Sunday, March 22, 2009

So, Bob the Sometime Poet tagged me to name 25 writers who most influenced my own efforts. The hardest part was to decide which ones were actually influential and which ones I simply liked a lot. Here we go (not in any particular order):

J R R Tolkien
Jorge Luis Borges
Edgar Rice Burroughs (my childhood introduction to sci-fi, fantasy and adventure in strange lands)
Carl Sandburg
Anne Sexton
William Shakespeare
Arthur Rimbaud (and pretty much all the Symbolists, for that matter)
Lord Dunsany
Wang Wei (and Tang Dynasty poetry in general)
Thomas Hardy (the poetry, more than the novels)
Kenneth Graham (The Wind in the Willows remains as satisfying a read today as it was when I was eight)
Roger Zelazny
Omar Khayyam (I like Rumi but Khayyam goes back way further with me)
Evelyn Waugh
Robert Frost
E R Eddison
A E Houseman
Poul Anderson
H G Wells (as much or more for the nonfiction as the novels)
Mary Roberts Rinehart (solid well-plotted novels that left their mark on me as a youngster)
Robert Herrick (and most of the Cavalier Poets, for that matter)
T S Eliot
H W Longfellow (for the musicality of his work if nothing else)
Annie Finch
John Masefield

I've no doubt that no sooner shall I post this than I'll come up with a name or two that should have been on the list. Especially nonfiction writers and thinkers. I can't think of anyone to tag I won't, right now.

Monday morn, March 23: Okay, I'll tag Donna, the Acoustic Eagle (if she has the time -- must get that novel edited, after all!).


Bob said...

I did the same thing, kept thinking of names I should have included once the list was done, though I did take my time compiling it... there are just too many out there.

Stephen B said...

I think of someone like Ursula K LeGuin, whose work I love, but probably is not really much of an influence...or is she, on a subconscious level? Or Mark Twain, whom I read and enjoyed but find myself in fundamental disagreement with his view of humanity. Is that, too, an influence in its way?

Anonymous said...

Tough call about naming these authors! However, because you have said 'who most influenced [one's] own efforts' I will give it a try. Can't get by some of the classic sci fi authors so maybe it won't be too hard after all.

Bob said...

I agree, about some authors being an influence on a subconcious level... how knows what impressions their ideas and images leave inside of us that then come out in our own work.