Thanks Halim. I feel the same way with Perks. Such a great book.
Desolation Angels, Jack Kerouac. 1965. Chronicles the time around the publication of On The Road. Portrait of a disaffected, jaded, drunken cynical Kerouac. Insight into the Beats, the undercurrent/flipside of Road. Dark and lonely.
I recently started reading “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Díaz, and I immediately fell in love with the book and its highly identifiable characters…I also loved the inventive way Diaz used Footnotes to push the story forward by also adding historical as well as fictional details into the lives of his characters….
the writers who have lasted in me the longest, in no particular order…
Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein, Gandhi, Malcolm de Chazal, Edgar Allen Poe, Aldous Huxley, E.E. Cummings, Mark Twain, Emerson, Thoreau, Rimbaud, & Aesop.
Herman Hesse touches me on so many levels: Steppenwolf, Magister Ludi, Siddhartha, Narcissus & Goldmund.
other writers on top of my head:
Yukio Mishima, Kobo Abe, Kenzaburo Oe, Yasunari Kawabata, Carl Jung, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, Susan Sontag (only for essays & critical works), Marguerite Duras, Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht
Nice selection Wut, I reread some of my favorite Hesse books recently and was blown away all over again by his insights into the human condition, particularly ‘Narziss and Goldmund’, ‘The Glass Bead Game’, ‘Steppenwolf’ and ‘Peter Camenzind’, all highly recommended novels from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.
And Demian… my favorite Hesse. How are you liking it so far Mezmorized?
Hey Carlos, I also “Demian;” such a great coming-of-age story. Though, my all time favorite Hesse books is hands-down “Steppenwolf.” I love the protagonist and his highly-contemplative way of thinking… I love the idea that each of us, has a wolf inside waiting to get out and sometimes consume us…
Forgot to mention Rilke. His concept of faith (though highly influenced by Christianity) is universally applicable to the contemporary. I rarely read poems, but his is essential.
Antoine - yes Hesse is truly one of the greatest. I feel connected with his sense of spirituality (especially that intellectual, artistic division of self-sometimes you pride in your knowledge & creativity, but sometimes they are just frugal and desperate). Every time I pick up a Hesse, I can read 100+ pages in a go easily.
I really recommend Yukio Mishima to everyone, if not for his fiction, then for a study of this extraordinary man—an idealistic man whose nature is inspired by external representation as opposed to the more philosophically popular of the inner. He’s radical, but very unique. I mean, someone who had guts to commit seppuku in post-samurai era in front of the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces deserves my attention. Not someone who would want to follow his ideals, but fascinating (and fruitful if applied correctly with your self), nevertheless.
‘Coming Through Slaughter’ by Michael Ondaatje is an incredible read for anyone who is into jazz (or not), it has an innovative narrative style with a fractured/jazz inspired structure which enhances the main themes of creativity and self destruction …
Halim have you read Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Child of God’? it is a very interesting, profound and morbidly/perversely entertaining read indeed.
Also Alain Robbe-Grillet’s nouveau roman ‘Le Voyeur’ is an incredible re-imagining of the “detective” story which explores Grillet’s beloved themes of eroticism and sub/perversion, along with his other classic ‘La Belle Captive’ which truly is a thing of warped beauty, it cleverly integrates Grillet’s “surreal” detective/mystery narrative with Magritte’s sublimely “surreal” paintings, which act not as mere illustrations of the narrative, but as symbolic/metaphoric sign posts that enrich the text.
I just finished reading: Sellevision & A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs. All time favorite writers are Herman Hesse, Anais Nin, Georges Bataille, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Umberto Eco, Philip Dick, Vladimir Nabokov, Carlos Castaneda, Mario Vargas Llosa, Milan Kundera
What’s with all the anonymous thumbing down? If you don’t “like” what someone is reading then that’s fine, but what is the need/desire to thumb it down? To prove your superiority? At least have the decency to contribute to the discussion and say why you don’t “like” a certain book or author. This unnecessary negativity is getting a little ridiculous and anonymously thumbing down someone else’s favourite book/author is just pure elitism! This is meant to be an open discussion … not a popularity/pissing contest.
