Archives for posts with tag: Favorite Books

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Excerpt from a 1958 interview George Plimpton conducted with Ernest Hemingway, published in The Paris Review.

Interviewer: Who would you say are your literary forebears, those you have learned the most from?

Hemingway: Mark Twain, Flaubert, Stendhal, Bach, Turgeniev, Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Andrew Marvell, John Donne, Maupassant, the good Kipling, Thoreau, Captain Marryat, Shakespeare, Mozart, Quevedo, Dante, Virgil, Tintoretto…Goya, Giotto, Cezanne, Van Gogh…I put in painters, because I learn as much from painters about how to write as from writers…I should think what one learns from composers and from the study of harmony and counterpoint would be obvious.

Photo: Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

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“We walked out on the veranda with our drinks and watched the afternoon traffic…I told her that Knut Hamsun had been the world’s greatest writer. She looked at me, astonished that I’d heard of him, then agreed. We kissed on the veranda, and I could smell the exhaust from the cars in the street below. Her body felt good against mine.” CHARLES BUKOWSKI, Women (Chapter 21)