Influential Works, Intro

January 30, 2020
2 mins read

It’s important, especially for younger creatives, to build your foundation on the rock of civilization rather than the sands of pop-culture. There is a place for the latter, but you need to know where you stand. This is in no way chronological, it’s simply going to be a series that I’ll add to whenever I think about it. I encourage other literate friends and readers to engage in comments. Bear in mind that my comments are moderated and your comment may not immediately appear.
I’m not going to give you a massive reading list, although over the course of this, such a list might emerge. Nor is this a high-brow study of each work–although I might go there from time to time, it’s just not the goal. Instead I’ll tell you about books here and there, a few thoughts, and hope you take my recommendations to heart, find some new books to read, and enhance your creative abilities.
When I was a child, I was homeschooled and read many books, and in early high-school, I suppose about 13-14 years old, we had a course on “Biblical Allusion” and how The Bible was referenced in various works, ranging from the obvious like Dante’s Inferno  to Star Trek. It was interesting enough for me at the time, and the lessons there have been useful in the 20-odd years since.
The Bible will be referenced quite frequently in this series, and as it is the bedrock of our civilization, is thus the most important book you can possibly read if you’re in the creative fields. You don’t even have to believe it, just read it, otherwise most of the literature worth reading of the past 2000 years will make little sense to you. If you haven’t read The Bible, get on that. Old and New Testament. I encourage everyone read it through, at least once, from a literary perspective, not a faith-based perspective (I am a Christian, but a “dry” reading of it can really open things up in the Book. No pun intended.)
The Bible is everywhere. But people who can wield it competently in the creative fields are becoming ever more marginalized, and more worrisome–and annoying–is that so few mainstream creatives even know anything about the Bible. Even from a secular, literary perspective as above.
So, for this small corner of the internet, we’ll be going through all sorts of books and perhaps later into music and movies. But if you haven’t read The Bible, this series might not do you much good. Even when the books don’t have anything to do with The Bible or reference it explicitly. Genesis 1:1 is a good place to start.
In any case, this is just an introduction to what this series will be. Again, I’m not going to keep to a schedule on this one, it’ll just depend on what’s going on at any particular time. But it will be useful for those of you who have not had an education grounded in the Western Canon.

Ian McLeod is an author and entrepreneur from the humid depths of Dixie. His books include the pop-satire DARWINVERSE series, and three books of poetry--BILGE PUMP OF A TURGID MIND, VALVE COVER GASKET OF THE ENGINE OF DESPAIR, and LAUNCH EVERYTHING; LET GOD SORT IT OUT

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