Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Everyone writes in Tolstoy's shadow, whether one feels oneself to be Tolstoyan or not. His influence on the dissident writers of the Soviet Uniton was enormous. Figures like Grossman or Solzhenitsyn, although their language is less elevated, were dominated by a Tolstoyan desire to use fiction to tell the truth of history.
You always give credit where credit is due - to high school coaches, college coaches - but my dad, the foundation that he built with me, is where all of this came from. The speed, the determination, the mindset, just the natural belief that you can do anything you put your mind to, it all comes from my dad.