1) As a writer, I was influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age.

2) As a writer, I am influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age.

3) As a writer, I have been influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age.

Are all three correct?

Is there a difference in the meaning?

a) I read Kafka before I started writing, but the influence was there when I started to write

b) the influence was there but is not there anymore

c) the influence is still there

My problem with '2' is that to me it implies that I am still being influenced by Kafka. But even if the influence is still there, I am not being influenced by him, or am I?

I am a bit confused!

Gratefully,

Navi

Original Post

Original title for the thread, Navi 

Apart from the presence of the influence, my impression is that those tenses define the time of writing.

In (1), the person may not write any more. When (s)he wrote, (s)he was influenced by the work of Kafka.

In (3), the person started to write at some time in the past and continues to do so, always under the influence of that author. (S)He has been a writer for some time.

My problem with '2' is that to me it implies that I am still being influenced by Kafka. But even if the influence is still there, I am not being influenced by him, or am I?

I am a bit confused!

I'm not sure I understand the reason for your confusion. To me, (2) only expresses that the person is currently writing and under the influence of Kafka while doing so. (S)He may have become a writer recently, or been a writer for some time. One thing is certain: reference is being made to the current influence of Kafka's work on his/her own work.

Thank you very much, Gustavo,

Yes, what you say makes perfect sense. In my mind, 'I am influenced' was not like 'I am affected' but like 'I am washed', if you will. I think that is the influence of my native language. I am under the influence of my mother tongue.

I am not sure I am expressing myself clearly and you can see where I had gone astray, but I think things are clear now for me.

 

Respectfully,

Navi 

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