"In college, the writers I was most interested in were the great Modernists. Joyce, Proust, Faulkner. From these I wet on to discover Musil, Woolf, and others, and soon my friends and I were reading Pynchon and John Barth. My generation grew up backward. We were weaned on experimental writing before ever reading much of the nineteenth-century literature the modernists and postmodernists were reacting against. It was like studying art history by starting with Cubism before going to look at the Italian Renaissance. In my early twenties, I read Tolstoy for the first time and discovered what I'd been missing."

- Jeffrey Eugenides, The Art of Fiction No. 215 from The Paris Review