Conversations with Jim Harrison, Revised and Updated

Conversations with Jim Harrison, Revised and Updated[Reading] ➷ Conversations with Jim Harrison, Revised and Updated ➭ Robert DeMott – Conversations with Jim Harrison Revised and Updated offers a judicious selection of interviews spanning the writing career of Jim Harrison 1937 2016 from its beginnings in the 1960s to the last interv Conversations Jim Harrison, Revised and eBook Í with Jim Harrison Revised and Updated Jim Harrison, eBook ✓ offers a judicious selection of interviews spanning the writing career of Jim Harrison from its beginnings in the s to the last interview he gave weeks before his death in March Harrison labeled himself and lived as a uadra schizoid writer He worked in fiction poetry nonfiction and screenwriting and he published than forty books that attracted an international following These interviews supply a lively narrative of his progress as a major contemporary with Jim Harrison, Revised and Kindle - American authorThis collection showcases Harrison's pet peeves his candor and humility his sense of Conversations with MOBI :✓ humor and his patience He does not shy from his authorial obsessions especially his efforts to hone the novella for which he is considered a contemporary master or the freuency with which he defied polite narrative conventions and created memorable resolute female characters Each conversation attests to the depth and range of Harrison's considerable intellectual and political preoccupations his fierce social and ecological conscience his aesthetic beliefs and his stylistic orientations in poetry and prose.

DeMott Jim Harrison, Revised and eBook Í is Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Jim Harrison, eBook ✓ Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio University in Athens Ohio an endowed position he was awarded in He holds membership with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs American Literature Association the Jim Harrison Society and the John Steinbeck Society of America DeMott retired from full time teaching in April A lifelong fly.

Conversations with Jim Harrison, Revised and Updated PDF
  • Paperback
  • 332 pages
  • Conversations with Jim Harrison, Revised and Updated
  • Robert DeMott
  • 14 January 2016
  • 9781496819659

10 thoughts on “Conversations with Jim Harrison, Revised and Updated

  1. David Curry says:

    Conversations with Jim Harrison has been reissued by the University Press of Mississippi in a revised and updated edition including an interview completed shortly before Harrison’s deathThe book is a must for Harrison’s admirers and should be a damned good experience for any readerAt a point when Harrison was seriously contemplating suicide he wrote this never to be forgotten sentence “My three year old daughter’s red robe hangs from the doorknob shouting stop” From the 1986 Paris Review interview “I was in a snit the other day over the infantile mechanics of minimalism the extreme posture of fatigue Minimalism is that old cow naturalism rendered into the smallest of print” As a teenager Harrison read Joyce’s Finnegans Wake four times and regarded it as his BibleFrom a 1990 interview in Publishers Weekly “The novelist who refuses sentiment refuses the full spectrum of human behavior and then he just dries up Irony is always scratching your tired ass whatever way you look at it I would rather give full vent to all human love and disappointments and take a chance on being corny than die a smartass”From a 1997 interview in Wild Duck Review “What fascinates me about the Nature Conservancy and what I admire about them as opposed to some groups is that they do understand that the cogs and wheels turn so slowly in Washington we had rather buy habitat now and take it out of harm’s way Things with enormous moral force are often completely ignored in Washington You can’t be like a big muffin going to Washington you have to unify and go in like a big axe It’s the only way things are perceived there and I don’t care if the head of our groups have to spend a lot of money It’s a Machiavellian world and there’s no excuse going in there like Gandhi” Harrison’s syntax can be screwy but keep in mind that he’s talking not writing and it would appear that most of the interviews received minimal or no editing Truth be told I’ve often had considerable difficulty with syntax in his novels and novellas even while admiring themFrom a 1999 interview In Red Cedar Review “I bypassed deconstruction because I thought it was an elaborate plot to make the instructors important than what they were reading laughs But those things seem to fade I mean they have their efflorescence for a while and then they dissipate”

From the same interview “When you’re reading the Bible which I did a lot as a young man so and so rich man had nine cows and three horses and a granary full of wheat That was a rich man then Now what is it? I had three Land Cruisers in a row because I’m out in the boonies When I went to get another one suddenly they’re fifty eight thousand dollars I got in it and I said that the inside of this car looks like Liberace’s toilet laughs It’s no longer a functional vehicle; it’s being built now for soccer moms It’s amazing You can get the one I want but you can only get it in Africa They’re about thirty grand there and they’re functional but they don’t have our emission standards I looked at a farm I certainly don’t need another farm but I was looking at a farm and this is what drove me crazy —in the UP Upper Peninsula in Michigan there’s eight acres and this house for fifty eight thousand So you could buy a whole fucking farm for the same price as you can buy a car you know” It’s uintessentially Harrison that he uses “toilet” where most editors would probably prefer “bathroom” ”Restroom” would surely have made Harrison guffawA little later “I got hundreds and hundreds of books on the brain under the hubris that after a couple of months of reading I could understand the human brain Well forget it”

