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Numbers

There's a meme going around, to list fifteen authors who had a lasting influence on oneself. Not to overthink it.

I got off to a bad start with this meme because the very first list I encountered had no women in it. Not one in fifteen.

***

It took four people to get me a prescription renewal today, not counting anyone at the pharmacy: two medical students (confused by the computer system), one GP to sign off on their work if it ever printed, and a front office staff member capable of fixing the printer's paper jam. There must be a light bulb joke hiding in there: none of the people with medical training were capable of dealing with a common printer problem.

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Bakka-Phoenix books in Toronto is moving from Queen Street to 84 Harbourd - where Atticus Books used to be. They open again for business on Wednesday November 3rd: conveniently in time for me to check out their new place when I am next in Toronto!

Comments

the_alchemist
Oct. 27th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
I was assuming historical prejudice would drag the numbers toward men: in past centuries, it was certainly easier for men to be published than women;

But was it easier for men to have *novels* published? I'm pretty sure I've read eighteenth and nineteenth century men sneering at men who wrote novels because they seen as a frivolous, effeminate art form fit only for women, though I can't remember any of the specifics.
owlfish
Oct. 27th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Ahh. That would be the other reason I deleted it: the version of the meme I saw only specified authors. Most people whose responses I have seen have been more influenced by novelists than other kinds of authors, but by no means exclusively.

Hmm. Part of the reason it's a challenging question is because I suspect there have been more male novelists with good marketing budgets and thus higher profiles: but that doesn't tell us anything about actual overall numbers.
owlfish
Oct. 27th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Earlier today I was trying to look for a source for a long poem by "A Lady". Typically unhelpful, but at least gendered.
chickenfeet2003
Oct. 27th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
Most people whose responses I have seen have been more influenced by novelists than other kinds of authors, but by no means exclusively.

Curious. 4/15 on my list wrote at least one novel but I don't think any of them would be thought of, primarily, as a novelist.
owlfish
Oct. 27th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
I wonder if we can even conclusively calculate this for today: self-publishing and small presses would confuse the number-gathering. It should be straightforward to big presses-only, but that's not the whole picture.