 8:41 PM kris|
|i would say who you think is the best |
|# May 12th, 2005 11:30 PM TheUnabrewer|
Ted Williams--great player, Marine pilot during two wars.
|# May 13th, 2005 9:36 AM KVBigSis|
|What? No Nathaniel Hawthorne? He basically established the fact that there WAS American literature. I think Poe should have been in there too. |
|# May 16th, 2005 1:18 PM drew|
|James, I did not mean for it to be struck.
And people, I NEVER said Twain had only one good novel. I said he had the one great work. That's not meant to diminish his other material, but how much of it is considered, say, a "must-read" in HS and College English classes?
Geez, read the post before commenting.