Last night, I bought this poster by backing a kickstarter project 🙂
That lead me to wonder about about authors and books. So I compiled a list of writers who have helped in shaping my current state of mind and here it is (the order has no significance):
- Joseph Conrad
- Housain Barghouthi
- Mahmoud Darwish
- Albert Camus
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko
- Nâzım Hikmet
- Haruki Murakami
- Roberto Bolano
- Youssef Rakha
Reading this list I was surprised by the following observations:
- First, Only three wrote in Arabic (My mother tongue).
- Second, there is no English writers although I mostly read in English. (Joseph Conrad wrote in English but it was his second language)
- Third, there are more poets than I thought there will be.
- Forth, I have read only one book by three of them and yet they had enough influence on me to be in this list.
- Fifth, None of them is a Libyan
- Sixth, Non-fiction writers are absent
- Seventh, Omar Khayyám is not here, that means it is time to revisit him.
I am sure if I re-write this list next year few names will drop and others will appear, some of the names are here because I have discovered them recently and some are here even though I have not read anything by them for years. I came across quit a few interesting and wonderfully written books during the last years but the list above is not about that.
It is about those few who had astonished me into metamorphosing, some of writers are not the craftiest novelists or poets, for example Housain Barghouthi’s “Blue light” does not stand up to the standards of plot and conventional story telling but after reading it for the first time more than 10 years ago I became a different person.
I would like to think that my mind is not as rigid as it may be and that the hunt will forever continue for an astonishing book.