The Chantal Chawaf Newsletter, Volume I, Number 2-3 (Summer-Fall 1997)
"Chawaf Discusses Her Influences,"
by Kristin Switala, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, USA
Question: Which literary texts have influenced your writing the most?
Answer: These are multiple and often unconscious influences and above all for me, what has the most influence on my language overflows the limits of books and literature, even if the reading has nourished me like mother's milk. Among the books which have counted so much for me are:
Shakespeare's Hamlet and Macbeth
Balzac's Lost Illusions
Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
Kierkegaard's Diary of a Seducer
Dostoyevsky's Brother's Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Possessed
Chretien de Troyes' Perceval
Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and August Light
Laclos' Dangerous Liasons
Proust's Remembrances of Times Past
Kafka's The Castle and The Metamorphosis
The Song of Roland
The Tales of Perrault
But in order for this list to be natural, not artificial, I could not neglect all the names which constitute my basic literature: the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, the Sumerian tablets, Claudel, Rimbaud, Charles Peguy, Colette, Poe, Malraux, Aeschylus, Charlotte Brontë, Madame d'Aulnoy, Madame d'Epinay, Racine, the tales of Grimm, and the stories of Andersen.
Back to the Table of Contents (Vol. I, No. 2-3)
Back to the Home Page