Via Daniela Olszewska, I found this hilariously inclusive list of "50 of the Most Inspiring Authors in the World" (as she put it, this gets the award for Widest Net Cast) assembled by the staff of Poets & Writers. Some gems therein (and yes these are exact quotes):
There was too much chatter about the quality of the poem. What matters is that she was up there reading it—a poem!—on the biggest and most inspiring stage in recent history. [So, what exactly are we supposed to be inspired by? Her proximity in space to other inspiring (and large) objects, or how she reminded us poems exist?]
He's made accessible a dirty word by celebrating the poetic pleasures and small comforts of ordinary life in a way that encourages us to celebrate them too. [How does that make "accessible" a dirty word? Basic confusion of what a "dirty word" is? Better example: Shitty.]
The image of the eighty-one-year-old on the cover of Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry pretty much says it all. [This is the image ... huh? Generic old man at desk w/ generic lamp says what all? I guess the point is he's old.]
Let's never forget that our first African American president is also a best-selling author. [Jesus Christ, lest we forget. Never forget!!]
He's like Proust. We could live our whole lives and never read Gravity's Rainbow...and still be inspired by it. [Facepalm]
Sure he's filthy rich, but the man knows how to spend his money. He owns four Ducati motorcycles and he writes poems about them (probably while wearing a suit). [Holy shit. Why isn't Donald Trump on this list? He's written books, right?]
The New Journalism. [WTF???]
Talk about your simplistic models of inspiration. Half the reasons listed are basically paraphrases of "Other people seem to think they're important." E.g. "Best-selling Nigerian novelist." Millions of Nigerians can't be wrong!
Seriously, I love this idea that these authors' mere existence is inspiring. Just put one of these books on your coffee table, pour yourself a scotch and feeling the fucking glow.