Most of my family is fond of books and obviously we’d all been buying too many books for years. All my grandparents were keen on reading ; They were eclectic in their readings, but they were directive toward the must-read books. I’ve been taught how to read at 3 and basically begun to be a true reader around 7. I had so many books in my grandparents’ shelves that any guidance was welcomed. I read classic French literature, then British, Irish, Russian, Hungarian and Italian too. Any regional book was supposed to be read too. For instance, my grandfather on my mother’s side had roots in Périgord and any author related to this part of France had to be read : Eugène Le Roy, François Mauriac, Mounet-Sully, Melle d’Hautefort, Paul Costes, Alfred de Vigny (whom lived nearby Saint Martial in the Maine Giraud, close to Blanzac, Charente) etc. I was very enthusiastic to discover such authors, but my liking went to British and Russian literatures.
About French Literature, it turned that I much preferred poets to writers. Not mainly actually. I like Rimbaud, Villon, Baudelaire and Verlaine, but also Chateaubriand, Musset, Sand, Rabelais, Du Bellay, La Bruyère, Racine, and Verne.
“Ecrivez pendant que vous avez du genie, pendant que c’est dieu qui vous dicte et non la mémoire” Sand.
About British Literature, I fancied reading Chaucer, Kyd, Milton, Shakespeare, Defoe, Taylor Coleridge, Austen, Lord Byron, Keats, Dickens, Bronte (both sisters), Wilde, Kipling, Tolkien, & Sharpe. They were total opposite sometimes in the period of time and writing but so fascinating to me. Of course, some became my true favorites and I am still reading them with this awesome delighted pleasure. Keats, Milton, Dickens & Sharpe (Tom) are the most treasured books I own.
“Même en Enfer, régner est digne d’ambition, mieux vaut régner en Enfer que de servir au Ciel” Milton
About Russian Literature, I guess that I had no choice but reading the most influent authors : Soumarokov, Emine, Pouchkine, Gogol, Tolstoï, Dostoïevski, Tourgueniev, Tcheckhov, Maïakovski, and Blok. Here again, some became my main interests like Tolstoï, Maïakovski and Tourgueniev.
“Il n’y a d’existence sur terre que pour les originaux. Seuls ils ont droit à la vie » Tourgueniev
About Hungarian Literature, the only one left in my memory was poet Janos Arany. And Italian author Dante was my favorite.
“Depth must be hidden. Where ? On the surface.” Arany
“Que les gens ne montrent pas trop d’assurance dans leurs jugements, comme celui qui, dans un champ, estime les blés avant qu’ils ne soient mûrs. » Dante
About Irish Literature, I cannot imagine my reader life without Muldoon, Beckett, Yeats, Swift, Kickham, Joyce, McLiam Wilson (even though he was born in Northern Ireland), O’Brien & O’Faolain.
“La loi est un labyrinthe et les malins apprennent à s’en servier.” O’Brien.
I need to add more recent writers such as De Peretti, Eldrich, and Hornby. I read about 4 books a month but I would love to be able to read more, which I can't due to my extra activities of photographing, writing, reviewing and travelling.
All those writers mean a million to me because most of them captured my way of thinking and a few lead me to start writing novels and poems. I was about 10 when I decided to write. It came to my mind after reading, again, a Jules Verne. I was astonished how Verne made me travelled and how a book can isolate you from the reality whilst reading. I’ve never stopped writing so far. I feel like happily alive whenever I take a pen and that I write down words. Yes, indeed, I still write down words, not typing them on a computer. I can’t. Still, I type the novel when it is finished but it is not easy for me. Articles, reviews, blog papers are not literature to me and it is easier to type them directly on my laptop, but novels are too important to be treated that way.
You can call me crazy, that is !