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Rikki Ducornet’s “Literary Pillars”

(I attempted to list the very special books that were the potencies behind my thinking as a child and young adult, and the books that both inspirited and inspired my writing years later. For example, my first four novels were written under the spell of Gaston Bachelard; Moby-Dick was my companion when I wrote The Fountains of Neptune; Lolita breathed in my ear throughout the waking dream that became The Fan Maker’s Inquisition. Omensetter’s Luck was the book that made it impossible not to become a writer; Borges, Kafka and Detienne’s beautiful study on Adonis have never left my side.)

1. Carroll: Through The Looking Glass
2. Swift: Gulliver’s Travels
3. Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel
4. Cervantes: Don Quixote
7. Dalí: Fifty Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship
8. The Brothers Grimm: Collected Fairytales
9. Dinesen: Seven Gothic Tales
10. The Arabian Nights
11. Tsao Husueh-Chin: The Dream of the Red Chamber
12. Laotse: Tao Te King
13. Melville: Moby-Dick
14. Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain
15. Ovid: The Metamorphoses
16. Kafka: The Castle 
17 Kafka: The Trial
18. Kafka: The Complete Stories
19. Jonas: The Gnostics
20. Sartre: La Nausée
21. Camus: The Stranger
22. Hedayat: The Blind Owl
23. Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling
24. Sade: Justine
25. Reage: Histoire d’O
26. Baldwin: Giovanni’s Room
27. Flaubert: Madame Bovary
28. Proust: Swann’s Way
29. Breton: Nadja
30. Nabokov: Lolita
31. Hawkes: Love, Death and the Traveller
32. Coover: Pricksongs and Descants
33. Gass: Omensetter’s Luck
34. Gass: In the Heart of the Heart of the Country
35. Asturias: The Mulatta
36. Borges: Fictions
37. Maturin: Melmoth
38. Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude
39. Calvino: Cosmicomics
39. Calvino: Six Memos for the Next Millennium
40. Bachelard: Earth and the Reveries of Repose
41. Bachelard: Water and Dreams
42. Bachelard: The Poetics of Space
43. Baltrusaitis: Aberrations
44. Detienne: Les Jardins d’Adonis
45. Verdier: Facons de dire, Facons de Faire
46. Miller: For Your Own Good
47. Mabille: Le Miroir du Merveilleux
48. Harbison: Eccentric Spaces
49. Pliny: Natural History (This is cheating!)
50. Shikibu: The Tale of Genji
 Editor’s Note: This list is part of Big Other’s Tribute to William H. Gass’s 88th Birthday.

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