“We can love completely without complete understanding.”
American Literature has a certain quality no other writing in the English Language achieves. It has a certain reflectiveness which is often compeltely without self-conciousness, a certain simplicity of purpose towards the understanding of the human spirit: an uncluttered-ness. The Literature of the Isle is more nuanced, more conscious of the listener and his reactions. I don’t know enought to explain the difference but there is one and I am drawn more and more to the former. I identify more with the work of Frost, Salter, Asimov, Hemingway & Springsteen, than I do with anyone else. And I haven’t even read Steinbeck.
I saw an adaptation of Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It”, the 1992 Robert Redford directed movie of the same name. As one journalist describes it best, it is a work which leaves you in rapture, moved to the depths of your being, your heart heaving with the combined effects of the beauty of rural Montana and the memories of an old man. And I am sure the book is better.
Of course, a narrative about memories does more to me than any other narrative. Of words, and whispers and bubbling of a river. Or the embers of a cigarette, dancing in the half-light. Or feelings and gestures, nursed and imagined. Tender & painful. Oh, I live for memories. They are my drug, my opium, my lifeblood. But for them to have any effect, I need to live the moments I play back with singular intensity. And movies and books like this do so much to bring those moments alive.