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What makes a novel a masterpiece?
I'm reading 'Death in the afternoon', by Ernest Hemingway; it's a fairly interesting read but not what I'd call a masterpiece. Nor was 'The sun also rises', by the same author, in my own mind. I'm not belittling his achievements by saying this, I might add, as he was obviously good enough to have his books published.
Why would a book by, say, Stephen King be considered not befitting of the rank of masterpiece?

What books would you consider literary masterpieces, if any?
asked in words

robinsamuels answers:

Millions of kids would tell you that the Harry Potter books are masterpieces. The average critic would tell you that they're not.

It seems to me that the description of masterpiece very rarely gets used on something popular, be it literature or film.

Captain Corelli always puts a smile on my face when I read it and I think the writting will stand the test of time, but I don't think you can consider it a masterpiece. Birds without wings, on the other hand, may well be DeBernieres' best work.

Schindlers Ark and Papillon have both been made into films which could well be termed as masterpieces and both books should get the same recognition.

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Leohuberh answers:

To put it short, a literary work, like a novel, is a relate part of human experiences and civilisations. And by reading or better analysing a masterpiece, one widens his scope and knowledge about people in terms of their thoughts, their way of looking at different issues, their experiences, and their beliefs in general.

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

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