While getting my daily Hacker News fix, I came across a very nice
blog post entitled "The Way to Lisp", which though non-technical,
does a great job of putting Lisp in the broader programming language
context and mentions some excellent references to some seminal
papers that I'm a big fan of.
And here are some papers, which you should definitely read:
1) Paul Graham's excellent "The Roots of Lisp" in which he retraces
McCarthy's original steps in his 1960 LISP paper, and implements
the original LISP in Common Lisp. If you can grok this paper
(and especially the eval. function toward the end), then you may
finally grasp just what all the hype is about. Good luck,
2) For those who really like the technical craziness, here's the
original Lisp paper by McCarthy from 1960. It's pretty burly but
definitely an edifying read if you really want to push your
understanding of algorithmic expression.
Hack the planet with the mighty twin-parened sword,