I see with pleasure that the time-honoured tradition of making up lists of the One Hundred Most or Greatest Something is still alive and kicking. I remember reading, a few years ago, Prospero Mandosio's Centuriae (1682). More recently, I studied the BBC Big Read list, and today I came across that most edifying of roll-calls, The Bookseller's Century.
So I have decided to rock the world and declare the one hundred authors who have been most influential in creating that worldwide phenomenon, Alessandro Gallenzi. Not as a spoiler, but as a reality check, I will warn any Austen fan here that they are in for a surprise, as I am not including their pet author in my list.
Here we go, in alphabetical order:
Shelley (Percy Bisshe)
St John the Evangelist
No surprises there. I have written down this list by memory, so I may have missed out some of the greatest writers of all time. Apologies if I have done that. I will only add that I have read one or more books by all of these authors, apart from Céline, whose works I have read only in bits – but that was enough to impress me, and I look forward to reading his novels from cover to cover.
I know that this list is going to divide critics for "centuries", so I will leave at this.