Sunday, 5 December 2010

I was recently tagged by the Passage Paradis blog to write 15 authors and writers that have made an impact on me, so here goes...

EM Forster for his stories, Evelyn Waugh for his wit, Thomas Hardy for his stunning cimematographic description of landscapes, Colette (pictured above) for her total sense of indulgence, Enid Blyton for adding to my childhood dreams, another childhood favourite Frances Hodgson Burnett for her pure Victoriana, Amy Tan for her depiction of Chinese-American life,

PG Wodehouse for the ultimate as he would put it 'Buck you uppo' ability. Bad things in life are played down as 'scrapes' and his books are just a great example of a cheerful fun way to live! My favourite is the Blandings series. Here is part of the beginning of my favourite of the series, Something Fresh.
'The rules governing exercise in London are clearly defined. You may run, if you are running after a hat, or an omnibus; you may jump, if you do so with the idea of avoiding a taxi-cab or because you have stepped on a banana-skin. But, if you run because you wish to develop your lungs or jump because jumping is good for the liver, London punishes you with its mockery.'
I'm also rather liking the look of his daschund too.

Shakespeare for the sheer beauty of his writing.
'I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk roses, and with eglantine...'

But then the more I thought, the more I thought that some of the books that have had a big impact on me, have been just the one book from a writer but perhaps not the writer's overall work in general. Berlin diaries by Missie Vassiltchikov has had the biggest impact of any book on my life - a truly moving diary of Berlin in the 2nd World war setting me on the path to a History degree and leading me to study in Goettingen where I had the best time ever and made some truly great friends, Makioka sisters by Junichiro Tanisaki full of the the most wonderful imagery of chasing fireflies, moon viewing and sitting under cherry blossoms that influenced my painting, Homer's Odyssey for an unforgettable experience (but read it by the sea as I did), Arthur Koestler's Scum of the earth for being so full of ideas that reading it once was not enough, The Harem within for a wonderful description of Moroccan matriarchal life that helped me get over the death of my Grandma, Ken Clarke's Civilization an amazingly eloquent brief cultural history of Europe that encouraged me to travel around Europe rather than doing the whole Thai backpacking thing. I could go on and on, but I see this post has ended up being long enough as it is!

Images: via constance zahn?, unknown, via, unknown, via constance zahn?

1 comment:

Mlle Paradis said...

ellen! i love what you didi! many of us in this "game" just did lists (possibly also because, as you say it's a busy time otherwise!) but you chose some beautiful pictures and described these books so beautifully and with such passion and giving us such nice personal insights into what these books meant to you! loved that!

thanks for this! i'll be sending everyone at my blog to come have a look. i tried to spend a week talking about books but already it's generated so many more book talk ideas! who knows where this will go!