In an interview for The Morning News Robert Birnbaum asks Harrison about an article he wrote for Men’s Journal about living on the US Mexico border Bless Birnbaum for including in the published interview this deeply moving passage from Harrison’s article

“So Anna Claudia crossed with her brother and child into Indian country walking up a dry wash for 40 miles but when she reached the highway she simply dropped dead near the place where recently a 19 year old girl also died from thirst with a baby at her breast The baby was covered with sun blisters but lived So did Ana Claudia’s The particular cruelty of a dry wash is that everywhere there is evidence of water that once passed this way with the banks verdant with flora We don’t know how long it took Ana Claudia to walk her 40 miles in America but we know what her last hours were like Her body progressed from losing one uart of water to seven uarts lethargy increasing pulse nausea dizziness blue shading of vision delirium swelling of the tongue deafness dimness of vision shriveling of the skin and then death the fallen body wrenched into a uestion mark How could we not wish that politicians on both sides of the border who let her die this way would die in the same manner? But then such people have never missed a single lunch Ana Claudia Villa Herrera What a lovely name”Later in the Birnbaum interview “I used to get criticized for putting food in novels These are people ignorant of the novel tradition It was always in French and English fiction But a lot of us are still; puritanical still sort of ashamed they have to fill up every day It’s like food isn’t serious And a faculty meeting is? both laugh What gays used to say “Puhlease’”Harrison’s lifetime output includes than 50 books of fiction poetry and non fiction It never stopped he became even prolific in his late years Asked by interviewer Angela Elam about the source of his extraordinary productivity he cited naps as essential and uoted Henry Miller “Everyone should have a full dress nap every day”Warning Harrison is repetitive sometimes annoyingly from interview to interview and there is one interview conducted for the Canadian Broadcasting Company that is almost completely a bummer Interviewer Eleanor Wachtel asks lame uestions and Harrison unfortunately provides for the most part lame responses He should have just asked her to leave But even in that one the no nonsense Harrison we’ve grown to expect occasionally comes through “I can’t give anybody advice except to say red wine and garlic”The late photo of Harrison on the book’s cover is haunting I kept turning back to it When he appeared here in Chicago for a large public reading some years ago the shock in the audience when he appeared on the stage was palpable W H Auden famously and pretty accurately said of himself late in life that he had a face “like a wedding cake left out in the rain” Harrison’s mature face weatherbeaten and clearly affected by lifelong gross overeating and boozing has been described by Terry McDonell as “still handsome in the manner of a mahogany stump” Add to that the glass eye Harrison lost an eye when at the age of seven he tried to play “doctor” with a little girl and she gave him a poke in the eye with a glass shard

  2. David Guy says:

    Some years ago—probably thirty at this point—I was sitting with a bunch of book reviewers and editors in New York celebrating the publication of a friend’s book and the conversation turned to Jim Harrison One of the men there edited Harrison at Dell where they produced a uniform edition of his works in paperback and told us that when Harrison showed up at the office the first thing he said was “Where’s the whiskey?” Ah the old days of publishingOne reviewer actually a prominent book review editor made a cutting remark about the new Dell editions of Jim Harrison’s work “It calls him an outdoorsman and a man of letters Can you imagine calling that guy”—in his photos Harrison looked like a cross between a bricklayer and a professional wrestler—”a man of letters?” The Dell editor who was with us folded his arms and put his head down on the table Turned out he’d been the one who had written that copy Gales of laughter all aroundBut if Jim Harrison wasn’t a man of letters I don’t know who ever was He took up poetry as a teenager and said repeatedly to anyone who asked that if you don’t dedicate your life completely to that vocation there’s no reason to take it up at all He continued to write poetry all his life apparently died of a heart attack while writing a poem at age 79 He took up the novel at the suggestion of his friend Thomas McGuane after Harrison had seriously injured his back in a fall and was laid up in bed and his first effort in that genre—Wolf A False Memoir—was published by the first publisher that saw itHe singlehandedly rescued the novella form from oblivion—it was a collection of three novellas Legends of the Fall that initially made him famous—probably wrote novellas than any other writer in history For a while early in his career he supported himself with non fiction about his outdoor pursuits for Sports Illustrated and he later spent years making money big money writing screenplaysHe also apparently was a prolific writer of actual letters; he mentions once a week letters to his friend McGuane we hope that collection will be published also a number of letters to his shrink in New York He saw the man in person when he was in town but spent most of his life far from New York and pretty far from civilization I should also mention that Harrison answered the one fan letter I sent him something not all writers have doneWhat might have shocked my book reviewing friend as we discover in Conversations with Jim Harrison is that Harrison was extraordinarily well read He mentions several times for instance—this was one fact that startled me—that when he was a young man Finnegan’s Wake was his Bible; he read through it a number of times He was widely read in poetry and fiction in general; one of my reasons for reading a book like Conversations with Jim Harrison is to get ideas for things to read and suggestions pop up on every page of this book You don’t see how a man who worked such long hours on his writing had an active life as a hunter and fisherman spent hours cooking and eating seemed to end every evening in a funky bar somewhere ever had time to read And yet he apparently did Maybe he just didn’t sleepI approach volumes of interviews with some trepidation especially when I love the writer and I don’t think I’ve ever loved another writer the way I’ve loved Harrison Writers often come across as pompous and self conscious in interviews; it’s just not their genre But Harrison was as relaxed and down home in interviews as in his writing He just chatted away didn’t give a damn what he said people obsessed with political correctness should beware He’s one of the few writers that I think I would have enjoyed having a drink with—several drinks it would have been—as much as sitting and reading his work The cigarette smoking which everyone mentions would have driven me nuts But what you saw was what you got with Jim Harrison You could take or leave the whole packageBenjamin DeMott has done a superb job with this volume not only collecting these interviews and indexing them but also writing an excellent introduction to the man and his work; this volume will have to do until we get a good biography and God knows when that will be I’m hoping to live long enough Harrison speaks several times of his admiration for DeMott’s work DeMott like almost every interviewer in the volume was devoted to Harrison’s work and loved the man The recent documentary about Toni Morrison compelled me to read through all her work in order and I’m starting to get the same itch about Harrison hearing him talk about his books I’ve read them all already of course They have the most prominent space in my bookshelves right at the top of my favorite writersIf you haven’t read Harrison—and if that’s so where the hell have you been?—Legends of the Fall or Dalva would be good places to begin I remember how startled I was years ago when the entirety of that title novella was published in a single issue of Esuire Is there a magazine around that would do that today?wwwdavidguyorg

