Friday, June 10, 2011

The LitBlogHop(The Blue Bookcase)

The Blue Bookcase have once again thrown out a question with the aim of stimulating  conversation and debate amongst their fellow bookfiends. This idea of seeking out the opinion of their peers helps build and maintain a community of people that share a passion for literature in all it’s varied guises, for that I offer my hearty thanks. Now to the serious stuff. The Question ……


“What other outside influences affect your reading experience? Do you think these influences enhance or detract from the experience?”


This initially stumped me, the phrase “what other” had me reappraising previous questions in search for an answer, before coming to the conclusion that this could be answered as a continuation of a past question, that Megan was widening the debate on the influences that can affect your reading, or the decision on what you read. So in that light I read the question as….


What Influences affect your Reading experience (Social, cultural etc.), do these influences enhance or detract from the experience?


Now I think I've discussed before that my path through Literature was a series of stepping stones, that without a formal guide, my influences were the authors I read, this I described as the path of the autodidact, the self taught, or to be precise my teachers were the books I read and following that reasoning the authors, as one writer would introduce me to another in a trail that continues to this day. As to whether this has been an enhancement to my reading experience, well the answer has to be a resounding yes, or to put it more emphatically YES, without that influence I wouldn't be reading the range of writers I read today, in fact I wouldn't be writing this post for my Blog, which leads me to other outside influences, well again that’s an easy answer, the majority of the people that are now reading this, are my external influences, my love of world literature was a mere seedling, till I discovered Lit-Blogs, which gave me the knowledge & impetus to start my own, placing me in the position of asking this question to a writer, in fact the author behind my last post - Tomorrow Pamplona, written by Jan Van Mersbergen, How’s that for enhancing my experience, so the question I asked Jan, who was here as part of the………


Tomorrow Pamplona Blog Tour 2011, 1st Gig.


What Influences affect your Reading experience (Social,cultural etc) Do these influences enhance or detract from the experience & specifically how do they feed into your own writing?



Difficult question. I just can see that for writing reading is the most important thing. You need to find out how other writers build up a novel, what they tell and more important, what they don't tell. What they hide. I guess reading is influenced by your background, because people who grew up with books and reading often like to read when the are a bit older. I think a book is the same book for everyone, but everyone can make their own story out of a book. I don't really think about that when I write. Writers who think about their readers produce books with very much explanations. I like it when a book is made while reading. I let readers find out about the story and the characters. Give the reader a clue but not to much. The connections between clues are made in the head of the reader. I think everyone can do that, as long as the language is down to earth. I'm from a family of workers and farmers, from the south of Holland. We don't talk like intellectuals. I can be seen as an intellectual cause I write novels, and writing is a hard job, but from my background I cannot write in any other language than the one of my family. I don't know, maybe that's why I like American novels from the countryside...
best,
Jan


18 comments:

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I like that you've worked the author interview into your response! But I agree. Might be easier to say what *doesn't* have any effect on my reading.

LBC said...

I think it is an interesting point that reading one book often leads you to another. It's such fun to follow those sorts of reading trails.

gina said...

Yes, I liked that the interview was part of your response as well. Interesting that JVM thinks he likes American novels from the countryside because he can relate to the language, per se. I wonder if I read like that as well, where I like to read things that are familiar to me in some way. I think yes (ie novels set in the Western United States, immigrant novels of any kind, France, etc). Do you think that's a factor in what you read/enjoy, Gary?

Books lead to more books lead to like-minded people lead to more books.

Em said...

Now, I have another question for you.
How does a book lead you to another? I know you've mentioned that before, but you haven't really expanded on the question...
In the age of book blogging, I can see how that happens: I tell you I like that, you tell me to read that, and so on; but before?

Two Bibliomaniacs said...

It's so interesting to hear about the reading paths of other bloggers. Personally, the BBC Big Read list has had a significant affect on my path. After discovering the list 3 years ago my world has been opened to some great literature.

Have a great weekend!

Bellezza said...

How interesting that you asked an author, whose response sounded similar to Murakami's in that the author can't give too much away. I love it when they credit their readers with making connections on their own.

As to reading influences, I definitely agree with you about lit-blogs having a huge impact on me. I can't relate to all book blogs of course, some strike me as rather trite (which is a very rude thing to say). But the ones who write about, and read, what I like to read make a huge difference in my world. Like you, expanding me even beyond that with poems and new-to-me authors.

mel u said...

