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Thread: Most influential books in your life

  1. #16
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    May 2019
    I'd list the following two:

    (i) The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

    (ii) Life Is Elsewhere by Milan Kundera

    Incidentally, both happen to be about poetry and what it means to be a poet.

  2. #17
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
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    As a teenager I was greatly affected by Great Expectations, A Prayer for Owen Meanie, and The Left Hand of Darkness. I read most of Dostoevsky's major novels when I was 14 after picking up The Idiot in the school library. I found Anna Karenina quite moving at 16. My parents did not allow me access to internet during high school so I used to read a novel every 2-3 days. I have a collection that claims to be the most anthologized poems of the 20th century that I got at a second hand shop, I used to read that one quite regularly.

    When I got older I think Achebe's Things Fall Apart really excited me when I first read it. I'm teaching it in summer school this year and hope it goes well (I dumped Catcher in the Rye in favor of it, though I think Catcher is a fine book).

    I wrote my MA thesis on Eliza Haywood's Fantomina and Defoe's Roxana. I'm completing my dissertation on female narrators in early prose, which means I read a lot of Haywood, Defoe and Richardson.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

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