intothewood: (Salinger)
[personal profile] intothewood posting in [community profile] writerslounge


This is a fun interview with Henry Miller. As some of you know, I’m crazy about his writing. The writer is awe inspiring, but I’ve had some problems with the person. Quite frankly, he’s a dick. But as I found out in this video, he’s a charming dick.

It’s shot almost entirely in his bathroom, where he has hundreds of pictures, postcards and other things displayed on his walls. He’s talking about these images, and it reveals a lot about him as well.

One of the best things I discovered was his admiration of another author, Blaise Cendrars. He said he’d most like to write like him. I’d never heard of Cendrars, so I looked him up and found several things, including a prose poem, Trans-Siberian. I can see how this man’s style had a big influence on Miller.

I’m thrilled with this. When I read something truly inspiring, I always assume that the author’s style is completely unique, born out of their genius. It’s daunting. I find it very comforting to know that everyone is inspired by someone else. Sounds obvious, but when you’re choking on Shakespeare it’s hard to remember that Wm. was influenced by… someone. I dunno, maybe Christopher Marlowe.

So, here’s my question: what writers, painters, musicians and other artists inspire you?

Aside from Henry Miller (I love his rambling, flowing prose and the way he can take very base subjects and make them beautiful) these others have an influence on my own writing:

Edith Wharton – adore her clean, precise prose. Something I aspire to, will probs never reach.
James Joyce, Jean Paul Sartre – two more insidious wanderers who play with prose so wonderfully.
Van Gogh – I love the thick slaps of paint he applied, it almost makes his paintings stand out in relief. His style is very bold and in-your-face, but refinement is definitely there in the details.
Picasso – all those distorted swirls and angles are like painted stream of consciousness.

As for music, there’s so much, I can’t begin to name everything. Basically, music is the mood in what I’m writing, and of course the mood changes. But if I were to choose just one band, It’d be The Cure, and their album, Faith. That’s my youth, all angst and lament. It calls to the little goth inside who is still my muse.

Come on, share your stylistic inspirations!

Date: 2012-05-09 10:38 pm (UTC)
leia_solo: a spread of tarot cards on a table (thornton and margaret)
From: [personal profile] leia_solo
Writing wise I can definitely say Jane Austen has influenced the way I write. Other writers that have majorly influenced me are Shakespeare of course. Dorothy Parker, Charlotte Bronte, George R.R. Martin and J.K. Rowling right off the top of my head.

Music is another big influence, though I can't pinpoint a particular artist. It was a song that got me back into writing a year ago haha.

Date: 2012-05-09 11:41 pm (UTC)
leia_solo: a spread of tarot cards on a table (madonna)
From: [personal profile] leia_solo
No not at all. It was "Like A Virgin" by Madonna. I was listening to it and suddenly an idea for a fic (fan for this particular one) popped into my head and I thought: hey why not write it out? Since then I've written more fanfic, but I'm really into writing my original stuff right now.
From: [personal profile] revolutemind
I, too, count Miller among the authors that influenced the living shit out of me. I pretty much owe any write-bone I've acquired to the Beats.

I'm a little abashed to admit belonging to the Bronte Sister Book Club, but I do.

Artistically, I'm either Johnny Gothic (twenty-five foot tall religious figures lording it over the Little Man) or Mister Modern where it's all theatre of the mind. I have a soft spot for Matisse.

When I write, I listen to pickers. Old Springsteen, Delta Blues, Leonard Cohen...the last mostly due to the face that I'd like to end up an old gravel-man in a cheap suit.




One thing that always surprises me: if you're fortunate enough to catch an author fessing up to their influences, more often than not you'll be pleasantly surprised. I'd have never heard of Carson McCullers if Bukowski hadn't plugged her in some one-off I came across. It beats the Amazon Recommendobot.

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