OK, so your first response to the title was that this would be a blog devoted to pretentious crap. I hope it's not. Life's too short. All those millions of words on top of all the books that must be read. All the twittering and the frantic desire to answer the question 'What are you doing?' So that everything (as it should be) is experienced as the constant present. No duration, no sequence to things, just the perpetually renewing now. Hence the 'existential' tag. Not only are we always poised on this shifting point between past and present, but we throw out isolated thoughts and opinions, fragments of moments which give 'les autres' plenty of ammunition for their judgements of us. So we add to the 'enfer' which they represent and deliver. Hmmm, I thought I said this wasn't going to be pretentious crap - well, it's not. I actually believe this stuff. It's great. Those who despair at Sisyphus's acceptance that as soon as he gets to the top he'll have to start all over again should buy him a drink instead, and admire his balls for persevering. Laugh at - or, rather, with - life as much as possible. Godot will never come but it's great to have the chance just to wait.
But anyway, why am I adding to all those words I was complaining about? Well, I was tagged to give a list of the 25 authors who've most influenced me and I needed a place to do it. I have a website (www.bill-kirton.co.uk) but prefer to keep that just for specifics about my books. So I'm inflicting this on an already over-worded world.
The list is: Flaubert, Stendhal, Molière, Thomas Hardy, Beckett, Victor Hugo, Byron, Zola, Ruth Rendell,Stephen King, Tom Sharpe, Terry Pratchett, Joseph Heller, Edgar Allan Poe, Harold Pinter, Baudelaire, Sartre, Camus, Ionesco, Peter Cook, Spike Milligan, William MacIlvenny, Racine, David Mitchell, Michel Faber