Dec 202010

I’ve been reading James Salter’s book of stories Dusk and Other Stories on Mark Anthony Jarman’s recommendation. Gorgeous stories, disturbing stories. “American Express” is about two wealthy American investment bankers or dealers traveling in Italy. They pick up a very young girl and share her. At the end, one of the men gets out of bed and looks down out the hotel window at a young man on a motorbike.

He was part of that great, unchanging order of those who live by wages, whose world is unlit and who do not realize what is above.

Also “Twenty Minutes”—a story about a woman dying after a fall from her horse, being, as the story tells it, visited by the “demonic.” And “Akhnilo” about a man being drawn from his house in the night by some sound/vision, some mythic Other, which, when he returns to his house and wife, he cannot put words to. He had words at the moment, but as he nears home, the words disappear. Reminds me of an E. M. Forster story called “Pan”—humans meeting the old gods and not knowing.


  10 Responses to “James Salter Interview with Charlie Rose”

  1. I love Salter. (See previous post…

    I’m still recovering from that loss. I have had almost no time to read, write, or practice my lecture for the last 4 days…wifey-poo is off making money in Palm Springs (not like it sounds) and I’m stranded inside the house with two kids…what’s the old song, “It never rains in California”? Well it’s raining, and raining, and raining here, and the alternator on my car is going so I’m reluctant to leave for fear of being stranded. I built my kids a large fort in the living room, assembled legos for two hours, indulged them in short game of “booty-kicking-time” (my son’s investion, and it is like it sounds!) and let them play way too may video games today. But what else can be done?

    My point? I’m living vicariously through all these posts on NC! Keep ’em coming.

  2. That’s supposed to be ‘invention’, not investion…I think I’m starting to crack…:)

  3. Donigan turned me on to Salter and he turned out to be one of those formative influences on my writing. Light Years, A Sport and a Pastime, Dusk, and Last Night. I read those when I want to feel inferior.

  4. “Akhnilo” is one of my favorite stories by Salter. His more recent collection, Last Night, is also worth a read.

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