Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chapters In My Life -Week 6

This week on 'Chapters In My Life', my friend and fellow blogger Aguja talks about the books that have had an influence in her life:

'As a child, I was totally absorbed in and mesmerised by fairy tales; it did not matter whether they were gruesome or romantic as I had entered into the realm of imagination and fantasy. I believe that I have carried this parallel existence – reality travelling alongside fantasy – through my life, so it has influenced both my writing and my drawing. Fairy tales were often illustrated in detail and I loved to wander through the illustrations, wondering what was 'just beyond the page'.

Adventure stories were the genre for later childhood, in particular 'The famous Five' series by Enid Blyton. My friends and I emulated the characters for our own adventures around the streets, or on the beach. And then, at thirteen, 'The lord of the Rings' by J.R.R. Tolkien and 'The Diary of Anne Frank' became my obsessions.

Later, Virginia Woolf and Alain Robbe-Grillet took over, along with plays, especially Theatre of the Absurd and Greek Tragedy. I based a painting on Ionesco's 'The Rhinoceros'.

There followed a period of Jane Austen which I read each summer, along with my older daughter; one novel after another.

I read diversely, now, and the books that draw me are those that are well written and composed; where character, description and structure meld; the words excite and challenge to create an intrinsic fabric of delight.

Throughout, from the age of five, poetry has been the greatest influence on my own words. Poetry is the essence of my 'word-stitching'. Poetry is a part of my inner being.

Did I mention 'obsession'? I used it deliberately because I am indeed obsessed by the way in which words come together to create their own world – be it the words of others, or my own.'

To view my list of 'More Than Once Books', go to my blog at:


  1. Thanks for sharing your likes (and obsessions) Aguja. I too was into fairy tales, in my case Grimm Brothers, dear help me. I have seen some of your beautiful illustrations, so I can see how you were captured by the artistry.

    I was also into Blyton, but only the Five Find-outers And Dog series (everyone says, 'Oh you mean The Famous Five', but not at all :)

    I haven't read Alain Robbe-Grillet, can you tell me a little about him?

  2. aguja for me it was the ladybird books through to the famous five into biggles and on to the hobbit and then sci-fi and then into the literature of the nineteen twenties, then the tens, then the late eighteen hundreds. now it's good writing. i'm entirely open! steven

  3. Grimm was particularly scary, Michael, more so than had I sat before horror movies, as the imagination soars. What were the Five Find-outers and dog series???

    Thank you for the illustration comment - it means a lot to me.

    Oh, yes, the Hobbit, Steven, so special.

    Thank you both for commenting and to Spangle for hosting. It is great to hear what guided others througn childhood.
    And I applaud this interesting series of posts.

  4. I was jealous of The Famous Five and their adventures :)