Showing posts from March, 2023

The Road Home, Jim Harrison

I haven't read all the work, but I am slowly reading it. I have a lot of thoughts on Harrison and appreciation for him, especially as a Michigan writer, one of my state's and region's leading voices (I also admire Bonnie Jo Campbell). I tend to think of Harrison as a religious writer, whose characters tend to use existing religions as their platform but then plunge into natural and personal symbolism, and experience, including the personal and historical, to create and/or constantly reinvent their own religion, obeying a basic religious impulse to sort themselves and their world into the categorical or recognizable. Here's I think a telling representative paragraph, from The Road Home (which does not take place in Michigan but Nebraska): That thought jogged my mind and when I got home I looked in a journal for my recollection of what Rosenthal had said during our picnic years ago. It had been occasioned by my telling him a story about when I was seven years old, in

John Updike, "In Football Season," "Leaves"

Do you remember a fragrance girls acquire in autumn? As you walk beside them after school, they tighten their arms about their books and bend their heads forward to give a more flattering attention to your words and in the little intimate area thus formed, carved into the clear air by an implicit crescent, there is a complex fragrance woven of tobacco, powder, lipstick, rinsed hair, and that perhaps imaginary and certainly elusive scent that wool, whether in the lapels of a jacket or the nap of a sweater, seems to yield when the cloudless fall sky like the blue bell of a vacuum lifts toward itself the glad exhalations of all things. This fragrance, so faint and flirtatious on those afternoon walks through the dry leaves, would be banked a thousandfold and lie heavy as the perfume of a flower shop on the dark slope of the stadium when, Friday nights, we played football in the city. Sometimes I just read John Updike the way I watch birds land on water. How about this, from a story called