Poet Julia Cohen has been asking people for advice over at her blog, On the Messier Side of Neat:
>>I’m reading Everybody’s Autonomy by Juliana Spahr. I’m on page 14 so I have a ways to go. What I would really appreciate is if you, in the comment box, let me know which theory or philosophy book was the most transformative for you. What has most deeply impacted your way of thinking/writing? I will then read it.
Whoever recommends the book that then impacts me the most will receive a prize greater than or equal to one pound of elk meat. Ok, greater.<<
Here’s some of what’s come in so far:
Our own Mike Young got first comment, with >>The work of Emmanuel Levinas, specifically Totality and Infinity.<<
A guy named Gary McDowell suggested Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space, along with an apology that it was such a cliche choice. No shame in a crowd, Gary! I’ve read that book too.
I went on this long-winded spiel about the nature of the question, then finally got around to naming Zizek’s Puppet and the Dwarf.
Mathias Svalina of Octopus Books (and of going steady with Julia Cohen) fame, picked The Giving Tree, but then Julia said her mom thinks that book is sexist, and pointedly thanked “everyone else.” (Hmm. Did I just start an “internet rumor?” Can I classify this post under “web hype” now?)
Kitchen Press (aka Justin Marks) weighed in with this: >> Why Did I Ever, by Mary Robison. It’s marketed as a novel, i guess because she calls herself a novelist, but one could certainly argue for it as a prose poem. or lyric novel. or some mixed genre something or other.<<
And other people wrote other things too. Maybe YOU will win the elk meat?