Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Fives: Authors of Legend

Paper Hangover does a fantastic job of getting my brain juices flowing even though by the end of the week I'm pretty much useless. I don't know what that says about my writing, but I think that when my brain sees the Friday Five prompt, it gets its second wind.

This week, I'm going to try and keep things simple. For one thing, I'm tired and I have a few articles to write and an interview to transcribe, but for another, sometimes I feel like an author's body of work speaks for itself and anything I may try to say is just extraneous flapping of the gums. Or in this case, flailing of the fingers.

1. Garth Nix

2. J.K. Rowling

3. J. R. R. Tolkien

4. Edgar Rice Burroughs

5. Jorge Luis Borges

Now, I know there are a few in that list that you were likely expecting me to say, but that there are also a few that some of you may not have anticipated. I like to do that every once in a while. Just to keep y'all on your toes.

It wouldn't be a Friday Five post without a little dash of Harry Potter magic, so of course Jo Rowling is on there. I've already discussed, I believe, my fascination with Garth Nix's Abhorsen series and his writing style. Tolkien is never far from my heart. No really, I have one of his books near me at all times. It's kind of freaky actually. I don't even plan it. Right now I can see The Legend of Sigurd and GudrĂșn.

As for Mr. Burroughs, he has been a favorite of mine since childhood. My great-grandfather collected his books--the stories of Tarzan, Mars, Venus, Pellucidar, and other various fantastical worlds--and when he died, my grandmother continued the tradition. Whenever I would go over to her house, I'd pick out one of Burroughs' books, and since they aren't very long, I'd finish it before I left. She says she's going to give me her entire collection one day. The thought makes me all warm inside, because, although it's not necessarily what we might call a literary tradition in the sense we know it to mean, it is a tradition of literature to me.

Mr. Borges, though, now he's a newcomer to my author shrine. I only met him through his collection of short stories, Labyrinths, almost a year ago. It was for a 400 level class and immediately upon reading the first story, I fell in love with his writing style. It is almost impossible for me to explain it, and if you haven't read anything by Borges, I know you wouldn't understand even if I tried. What the heck. I can try.

Borges writes so thoroughly that I feel as if he knew that one day I would be reading his words. It's like he's speaking directly to his audience, without speaking directly to them. This isn't working.

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges, "Poema de los Dones"

That is Borges. It's not the best that I could show, but it's just so hard to choose that I had to just pick at random. Anyway, happy Friday! Until next some Borges!


  1. I'm sure I've seen Borges' name around about, but I've never read any of his stuff. I'll remember your recommendation next time his name crops up. :)

  2. I never heard of Borges. I will have to look him up.

  3. J.R.R. Tolkien's genius and dedication to his writing was beyond staggering (actually creating languages for his people groups?!). Jo Rowling is also pretty mind-blowing as an author (she's on my list too). I haven't heard of Borges before, but will have to check him out :)

  4. Awesome choices!!! But I've never heard of Borges either. Like Jaime said above, I'll have to check him out!


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