Saturday, 11 December 2010


If I am to make a list of the works that are most important to my own writing just now, it would look approximately like this:

Primary foundation

  • Annie Dillard: Teaching a Stone Talk, Living by Fiction
  • Helle Helle: Hus og hjem, Ned til hundene
  • Thoreau: Walden
  • Sara Maitland: A Book of Silence
  • Judith Schalansky: Atlas of Remote Islands - Fifty islands I have not visited and never will

Secondary sources

  • Bill Bryson: At Home
  • Bachelard: The Poetics of Space
  • Lopate: The Art of the Personal Essay
  • Johnstone: The Everyday
  • Carol Shields: Unless

Possibilities - not yet read
Marilynne Robinson: Home, Gilded, Housekeeping
This is why I want to read Robinson:
The small town of Gilead, in which two of Marilynne Robinson's three novels are set, is "a dogged little outpost" in Iowa, where her characters live modestly and scorn themselves for staying put. They don't go anywhere, do anything, see anyone besides their neighbours, and the town itself doesn't change - an odd choice of set-up for a novelist, but one that permits her to make a suggestion: that it is people in their kitchens, devastating each other softly and for the most part without intent, that constitutes life at its most indivisible.


Andrea said...

I'd like to tell you that many of your posts inspire me, in general those concerned with writing. For example, I did not know Annie Dillard before I read about her on your site, and now The Writing Life lies upon my desk and I am sure I will learn a lot from her, which makes me very glad. So thank you very much. I hope you're having a good time with your reading and writing. Best wishes, Andrea

- said...

Hi Andrea, it’s very nice to hear that you read my blog, and great that you can find something inspiring here! I spend a lot of my time writing critiques for Norwegian newspapers and magazines, due to language none this work gets published here. This blog is reserved for all those "extra" thoughts and ideas - some of which I hope will come together in a written work some time in the future.

When it comes to Dillard and her essayistic work, which is quite personal, I find her both alluring and rather strict. I try to learn from her way of protecting her own work and her own way of working.

Hope you will enjoy her as much as I have done!