makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Today, I was reminded of an odd little exercise I did back in November 2010. It was one of those Facebook shares that sometimes prove irresistible:

Fifteen Authors
The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

This was my list, which I seem to recall typing one-handed, while breastfeeding my son:
 
Virginia Woolf
Salman Rushdie
Michel Faber
Annie Proulx
Tim Winton
Charles Dickens
William Shakespeare
Sylvia Plath
Maggie O'Farrell
A.S. Byatt
Richard Flanagan
Hilary Mantel
Emily Bronte
Angela Carter
Toni Morrison

I thought it would be interesting to write another list this evening and see how they compared (the purple names are those that appear in both):

William Shakespeare
Joan London
Maggie O'Farrell
Tim Winton
Hilary Mantel
Virginia Woolf
Rose Tremain
J.D. Salinger
Kate Atkinson
Charles Dickens
Angela Carter
Helen Garner
Emily Bronte
Salman Rushdie
Sylvia Plath
 
There are two writers who I hadn't read back then - Joan London and Helen Garner - but who I have since discovered and found hugely inspiring. Rose Tremain, J.D. Salinger and Kate Atkinson have been favorites of mine for a long time, but for whatever reason, didn't make it into the previous list. If I could include two more, Richard Flanagan and A.S. Byatt would have to be added back in because they are both brilliant writers, whose work I love. Initially I was surprised by a few of mine, but upon reflection, I think it's an interesting mix of male and female, historical and contemporary, literary and commercial, with writers originating from Australia, America, India and the UK. I wonder how it will evolve over the next five years...




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