Influences

Another country heard from

Looking at others' noble lists of books that have influenced them, I suppose I ought to be embarrassed, but I find it difficult to be so.  And I'm at a loss as to explain why.  Perhaps because I truly believe that however much most of us try to hide it, men never really grow up.  What was there as a boy is there as a man buried under many layers of accumulated muck--but there nevertheless.  Wordworth's "The child is father of the man. . ."  is true in so many ways--and the child always remains with the man.  Women have observed this, sometimes contemptuously, sometimes indulgently.  But there are so many ways (at least I've observed) that it is true and perhaps even, a little, virtuous--so long as one is childlike not childish.

And another.

And another.

And I continue to grow more abashed and want to say--well, if you extended the list, of course. . .But reality--those early influences are pervasive and what I listed really did influence the way I view the world in profound, perhaps immutable (but still somewhat flexible--try that for a paradox) ways.

And later yet another.

Apparently another early reader who is profoundly aware of the influence that can and does exert.

Comments

  1. I feel a wee bit sheepish that all my choices were of the 20th century! But all the authors, or many of them, are rooted in the salutary traditions that never age.

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  2. Dear Dylan,

    Would that my own were more salutary. On the other hand, they were salutary for me because they forced a focus on the side of life beyond the merely empirical. They also contributed to a rather romantic (in the Keats/Shelley vein) streak in my personality--a streak that has served me very well over the years. So I regret none of them--or perhaps only in comparison with others with better, more substantial lists.

    shalom,

    Steven

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