Have any quotes from books that inspired your own style or your story’s scenes? If not quotes, maybe a writing style or an idea or character?
I was inspired by Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac translated by Henry Reed. I gave it away after reading it for literature class in college. I should never have given it away. I looked at other translations, but it didn’t give me the same feeling.
It had to be this particular Balzac-Reed combo. So, I hunted down the exact same version and ordered it.
This is a book, among others, that inspired my lit fic omniscient magick realism Victorian-Edwardian-esque story about a rich family’s demise and the complementary duology about a demon and two seers in 1850s USA that followed.
I thought it would be interesting to revisit the book and see where and how I was inspired.
Pere Goriot: Quotes from Chapter 1
“…the reader’s mind must be prepared by dark colors and solemn thoughts: he must be made to feel like the traveler going down into the catacombs, the daylight fading step by step, the drone of the guide becoming steadily hollower. A true comparison! Who is to decide which is the grimmer sight: withered hearts, or empty skulls?”
“…the reeking misery of the room, where all hope and eagerness have been extinguished, and whose stifling, fetid air [Madame Vauquer] alone can breathe without being sickened.”
From my story:
Inspired "The Facade of Quad in Nimrod"
“In the country of Lwendolen lay the once grand city of Nimrod that was the birthplace of King Knimrod II, but only the deteriorating lip-gumming old folk remembered the truly grand days. Today, egotistical rich men and painted ladies were the upper crust, the cream of society, and a true snob mob that sat atop their imaginary thrones.”
"Below them lurked the designated poor and, further down, those unofficially classified as Failures crawled at the feet of everyone. These Failures were at most from the middle class but never the upper class.
“It was fine if such Failures learned—somehow—to stand up on their own two feet like a newborn colt standing on wobbling legs, but not always was the case. Such deadbeat, incompetent, good-for-nothings—as the rest of society saw them—often ended up in a strange old city commonly referred to, by both Nimrod citizens and the denizens that resided in this god-forbidden place, as Mourning.”
Pere Goriot: Quote from Chapter 4
“The next morning Paris was cloaked in one of those thick fogs that envelop and darken it so completely that the most punctual folks are deceived by the weather. Business appointments are missed. Everyone thinks it’s eight o’clock as midday strikes.”
From my story:
Inspired "Alive At Crepusculum"
"All was asleep in Lupine as the gloom of daylight barely rose beyond the four-story brick banks and the looming old bell tower that sat tall and stiff in the middle of the dirt-road square. All was hushed and passive. Roads were empty of people but littered with old newspaper, cigarettes, napkins, pair-less gloves, and a lady’s knickers. Even a lost horseshoe lay in the middle of the road alongside the taverns and cafés. Such public places had snoring drunkards sleeping with their mouths hanging open, drooling whatever they had to drink. The poor bar owner who has to clean up someone else’s muck each day? Well, hat’s to you, sir or ma’am.
“Along the dirt roads of Lupine came a breeze from the north, pushing away the litter and the lady’s knickers, making dust curl up like smoke. The breeze permeated the brick-laden city and down darkened garbage-filled alleys where rats squeaked and scurried away, their yellow eyes gleaming and noses twitching, ever searching to satisfy famished stomachs.”
The book is really good at using scenes to show the atmosphere of the story. How dark and depressing it might be but that there are still moments of light, tiny hints that it’s not all bad. And Balzac also sets the tone of the story. It first sounds like it’s going to be deadpan and depressing, but then he introduces these unique and colorful characters that add contrast to the atmosphere.
It’s pretty dark and depressing, but entertaining and beautiful at the same time.
Am I sounding like a book nerd? XD I’m rarely inspired by books and rarely feel like rereading specific scenes, so it’s special and exciting to revisit. And of course, I wondered if any of you have similar experiences. Tell me about them