Hi Everyone! Thank you for joining me today for the start of my research for my inquiry project!
Today I will be researching about the question, What influences did authors have? Specifically, what caused them to write what they did, and how were they taught to write (if they were taught at all). I want to find out all of the details about the start of their writing journey, if wealth was a factor, or if someone of a higher position/level helped them get where they are now.
When I started researching about authors, Virginia Woolf, she was a writer that never gave up because her theory was, if no one wanted to publish her book, she would do it herself. She valued her writing, and the time/effort she put into writing her books, so it was reasonable for her to push through and get her hard work published herself. (1)
Another author, one much more famous than Virginia Woolf, Mark Twain also followed the pattern of starting out small. However, he caught the attention of many because of the humour written in his books. His success started from the short story called “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog”. Therefore, this book gave him a chance to have a job from the Sacramento Union (a daily newspaper), and from there, he began writing and putting his name out there for the world to slowly recognise him. (2)
Jane Austen is also one of the most honourable mentions as she is known to be one of the first female artists to write such deep and desirable romance books, you felt as if the book was alive. She began writing to amuse herself from her “everyday” life. In all of her books, she reciprocated the love she had, into the love people who read her books yearn for. She began writing in her teenage years, and her first drafts are now known as “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice”. Her life was filled with unfortunate events, after her fathers death, but despite all of her hardships, with the support of her brother, Jane was able to anonymously publish Sense and Sensibility. She was an anonymous writer because women in her time were seen as modest and respectable people, who would listen to their father/husband, and would simply become a wife/mother later on in their life.(3) She was always seen as sensible; therefore, she wanted to keep that image. After her death, her other book, “persuasions” was published thanks to her brother. He in the book also identified that Jane was the author of her previous books, and scholars began recognising her books and appreciating how outstanding they truly were. (4)
Now to explain how authors could have possibly been “influenced”, we can analyze Oscar Wildes story, and how the mentors in his life caused an influence on his writing (only in certain ways), as well as how the current trends in his time caused his writing style to shift. Wilde was always interested in the teachings of writers John Ruskin, and Walter Pater. They had the ability of writing about something so stressful in an aesthetic calm way. They were able to write in a manner that like Jane Austen, made the books become alive. Wilde was obsessed with following the aesthetic trends happening in his era of writing, and it intrigued him how others were able to do it so easily. Wilde was guided by his friends through his writing journey. It seemed every time they would suggest him to change something, he was more passionate of fixing what they had critiqued on. He was not known on giving up on his writing as he was a narcissist. He knew his idea would always be the right one. This is what also gave his fame. Oscar Wilde was studying at Oxford, and the aesthetic movement gave him a muse to write about. He was so devoted to this movement, his fame simply followed. (5)
Though I did not highlight LOTS of authors, the stories these authors had were the most interesting to me. This shows that many from different times, from different places in the world experience the same hardships, but they all get through their struggles because the passion of their writing never stopped. It allowed for them to have a release, they were able to put their anger into words. Words that created stories we still read til today. So in a way their struggles were worth it as we still talk about Jane Austen and her stories though she passed away 206 years ago.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog! Hope to see everyone on my next post which explains how these authors saw past their struggles. This was a bit explained in this post, but I will also be going into detail about their writing struggles, and mentioning some authors books that may not have gone so well for them! Hope to see everyone next time :)!
(1) Reimann, M. (2015, December 20). How Do Famous Authors Get Their Start? Retrieved November 18, 2023, https://blog.bookstellyouwhy.com/how-do-famous-authors-get-their-start.
(2) Willaims, W. (n.d.). Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) (1835-1910). Retrieved November 18, 2023, https://house.mo.gov/FamousInductee.aspx?id=13#:~:text=Samuel%20Langhorne%20Clemens%2C%20or%20Mark,in%20papers%20across%20the%20country.
(3) Extra , H. (2016). Jane Austen: A guide to her life, books and death – plus 8 fascinating facts. Retrieved November 18, 2023, https://www.historyextra.com/period/georgian/jane-austen-facts-life-literature-pride-prejudice-novelist/#:~:text=Jane%20began%20to%20write%20as,Sensibility%20and%20Pride%20and%20Prejudice.
(4) Johnson, C., & Tuite , C. (2020). Jane Austen Was Anonymous . Retrieved November 18, 2023, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781119146896.ch24#:~:text=Summary,sense%2C%20as%20a%20public%20woman.
(5)Beckson, K. (2023). Oscar Wilde . Retrieved November 18, 2023, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Oscar-Wilde