Thick and thin
At the Guardian, Woody Allen lists his top five books, which includes Machado de Assis's Epitaph of a Small Winner.
I just got this in the mail one day. Some stranger in Brazil sent it and wrote, "You'll like this". Because it's a thin book, I read it. If it had been a thick book, I would have discarded it
I was shocked by how charming and amusing it was. I couldn't believe he lived as long ago as he did. You would've thought he wrote it yesterday. It's so modern and so amusing. It's a very, very original piece of work. It rang a bell in me, in the same way that The Catcher in the Rye did. It was about subject matter that I liked and it was treated with great wit, great originality and no sentimentality.
I'd be interested to know when he read the book; did any subsequent W.A. films bear a trace of its influence?