R. Paul Tharp
Freelance Writer, professional Painter and Musician R. Paul Tharp, was first introduced to family acquaintance, and world renowned author, Alex Haley when he was a small boy in rural East Tennessee; changing his world view on literature forever. Being too young to appreciate the gravity, and long-reaching scope, of the acclaimed author’s fame, he wasn’t too young to appreciate the reverence and respect Mr. Haley seemed to inherit, even in the old South. This fueled Tharp’s early, fervent interest in the written word, and sparked, what would become, a lifetime love affair with art and music. Reading many of the accepted classics, Tharp found a whole new world of imagination, and vivid imagery, in them. Longfellow, Yeats, Byron and Twain captured him on such an intimate level, and at such a young age, that their words would follow him all of his young days, only to haunt him on intellectual level later. Butting heads with the academic status quo at every turn, he later abandoned the ideas, ideals and influences of the classic literature camps, and what he viewed as their regurgitated standards, for the genius of the cult followed, fringe writers and their obscure works. Here he found an easy freedom in their prose, and a partiality for the free writing style. To Tharp, these largely ignored writers embodied a more idyllic standard of writing- one without the constraints, or narcissistic need for validation. These works stood unapologetically alone. Traveling, painting and music took priority most of his adult life, until a motorcycle accident forced Tharp to slow down long enough to write his first expanded work. This unplanned time alone with the blank page reignited his amour for writing and literature, and the fringe Ideas he had once found, with so much emancipation and levity, were still there waiting.
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