My reading experience is much like yours in someways-one book, one author, one story has always lead me to another-at times books or authors come together in ways I did not expect-for example I am now finishing up a novel by Kenzaburo Oe-An Echo of Heaven, in which the first person narrator is very into the work of Flannery O'Connor who I just started read a few months ago who I have been reading for a while-Now I see both Authors in a different way-Oe not a follower of any conventional religion and O'Connor very Catholic-

very good post on your part here-I hope to read one of your novels one day

parrish lantern said...

Hi, As the crowe flies & reads,Thanks, it just seemed to make sense, as the opportunity had arisen to speak to Jan, combining appeared obvious to me.

Hello Laura,This was the only path open to me, unless I took on some formal education & to be honest, schooling left me with a foul taste in my mouth.

Hi Gina, no I think i work from the opposite side of that argument I would need to read stuff set between the country & the sea....... now thinking about it that last phrase covers everything. So i'll start again I think I read stuff that take me away from my own day to day existence, hence the liking of J-lit and Bolano & that ilk. Also liking the "Books lead to more books lead to like-minded people lead to more books" phrase, but even that's been a recent occurrence for me, I seriously though I lived in isolation with my degree of book obsession, never having met anyone who was what I define as a bookfiend,lots of people who read a bit, but.......Imagine my delight in discovering the blogging community, it was like walking out of some vast wilderness & finding I could communicate with the folk I met.

Hello, Two Bibliomaniacs, it's amazing how individuals find different paths through the book world, like having a myriad of maps all of which are valid.

parrish lantern said...

Hi Em,it can be as simple as a writer mentioning a book, or a character in a book going on about a book, or reading that an authors work is inspired by another writer's, or for example Alberto Manguel I'd read about him from another Blogger, but what reccomended him to me was his connection to Borges,another would be George Steiner's After Babel (Aspects of Language & Translation) which was such a broad scope of a book, that to comprehend it, I read Lev Vygotsky's Thought & language, Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of space,Nicholas Denyer's language, thought & falsehood in ancient Greek philosophy, plus the works of Nietzsche, Schlegel, Holderlin, Borges etc. which all had trails of their own.Or it can simply following a nations literature via its writers, such as Camus = Sartre = de Beauvoir = ...... hope this makes it clearer


Ciao Bellezza,
Ideal Readers do not reconstruct a story,they re-create it.
The ideal Reader is the translator, able to follow to dissect the text, peel back the skin, slice down the marrow, follow each artery and each vein, and then set on its feet a whole new sentient being,The ideal Reader is not a taxidermist.
Ideal Readers do not follow a story; they partake of it. these are all quotes from Alberto Manguel that also holds to that theory, to the idea of a dialogue between the writer & the reader & that it's in that dialogue that the novel is formed.Also thanks for the compliment, but it's 2 way traffic, as you've introduced me to a lot of writers.

Hi Mel, That pretty much sums up my recent path through J-Lit and through that seeing writers that they've admired, then following the trail onwards, a good example would be Haruki Murakami & Raymond Carver, who I only knew through a couple of his poems.

Bellezza said...

Oh, Parrish, I love Raymond Carver. I have his collection of short stories, which I take out like a favorite chocolate from the box, slowly...one at a time. I had never read him until I learned that Haruki Murakami lists Carver, and Irving, as his two favorite American authors.

parrish lantern said...

Hi Bellezza,Can't remember if you have you read Jay Rubin's book on Murakami, if not it would be a great one for you, as a Murakamiphile & here's a little poem for you...

Late fragment.

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Raymond Carver.

Bellezza said...

Another beauty, Parrish. And I'm still waiting with bated breath for something you eluded to appearing at the end of the month. (Enigmatic hint accompanying an enigmatic smile.)

Tom C said...

Its always interesting to read what influences other people in their reading and your "as one writer would introduce me to another in a trail that continues to this day." is pretty much what I have found. The trail winds on through the years and has led me into many fascinating by roads.

Fascinating post

RonJoe 'Geezer' said...

Greetings from Southern California

I am your newest follower. I invite you to visit TOGB and become a follower, if you want too.

Take care and have a nice day :-)

parrish lantern said...

Hi Tom It's amazing how far you can travel following an author or book's trail.

parrish lantern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
parrish lantern said...

Hello ronjoe Geezer, thanks for the visit & the follow. Will check out your site

Bellezza said...

Hurry up June 25th! (enigmatic smile covering one of hope and mirth)