Friday, April 29, 2011

120 Influences—An Introduction

In the next 13 posts and over the next two-and-a-half months on WORDS ON THE LINE, I will discuss major influences on my thinking throughout my life. I will group ten of each in the following categories:

  • Part 1: Essayists

  • Part 2: Novelists

  • Part 3: Poets

  • Part 4: Dramatists

  • Part 5: Screenwriters

  • Part 6: Film Directors

  • Part 7: Orators

  • Part 8: Philosophers

  • Part 9: Educators

  • Part 10: Artists

  • Part 11: Composers

  • Part 12: Musicians

I had to consider some issues in creating these lists. These 12 categories indicate the disciplines that most interest and influence me. I do not include numerous categories, such as politicians, psychologists, scientists, sociologists, and theologians, even though these categories have also had a great effect on my thinking. But some people from these disciplines appear under other categories. As examples, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, scientist Albert Einstein, and sociologist Edward T. Hall appear as essayists, and politician Barack H. Obama and theologian Martin Luther King, Jr. appear as orators. Also, I would likely place into two categories some influences, such as Duke Ellington (composer and musician), Harold Pinter (playwright and screenwriter), Robert Penn Warren (essayist and poet), and Allan Watts (essayist and philosopher); however, I limit these influences to the one discipline in which they had the greatest impact on me.

Books by Philip Vassallo