As I Lay Dying – Faulkner
The structure of As I Lay Dying is inspirational to me–so simple and so solid. And the writing is such that I am drawn effortlessly through. Unforgettable characters and plot too. Faulkner’s early work like this is unearthly to me.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – Joyce
This book is mystical to me because it is right at the edge of the boundary between solidly realistic and dreamily poetic. It is so readable but at the same time so illuminating of “what lies below”, without lapsing into the incomprehensible (which much self-conscious “experimental” writing tends to do). I would love to have seen what “Ulysses” and “Finnegans Wake” would have been like if he had stayed closer to the style of “A Portrait”.
The Sound and the Fury – Faulkner
This book is on the edge similarly to “A Portrait”. I am particularly drawn to the first section probing the mind of an “idiot”. The whole book beyond that is textbook re how to control and use shifting of POV to great effect.
Ariel – Plath
This writing does not just draw you in–it grabs you and forces you in. It is actually hard for me to find words to accurately describe the way reading these verses takes me completely out of my world and into hers. And to know the life she was leading while writing these makes them absolutely sacred to me.
The Waste Land – T.S. Eliot
For me reading this is as fun as a walk in some woods I have never walked through before. And this is every time. I am probably also fascinated with the history of the author/editor relationship between Eliot and Ezra Pound and how the successive “Drafts” of the waste land evolved based on their partnership.
Jim Meirose’s short work has appeared in numerous venues, and his published novels include ‘Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection’ (Mannequin Haus), ‘Understanding Franklin Thompson’ (JEF pubs), and ‘Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer’ (Optional books). Info at http://www.jimmeirose.com @jwmeirose