THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WRITER
OF THE 20TH CENTURY
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Joyce and Mann may have been better writers
but Saroyan was more influential than both.
Of the many interviews with contemporary writers
that I have read, the name that comes up again and again
in the context of formative influences
is that of Saroyan.
Thatís because, like Whitman before him,
Saroyan democratized writing.
After reading him one is intoxicated
by the simplicity, spontaneity and natural flow of his prose.
If Saroyan makes an adolescent say
"If he can do it, I can. There is nothing to it!"
Joyce and Mann make him think:
"I will never make it.
I could never write like that."
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