Odious and Peculiar
Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.
O&P's Current Pick:
Monday, March 29, 2010
The Querencia folks have a fun meme going: name the ten books which had the biggest influence on you. Influence is an interesting question, since influences are decidedly not the same as favorites. I think my list would have to run as follows (roughly chronological in my life):
J.R.R. Tolkein, Lord of the Rings: I'm not ashamed to be a nerd. And quite a lot of my personality is in there: philology, history, myth and epic, ethnography, poetry, Old English/Norse influence, a sense of loss of the old wonders, wilderness, mountains, rivers. I just re-read it and I still love it.Interesting to note that only two (Huxley and Mozart) had anything to do with school, and Mozart is the only entry from the St. John's College program. Orthodoxy is notably absent, but not everything is about books; a few books were mildly influential there, but nothing was decisive. At least eight remain favorites, which is nice (might have to revisit Brave New World). All the other favorites wouldn't be favorites without these.
Honorable mentions: The New World by Frederick Turner: sci-fi can be so much more than gadgetry. Also, David Roberts and Craig Childs: outdoor adventure for people whose brains outmass their other glands. And of course Bodio, though I had the good fortune to get him through spoken word and excellent dinners more than through printed pages. And I have him to thank for four of the listed ten.
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