  3. M. Sarki says:

    Harrison is an American treasure and this book adds additional evidence to prove it Along with an enormous body of work Harrison’s friends and associates have also contributed to his growing legend This iconic man of letters is a writer and citizen of the first rank His great love for nature animals fine food fishing women and drink are no match for any human still remaining on the planet What follows are chronological snippets of uotations from the many interviews and conversations that daily lit me up brightened my mood and certainly caught my attention The poet laureate of appetite in all its configurations and permutations is not a writer for all tastes or sensibilities because his habitual excesses and obsessive uirks have not always been easy to embraceBut they hate you if you are making a lot of money And when I start making money I behave like Leon Spinkspeople think they can’t bear the nowness of now They can’t bear the present tense In Zen terms they’re either rehearsing something they’ve already done to make it come out right Or they’re expecting something to occur in the future Or trying to change the pastYou write sometimes to find out what you knowThe idea of getting bad reviews is not nearly as bad as getting no reviews franklyYou don’t write—an artist doesn’t create or very rarely creates—good art in support of different causesGreed is killing the soul life of the nation You can see it all around you It’s destroying what’s left of our physical beauty it’s polluting the country it’s making us Germanic and warlike and stupidThe whole point is not to need any strictures and to still maintain balance and grace and if you can’t the danger is a life and death thingYou realize the shape changing keeps going on Life is a fundamentally unreliable experienceIt’s hard to get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say I am part of nature too But you are what the fuck do you think you are? We’re just the most dangerous form of nature and we better be aware of it with all our brilliant little ideasHere in America we’ve had a theological basis for land rape too with the Christian assumption that we’re going to die and go to heaven and meanwhile it’s our duty to do anything we want to the land to prosperWriting isn’t something for people who don’t want to spend their entire lives at itWhen my father and sister were killed in an auto accident I thought isn’t this strange any possibility of agreeing with the world has just left meEverything about the literary life is basically catty and trashy from the start so my point of view which gets better organized every year is that you may as well ignore it all and just do your work All of it moves too fast for any of that stuff to matter All that reputation stuff dissipates so fast so you may as well do your own work and forget about itThe gift of fiction is to make life live itself just to live itself so that’s what you dothink poets are mostly shamans without portfolios and very bad ones at that Failed shamansit’s not a very large percentage of feminists that place a great deal of stock in never being understood We can’t understand them Which is bullshitWe’ve had a lot of friends die recently I was going to read this poem last night about my shrinking address book My wife’s best friend died within three days of my brother How can this be? Well it’s the end of everybody’s story As they say the last track you leave as a mammal is your skullThe other trouble is that I had shingles three years ago But it developed into what they call postherpetic neuralgia Which means that where all the sores were on my scapula the sores have all gone but the pain remains because of the uarrel between nerves and my scapula So it’s very unpleasant to deal with the spine problems the shingle problems and plus my wife’s deathI’ve started to get very depressed these last few months over the death of my wife and the loneliness—but there’s a difference Most depressions are about an amalgam of things But when somebody you love dies it’s just reality so it’s a different kind of feeling altogether

  4. Ben Palpant says:

    Scattered gems Helpful for writers and fun for Harrison fans

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