Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Samuel R. Delany's Literary Pillars

In the spirit of the season, here's a link to a highly eclectic book list composed by a writer who bears a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. Samuel R. Delany, literary novelist, critic, teacher, and living legend of American science fiction, submitted this list to the blog Big Other back in July as part of BO's (there's something I like about those initials...) birthday celebration for William H. Gass (speaking of living legends). Inspired by Gass's essay "Fifty Literary Pillars" (collected in A Temple of Texts), Delany lists some of the books and texts that, he writes, "if I hadn’t read and reread over the years, I wouldn’t be myself." So I suppose we should consider this a list of the books that 'chose' Delany rather than ones he chose. An excellent criterion, and a very interesting, surprising list that doesn't contain too many of the usual literary suspects. Check it out. (And note that #32 on the list is Delany's former spouse.)
Samuel R. Delany

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