James Salter Month at The Paris Review
April 7, 2011 3:58 AM   Subscribe

James Salter Month at The Paris Review. A series of articles throughout April celebrating the life and work of one of the best at his craft there is. A great writer indeed.
posted by hydatius (9 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks, this is great. The two Salter novels I've read, The Hunters and A Sport and a Pastime, were both great. I frequently wonder why I haven't read more.
posted by OmieWise at 4:56 AM on April 7, 2011

Yes, many thanks. Friends have been recommending Salter to me for years; reading those first appreciations at the Paris Review blog seals the deal and moves him to the top of the "more authors I have to read before I die" list.
posted by mediareport at 6:40 AM on April 7, 2011

On balance, I'd probably have to say that Light Years is the best novel I've ever read. The prose is astonishing, its appreciation of landscape and love and loss so acutely human (and humane), and its themes of age and change propel it to the very heights of our artist's attempts to understand what it means to live and be in the world. I buy copies and copies of it, passing it on to people, practically begging them to read it, so completely did it change my way of perceiving the very stuff of life. And The Hunters has cool airplane fights too.
posted by hydatius at 6:48 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

How have I never heard of James Salter before? I just added everything he wrote to my Amazon wishlist. The lyricism of Lahiri's essay in particular really inspired me to read Light Years.
posted by peacheater at 7:13 AM on April 7, 2011

Last Night is one of my favourites and it's awesome. Thanks for posting this.
posted by pleasebekind at 7:57 AM on April 7, 2011

Recently tweeted by Paris Review:
Of course, you never know what you’re really doing, do you? Like a spider, you are in the middle of your own web. – James Salter
posted by pleasebekind at 8:05 AM on April 7, 2011

Light Years and A Sport and a Pastime are definitely as great as everyone says, but if you're getting into Salter, make sure to read his rock-climbing novel Solo Faces too. As much as I admire his ability to make the pleasures and travails of the upper middle class lyrical, what I'm really keen on are his portrayals of lives inextricably caught in the gravitation of some intense activity, especially an activity whose only value may be the amount of energy poured into it. Solo Faces plays up the dubious worth and all-consuming commitment angle perhaps more purely than anything else he's written.
posted by Idler King at 8:55 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Adding my vote for Solo Faces.

Salter is one of the few writers whose work is so effortlessly beautiful that I run to write after putting his book down--write something, anything. I then quickly discover:

1) It's really, really, really hard work to even approach that level of easy prose; and
2) I'm never going to be Salter.
posted by maxwelton at 11:22 AM on April 7, 2011

Hadn't heard of this gentleman before. I look forward to learning about him. Thanks for the links, hydatius.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:14 PM on April 7, 2011

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