Leni Zumas Recommends...

“Listen to the soundtracks of Giorgio Moroder. Visit the Rubin Museum of Art. Open to any page of The Mariner’s Dictionary. Sit in churches that watch over cities. Stand in trains that run under rivers. Swim on the Greek island Ikaria, whose hot springs are among the world’s most radioactive waters. Read Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary and feel encouraged by the fact that a genius worried about bad reviews. Read Pliny the Elder’s Natural History and learn that after lightning strikes, ‘the immediate area of the wound is colder than the rest of the body.’”
Leni Zumas, author of Farewell Navigator (Open City Books, 2008)


Recommendations received and noted

Alas, short of sawing off a limb and selling it off to the highest bidder, the trip to Ikaria is an impossible dream. I thought I only knew Moroder's work with Berlin, but found out I'd already heard a bunch of the soundtracks. From Here to Eternity! Scarface! The Neverending Story! Battlestar Galactica! Reading Woolf is as inspiring as it is frightening, kind of like of like standing before some demiurge. It's been a long while since I walked around the Rubin. As for lightning, after seeing Youth Without Youth, I thought after you were struck you became younger.

Loved your inspirations

All these wonderful avenues of inspiration inspired me to start a list like this of my own. I like the sitting in the church idea and all the unusual avenues you found as inspiring. Guess that beats just sitting at the desk. I think I will stay away from the radioactive springs though. That one may only inspire writing your last will and testament. Thanks for your great ideas!