One of my colleagues at Kalamazoo claims to be very obsessive-compulsive when she finds a new author — for example, “I read one Jane Austen book and had to read them all; I read Shakespeare and had to read it all.” I can’t claim to have read the complete Shakespeare or even the complete Jane Austen, but there are a handful of authors about whom I’m fairly confident I’ve read the complete works (leaving aside trivial examples like people who only wrote one work and biblical or “apostolic fathers” authors):
- Justin Martyr (assuming the ANF editors were correct about which treatises were spurious)
- Clement of Alexandria
- Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
- The Pearl poet (assuming that he or she didn’t write St. Erkenwald)
Perhaps I can also get some credit for reading the complete poetic works of Spenser and Milton, but that seems to be just about it — which is strange, since I seem to have a completist disposition. I haven’t even read the complete works of Zizek, Agamben, or Nancy, though I’m close on all of them (listed in order of proximity — although I just thought of Zizek’s Slovene-language texts, which I can’t imagine I will ever read unless someone gets around to translating them, and honestly probably not even then).
I fully expect to be humiliated when you all share the people whose complete works you’ve read. My only defense is to gesture vaguely toward “breadth.”