Lori's Book Nook

Tracing influences

Posted on: March 6, 2007

It’s weird. Suddenly I’m busy in my life, and I don’t have as much time to read. Or, when I do read, I’m re-reading some calming bit of fluff for the umpteenth time, just to relax.

And, right now, I’m re-reading my Davies. Of course.

One thing I really love about his writing is his own erudition. He is unabashed about letting his own stuff into his writing.

And it’s inspiring. As a direct result of his writing, I have books on my shelf about saints, psychology, and art forgery, to name a few.

So, the question today: Whose writing inspired you this way?

I really want to know.

12 Responses to "Tracing influences"

I often pick up books or films that I’ve read about or, more often, heard referenced in song. Most recently it was the magnificent The Watch That Ends the Night”, a Governor-General’s Award-winner by Hugh MacLennan.

I bought it after wondering at the significance of the explanation given at the Tragically Hip’s website of their song “Courage for Hugh MacLennan”.

On the site, at the time, it said something like:

“To understand the significance of the song, look at page 128 of Hugh MacLennan’s The Watch That Ends the Night“. The section refers to the lines quoted in the song. So I had to get a copy. Possibly I never regretted anything less.

Two articles from Hipmuseum on this, if I haven’t worn out your interest:

Merci, M. Metro. I’ve been meaning to ask you to slide that book over to my side of the bed.


Um, do you need three guesses? πŸ˜‰

I also don’t have much time to read these days, so it might take me awhile to get through the Deptford Trilogy again.

Worry not, my dear Azahar, this is a casual discussion. Drop by when you can. I know you’re busy with your translation work!

Richard Bach’s “Johnathon Livingstone Seagull”. This book opened the world of the minds eye and the heart to me, a worldly male 30 something at the time. It led to “The Little Prince”. To Kahlil Gibran, to Rod McKuen and Walter Rinder. It led me to understand the poetry of the minstrels of my time, Neil Diamond and Kris Kristofferson. It led me to trust my own feelings and my ability to record them in my own poetry. It gave me a life guide at a time I was losing my traditional faith.

There – far too much information for a casual discussion πŸ™‚

Not at all, Archie — thank you for being so candid.

Ah, Richard Bach…for me it was “Illusions”.

Pratchett. Left me feeling in awe that someone could express so much joy in writing.

I’ll admit, I’ve never read any Pratchett…I’d had too much of jokey fantasy/sf writers with Piers Anthony and Robert Asprin in university.

**WARNING** I was blocked for Anthony’s name for a second, and so I googled “A Spell for Chameleon” — and came up with its IM-flippin’-DB listing!!! Quelle horreur! They’re making a movie of it.

Pratchett is not simply jokey/fantasy stuff – in fact very far from it.

Start anywhere. I double-dog-dare-you not to love Discworld!

I started with Nighwatch, which was much later on … one of the Sam Vimes series. Later when I read the earlier stuff I was glad I’d read the later stuff first, if that makes sense.

I’ll try…it’s not like we don’t have a library full of his books! Metro brought the whole collection to the marriage. (Although, I must say, I think my literary contributions were a little more…uh…literary! πŸ˜› )

I just found three Discworld novels I hadn’t read yet at the new FNAC store that opened here recently – bought them all and I’ve really been enjoying them.

Ask Metro where you should start with Discworld – I have a feeling you’ll totally love them.

Okay, az. I’ll ask him. When my festival is over, and I have a moment to myself!

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Here on the Book Nook you can discuss: The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, as well as the next two books in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders, and if that's not enough for you, see what's up on the forums at BookTalk.org!
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