I’m sort of nibbling through this four-volume set of Paris Review interviews, a Christmas gift from my sister–a few pages while I wait for water to boil, a few more when I’m making a lesson plan, etc. One of the biggest things I miss about living in NYC is subway-reading, and these interviews would be great such material. Anyway, when asked “What writers have influenced you the most?”, Truman Capote answers that he’s “never been aware of direct literary influence,” and instead talks about his literary “enthusiasms”:
“Between thirteen and sixteen are the ideal if not the only ages for succumbing to Thomas Wolfe–he seemed to me a great genius then, and still does, though I can’t read a line of it now. Just as other youthful flames have guttered: Poe, Dickens, Stevenson. I love them in memory, but find them unreadable. “
He goes on to cite Flaubert, Chekhov, Forster, Proust, and a few others as being his “constant[s].”
I’m wondering: who are the writers that you love in memory, but now find unreadable? I have a feeling that my list may be quite long.