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!
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February 2013

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