Do you know what the word “recursion” means? Basically, recursion means some items keep repeating themselves in a similar way. It’s like when you are holding a photo of yourself holding a photo of yourself holding a photo of yourself. Sounds pretty fun to me.
So, I was doing a bit of research on recursion recently (for a novel I’m currently writing), and suddenly a funny idea popped up in my mind. It was like, “A writer, writing a book, thinking about recursion… Recursion in literature—what could it be? A writer writing about writers who write about writers!”
I cannot remember many books that take up this theme, but at least I remember many novels written about writers. So, I composed a brief top 12 list of my favorite books about writers:
- Misery by Stephen King.
- Straight White Male by John Niven.
- The Shining by Stephen King.
- 1408 by Stephen King (I guess he had some issues with being a writer. Okay, jokes aside, King is great no matter what).
- Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov.
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (and if you ask me who is the writer in this series, I’m going to ask you in return: on whose behalf are stories about Holmes written?).
- The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien (Remember? Bilbo was writing a book about his journeys).
- The cycle of stories about Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft.
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac (actually, you can read any book by him, and it’s going to be about a writer).
- Post-Office by Charles Bukowski.
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
- Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis.
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