There are always authors I can’t help but admire when they pull off that impossible kind of story that you have to give it a review of five stars to the fifth power. And then there are authors that you would die for.
Like I mentioned in the post before, there are countless authors and books I’ve encountered along my journey as a bibliomaniac, but there are precisely four people that changed the way I looked at authors, writing, and books. And I don’t mean like a normal impressed sort of changed, but the drastic manner in which one cannot stay the same after having met these people. If I recall correctly, one person expressed it as “standing on the shoulders of giants”. What other better way is there to express them? But I digress. And without further ado, I shall introduce these giants to you:
C. S. Lewis
I know, I know, I fall right into the trope of crazy Christian homeschoolers who loves C. S. Lewis from The Chronicles of Narnia to Mere Christianity to The Pilgrim’s Regress. But I simply cannot help it! Here is one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century, and one armed with classical eduation who came from an atheist background. It seems that every time I go and read his works whether it be something I’ve read before or not, I find a new insight and a brand new way of looking at the world. It is with profound respect that I would name him one of the most influential authors in my life both in literacy and in my spiritual walk.
J. R. R. Tolkien
If I named Lewis, I cannot avoid entering into the equation Tolkien. Although the first time I set my eyes on the Fellowship I closed it upon opening it, the Lord of the Rings has doubtlessly become one of those books that blasted my brain through and through. (Don’t mind my rather gory description. This is a rather normal fashion of speech to me, and you can imagine my family’s annoyance at this.) Anyhow, his prose and lyricism woven in with rich imagery is something every aspiring writers can learn from. (And don’t forget his Letters from Father Christmas!)
Now here is one of the earliest influences I had, albeit sadly many people do not recognize her. Perhaps Pipi Longstockings rings the bell. But for me, she is best known for other more obscure adventures like Detective Kalle Blomkvist…which is my favourite childhood books of all time. Unfortunately, the English translation somehow changed his name to Bill Bergson. (Imagine my rage at this. Somehow the Japanese translation with its limited sounds got it right, and English somehow didn’t.) Other works like Ronia, Mio also inspired me to keep my rather crazy adventure starving nine year old alive.
And now this one is a more recent developement among the list. Although I have not read as much of his works like the other authors on this list, you cannot possibly imagine my experience when I read Crime and Punishment for the first time. If this were to be love at first sight, I fell hard. Interestingly enough, I knew of his pesonal life better from a biography I read when I was younger, and his name stayed with me since he almost got executed by a shooting squadron. One can see how my fascination with him inceases! The one writing lesson I learned from him was how to portray dark themes from a Christian perspective, which I love to do (no matter how poorly I may do it). You cannot remain unchanged after reading him.
…And the honourable mentions of Japanese authors/composers from different eras
- Miyoko Matsutani…author of “Momo chan” series
- Osamu Dazai…author of “No Longer Human”, etc.
- Osamu Tezuka…Okay, he’s technically not an author but the “father of manga”. Yet I absolutely must mention him here.
- Ludwig van Beethoven…But really, he has his own era! And I liked him from age five, so you cannot blame me.
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky…My brother shares my fascination with him. And the cannons. You can’t forget his cannons.
- Dmitri Shostakovich…All the darkness compares with Dostoyevsky, but it’s music.
- Frederic Chopin…If you play piano, it’s impossible to skip him. Of the above composers, I have Beethoven’s and Chopin’s complete works set CD.
And I should probably stop badgering you comrades with my endless ranting of fascinations and admirations. However, it is a well-known fact that a writer in need of a well-written story must be in want of a good author they look up to. On that note, sayonara!