What are the qualities of a great book for a civilization?
Checklist for a "Great book" for a civilization.
A Great Book should include...
A great theme
which, in general, seems to be how a representative human stands up to the-powers-that-be.
A memorable character
Odysseus, Don Quixote, Jesus, Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn - a personality distinct from other people
An aphorism, a phrase that sums it all up
Love your enemy, fighting windmills, stream of consciousness
A range of small and large pieces
The Ten Commandments, The Sermon on the Mount, Kant's Prolegomenon, the "highlights", the "best parts"
An ever growing interpretation, performance and commentary
A mish mash of genres
An overall structure
A value system with related conflicts and resolutions
Multiple vantage points, but especially, "stepped in" and "stepped out".
A place, a time, a world of its own
A language that can be dead or alive, simple or obscure, created and creating
An embrace of earlier layers of culture
Incorporation into rituals