where the writers are

Favorite Authors

Some who have helped to shape my attitude ...

My first two loves upon being thrown from college into the real world:

- Sherwood Anderson: "In telling tales of themselves people constantly spoiled the tale in telling. They had some notion of how a story should be told got from reading. Little lies crept in. They had done something mean and tried to justify some action that for the tale's sake did not need justification." (A Story Teller's Story)

- Paul Auster: "Never before have I been so aware of the rift between thinking and writing. For the past few days, in fact, I have begun to feel that the story I am trying to tell is somehow incompatible with language, that the degree to which it resists language is an exact measure of how closely I have come to saying something important and then when the moment arrives for me to say one truly important thing, I will not be able to say it." (The Invention of Solitude)

Flannery O'Connor; Barry Hannah:
Lingual redeemers.

Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera:
Bohemians; my blood; of the land of Liquid Bread.

Robinson Jeffers:
Indifference as radicalism. Indifference is beauty.

Denis Johnson:
"Did God really kill Himself?" (Resuscitation of a Hanged Man)

Laura (Riding) Jackson, James Wright:
I like my whiskey neat, my logic smoky.

Wendell Berry:
Please read What Are People For?

Bob Hicok:
I discovered Hicok back in 1992 when I came across his first book, Bearing Witness (regrettably no longer in print), in the window of an indie bookstore here in Chicago. His voice did not judge me; never has.

Chester Himes, Hunter S. Thompson, Etheridge Knight, Sam Shepard:
Casual loomers.

Influences

I understand the fact that the intellect and the imagination play essential roles in one's appreciation of literature. But let's face it; the imagination consistently proves itself as being the more responsible witness, the more just and intuitive jury, the less televised courtroom. The imagination acknowledges that the human spirit is the unending catharsis of literature - the imagination has long since made the human spirit its main subject of expression, and vice versa. Contrarily, the intellect is more inclined to be politicized - the intellect remains too controlled by the various forces of social trends to ever comprehend and elucidate the human spirit with the appropriate amount of respect. ... Between the intellect and the imagination, I vote for irreverence. ~J.H.