Saturday, December 17, 2011

Obsessions


There are a lot of people that spend their lives writing/talking/thinking about another person. This is especially true of scholars. Norman Sherry has spend his life writing about Graham Greene for instance. Similarly there are people who are obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lyndon Baines Johnson (Caro), John Adams (McCullough). And on and on. Countless scholars have studied every move Shakespeare made.

What person could inspire that devotion in you? Who's interesting enough to write books about in your opinion.

Who comes closest to being your obsession?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't think of anyone. I've always been a 'jack of all trades' type rather than having a single interest, whether person or otherwise.

If I were, however, Hemingway is one person who comes to mind as a possibility. I think what went wrong was always inside him - look at his family - yet he did so much in his life, love him or hate him.

I liked the way Woody Allen wrote him in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.

Jeff M.

Walker Martin said...

I'm also obsessed by Hemingway and I've read and reread his books many times, especially THE SUN ALSO RISES and some of the short stories.

But right now I'm obsessed by H.L.Gold, the editor of GALAXY SF during 1950-1960. I'd love to see a book examining his influence on SF.

Heath Lowrance said...

My wife is obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald, and some of that has rubbed off on me. But I also have mild obsessions with Mark Twain, Flannery O'Connor, Dashiell Hammett, and Jim Thompson.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have always been obsessed with Fitzgerald and Zelda. Has she read her book SAVE ME THE WALTZ-quite good.
I am always interested in circles of artistic types: the New England Circle including the Alcotts, Hawthorne, Thoreau; the Bloomsbury group, the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein, etc.
In the crime field, Simenon interests me a lot. As well as the Millars.

James Reasoner said...

I don't know that I'm obsessed with any writers, but there are several who have interested me enough to write about them, foremost among them Robert E. Howard. The others were all pulp writers as well, most of them in the Western pulps.

Heath Lowrance said...

Ahh, REH... when I first discovered him, I admit I went a bit crazy for his work and read probably a couple hundred stories from him. And Patti, yeah, it's the Scott-Zelda relationship that intrigues Kim so much, and the fact that Zelda herself was so fascinating. I've always thought someone should write a screenplay about the weekend that Scott and Bud Schulberg spent together, late in Scott's career. What a great story that would be.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, I've written quite a lot about Robert E. Howard. James Reasoner and I have been in the Howard groups together. I'm still one of the editors for a magazine about Howard, so I guess he fits the bill.

Chris Rhatigan said...

Interesting question. I would actually say no one sparks that kind of interest for me. Not sure why. I rarely ever want to know more about an author than what their work says.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That is definitely a post-modern response to the question.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Simenon is another one and like Hemingway he had a rather distasteful private life.

I've always been interested in people who live very long lives and continue to be active in their fields, whether it is writing or acting or politics or whatever.

Jeff M.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - What a great question! Hmmm.... I find Benjamin Franklin utterly fascinating. I could read a lot about him. That said, though, I'm not sure I'd describe myself as obsessed.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

When it comes to literature it would probably have to be authors like Greene, Anthony Burgess, Harlan Ellison or Tolstoi, whose lives were almost as interesting as their work. At the movies it will probably always be, for me, a toss up between Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Powell. Their works seem so powerful that I find it takes me quite a while to come down and shift on to somebody else - thankfully I always do as otherwise that obsession really would kick in!

Chad said...

I think you know mine.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Frankly, Chad, you are what made me think of the topic.
Greene is a great one. Why Franklin never ran for president---guess he was too old but he ran all over France for the U.S.

David Cranmer said...

Hemingway, Chandler, and Twain for me. With Ross Macdonald very close to the top as well.

Jerry House said...

With Christmas a week away, I'm going to say my wife. I know what side my bread is buttered on.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I assume she's a late shopper.
Good picks, David. Bios of all of them in the last years have been illuminating.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

The Wire and The West Wing.

I frequently use it as an example of what I mean. It became a baseline for so much of what cafe after.

Writing lessons, character development, character interactions. Character consistency.

There is so much going on there.

Yvette said...

I've always been fascinated (maybe not totally obsessed with, but close) by Winston Churchill.

Abraham Lincoln is another.

...and so is Rex Stout.

Al Tucher said...

Lincoln for me also. I think you can count on your fingers the historical figures who were improved by power, and he is one of them.

Cap'n Bob said...

I wouldn't call it an obsession, but I have studied and read extensively on the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and Custer by extension.

I do have an obsession for the girl in the T-Mobile commercials, however.