Top 5 Favorite Literature Authors
One of my main interests has always been literature. Although I know it's unfair to even try to make a "Top 5" authors list, without citing genre, time frame or any other characteristic, I created this hub to express my sympathy for my favorite 5 authors of all time.
Any comments / thoughts will be appreciated
1. Hermann Hesse
A german-swiss poet, Hermann Hesse was born in Calw in 1877, and passed away in 1962. Amongst his greatest novels are Siddharta, Steppenwolf, and The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi). He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946; after his death, his writings were very influential to the hippie movement in the 1960's. Hesse himself was influenced by Goethe, Novalis, Schiller and others.
What I really like about Hesse, besides his characters, is the author's constant search for one's authentic being, and the ways he explores spirituality. Also, the fact that he firmly opposed the Nazi Regime during his lifetime.
One of the first novels I read was Steppenwolf. The main character, Harry Haller, was very appealing to me because of his personality and aura. Later on, in the novel, I was inclined to think he was homosexual, although Hesse never clearly stated so. I also read Demian (Emil Sinclair), in which the main characters (Demian and Emil) seemed like youngs Harry Hallers to me.
Hermann Hesse's novels
2. Milan Kundera
Czech author (Brno, 1929) living in France since 1975 due to exile. His most famous books are The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke and The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Most of Kundera's work aim to understand the dilemma of the immigrant and to condemn totalitarianism in all its forms.
I probably have four of five of his novels, reading chapters between lunch. I first bought Slowness (1995), to later acquire The Joke, Immortality, The Book of L&F and his last essay, The Curtain.
In his writings, it seems to me Kundera expresses rage regarding his banning and exile from his loved country. He also seems very influenced by Kafka, Goethe and other german authors. For what I recall, most of the 20th century European countries were heavy influenced by both Germany and Russia.
Kundera is a prolific writing, and a perennial candidate to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Maybe his convictions (expressed in his writings) have made the Swedish Committee to not award him with the Prize, but I still keep hope he will win it eventually. Hopefully before he dies.
Milan Kundera's Books
3. Julio Cortázar
Argentinian (born in Belgium) author of novels and short stories, who influenced an entire generation of novelists (including me!). His most important novels are Rayuela (Hopscotch), Bestiario and Historias de Cronopios y de Famas.
Cortazar showed such an imagination and creativity in his novels, that if you want to read something truly genuine before you die, read Julio's novels. At first, his novels might seem inexplicable and difficult to read, but if you understand his political surroundings, they will be clearly revealed.
If you also want to get a laugh, read Historia de Cronopios y de Famas (can't recall the name in English). Cronopios and Famas are two kinds of living creatures conceived by Julio. These stories are full of imagination and humor.
Although Cortazar never won a Nobel Prize, his recognition in the literature world goes beyond the Prize.
Books by Julio Cortázar
4. Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Luis Isidoro Borges Acevedo, best known as Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina, 1899 - Geneva 1986) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. It is probably the most researched and printed author after the Bible and Shakespeare. His most notable novels include The Aleph, A Universal History of Infamy and Ficciones.
Borges was never awarded with the Nobel Prize, much to his distress. Some writers have speculated that he didn't receive it because he had accepted an honour from chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. He later quoted:
Not granting me the Nobel Prize has become a Scandinavian tradition; since I was born they have not been granting it to me
In 1955 he was appointed director of the National Public Library (Biblioteca Nacional) and professor of Literature at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).
What I really like about Borges' work is the mixture of characters and inexplicable situations, besides all the drama and fiction created by his persona. When you read the short stories in The Aleph you will be transported to his world, to his realism and to his legend. It is certainly pleasant to be in the Borges' world.
Books by Jorge Luis Borges
5. Isaac Asimov
Last, but not least, I present you Isaac Asimov, an American author and professor of biochemistry, and IMHO one of the three responsible for starting the science-fiction genre (the other two being Henlein and Clarke.
If you ever want to read good science fiction check out the Foundation Series, the Robot Series or the Galactic Empire Series. Not only Asimov wrote about SciFi, but he also has very detailed books regarding science. From my desk I'm seeing Asimov's New Guide of Science (Physical Science), which I still use to explain my daughter the basic concepts of science.
I once asked my father (a SciFi fan) what does the Foundation resemble? We both agree it's very much like the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Anyhow, I still keep the 3 volumes of this magnificent series, besides the Prelude to Foundation.