I can pee with accuracy and distance though, but i don’t mean to say that i am the anonymous thumber. I concur with antoine on this, i too have been thumbed down for no particular reason. So please i think that we can all agree to disagree and we are ladies and gentlemen. So if you thumb away, please tell us why and if not well then that’s life then right. RIGHT.
The Anonymous Thumber.. that’s a great name… with a John Le Carre catchiness to it.. crap.. I just mentioned le carre.. I’m sure to get a thumbs down for this.
Broncstud.. you just received an “anonymous” thumbs up from me and here’s one for you too Antoine. And Kid Law.. Steinbeck is amazing… His writing is so compellingly down to earth that Lenny can be a five letter word followed by a flawless character account or John Malcovich wanting to tend them rabbits. Either way, it’s hard not to get choked up.. heck I get choked up every time I hear Luis Fernando Aute sing: “James Dean tiraba piedras en una casa al este del Eden” in “Las 4 y 10”. Steinbeck’s characters are totally migratable to any medium and still seem real. They are timeless….thumbs up for that…
I don’t read a lot in these times but I started Ingmar Bergman’s Lanterna Magica wich is more a autobiography than a reflexion on his films… Pretty interesting though…
Neruda, Vallejo,… Poetry, Anybody?
Anything by Jeffrey Eugenides is wonderful. The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, it’s too bad we have to wait almost a decade between novels, Eugenides is a master. Also anything by Ian McEwan – Amsterdam, Saturday, Atonement. P.G. Wodehouse is always a fun read.
Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye and Blue of Noon
Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
Celine’s Journey to the End of the Night
Dostoevsky – anything
Sterne’s Tristram Shandy
Angela Carter’s Infernal Desire Machines Of Doctor Hoffman
Samuel Delany’s Dhalgren
James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Autumn of the Patriarch
Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman
Beckett – anything
Ulysses, Remembrance of Things Past, The House of Seven Gables, Lolita, Moby-Dick, Absalom, Absalom!, Howard’s End, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Rabbit Redux, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Dead Souls, Persuasion, Gilead, Wise Blood, War and Peace, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The House of Mirth, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Still Holding, Pale Fire, David Copperfield, The Sound and the Fury, The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Where Angels Fear to Tread, Little Dorrit, The Day of the Locust, Bleak House, The Violent Bear It Away, Demons, Burr, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Franny and Zooey, Midnight’s Children, Money: A Suicide Note, A Handful of Dust, Madame Bovary, Wuthering Heights, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Angels, Angels on Toast, Nothing Like the Sun, The Verificationist, The Unconsoled, A Suitable Boy, The Corrections, Middlesex
Martin Amis; Ian McEwan; EL Doctorow; Mamet; Philip Roth; Chomsky, Finkelstein, Hitchens; Ted Hughes, who is better than Plath (yes, I am trying to stir up trouble)…
I don’t read anything with a pink cover, or anything written from the vampire’s point of view. However, when Kingsley Amis got into his 80s, he said he now only wanted to read books that began with the line “a shot rang out”. Fair enough.
Auster fans need to dig a little deeper into the rich tradition of American metafiction
At the moment….
In my life, these have influenced me….
and so many others I cannot bring to mind.
Look at me – J. Egan
Cloud Atlas – D. Mitchell
Human Stain – P. Roth
Enduring Love – I. McEwan
Old School – T. Wolff
칼의 노래 – 김 훈
Pastoralia – G. Saunders
some people who haven’t been mentioned yet (i don’t think)
joyce carol oates
Cormac McCarthy – Blood Meridian
Recently: Salinger’s Franny and Zooey; Robinson’s Housekeeping; Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49; anything by Walter Benjamin. Tim Harford’s latest book, The Logic of Life, was also quite pleasant.
Just finished Woman in The Dunes by Kobo Abe
Will christopher Baer