Writers who shaped the consciousnesses, and influenced the styles, of Scholars and Rogues.
F. Scott Fitzgerald for his prose style — Ernest Hemingway for his prose style — Thomas Wolfe for his prose style
Jane Austen for her prose style — Doris Lessing for her prose style — Shirley Barker for her prose style
John Lennon for his prose style — Richard Brautigan for his prose style — Thomas Pynchon for his prose style
Norman Maclean for his prose style — Peter Handke for his prose style — Albert Camus for his prose style
More than anything else, I’m attracted to great prose style…
A. Nicholas Cargo
While I’ve done a lot more writing than reading in my time, of the few I could read cover-to-cover are Vonnegut, Orwell and Hunter S. Thompson. I thrive on chlorophyll wrought from literary photosynthesis, if you will — blinding light shone down on tyranny, idiosyncrasy, hypocrisy and stupidity.
Charlotte Bronte, speaking through Jane Eyre, who was immune to the coercion of situation and history. Not immune to passion or pity or the call of duty, but instinctively resistant and thoughtfully opposed to the imposition of external ideas onto her own judgment. She examined systems of thought, accepted those parts that seemed just to her and granted others the right to make those same decisions for themselves.
P.G. Wodehouse, whose humor always began with his own foibles. He was clear-eyed and gentle at the same time, even with aunts, and funnier than anyone before or since.
Vladimir Nabokov, for sheer delirious delight in the possibilities of language and the seductive power of words.
And Toni Morrison, because she approaches her prose like poetry, ruthlessly cutting away the unnecessary until what remains is exactly and only what needs to be.