17 July 2010

I Write (/Think) Like...

I recently plugged a couple graphs of my review of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (excluding quotations, of course) into the Web site I Write Like. The humorous and perhaps unsurprising result was that I apparently write like David Foster Wallace: http://iwl.me/s/d7939cdb

Granted, I've always written in a childishly DFW-esque way; that's part of why an old writing teacher of mine recommended him to me. But I also find that an author's style will sorta bleed over into my own style--and, more disturbingly, into my internal monologue--when I finish reading a book.

Is this a common experience? I'm wondering if this shows up in book reviews often. The only time I've noticed it, actually, is in other reviews of books by David Foster Wallace. I also wonder what will happen when I finish my current book, Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible, which changes point of view (and therefore voice) every chapter. I'm preparing for a narratively schizophrenic couple of days in my head.

Thanks, Matt, for passing this tool along!


Kyle Matthew Oliver said...

Just to head off any dangling modifier jokes, that should have been "other reviews of David Foster Wallace's books" (i.e., not "book reviews written by David Foster Wallace," of which there are several that I know of, my favorites being "Authority and American Usage" [a review of a dictionary!] and "Joseph Frank's Dostoevsky" from Consider the Lobster).

Hattie said...

Yes, but DFW messed with me the most, with Hunter Thompson getting a close second - which was, obviously, a weird couple of days.