Woody Allen's Favourite Books

American film director traces his top literary influences
Woody Allen
Woody Allen speaks to The Browser about his literary influences and inspirations:
  • J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
  • Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe, Really the Blues
  • S. J. Perelman, The World of S. J. Perelman
  • Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner
  • Richard Schickel, Elia Kazan: A Biography
Allen on literature and love:
When it comes to romance, when it comes to love, everyone is in the same boat. The issues that Euripides and Sophocles and Shakespeare and Chekhov and Strindberg struggled with are the same unsolvable problems that each generation deals with and finds its own way of complaining about. I describe them in a certain way and entertained with them in my movies. Other people did it, in their day, using their own icons and idioms.

I may have different cosmetics, but in the end we’re all writing about the same thing. This is the reason why I’ve never done political films. Because the enduring problems of life are not political; they’re existential, they’re psychological, and there are no answers to them – certainly no satisfying answers. [Read more]

Read more: Eve Gerber, 'Woody Allen on Inspiration' in The Browser, 5 May 2011

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