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James Salter (1) (1925–2015)

Autor(a) de A Sport and a Pastime

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28+ Works 6,656 Membros 207 Críticas 36 Favorited

About the Author

James Arnold Horowitz (June 10, 1925 - June 19, 2015), better known as James Salter, his pen name and later-adopted legal name, was an American novelist and short-story writer. Originally a career officer and pilot in the United States Air Force, he resigned from the military in 1957 following the mostrar mais successful publication of his first novel, The Hunters. Salter published a collection of short stories, Dusk and Other Stories in 1988. The collection received the PEN/Faulkner Award, and one of its stories ("Twenty Minutes") became the basis for the 1996 film, Boys. He was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000. In 2012, PEN/Faulkner Foundation selected him for the 25th PEN/Malamud Award. Salter Died on June 19, 2015. He was 90. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras por James Salter

A Sport and a Pastime (1967) 1,333 exemplares
Light Years (1975) 1,196 exemplares
All That Is (2013) 1,029 exemplares
Last Night (2005) 547 exemplares
The Hunters (1956) 494 exemplares
Burning the Days: Recollection (1997) 432 exemplares
Dusk and Other Stories (1988) 416 exemplares
Solo Faces (1979) 324 exemplares
Cassada (2000) 148 exemplares
Collected Stories (1900) 70 exemplares
Gods of Tin: The Flying Years (2004) 51 exemplares

Associated Works

Mrs. Bridge (1959) — Posfácio, algumas edições1,076 exemplares
Phantoms on the Bookshelves (2008) — Introdução, algumas edições648 exemplares
Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times (2001) — Contribuidor — 446 exemplares
Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris (1962) — Introdução, algumas edições421 exemplares
The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1992) — Contribuidor — 368 exemplares
Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction (1998) — Contribuidor — 186 exemplares
The Best American Essays 1993 (1993) — Contribuidor — 121 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1984 (1984) — Contribuidor — 105 exemplares
Literary Traveller: An Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction (1994) — Contribuidor — 54 exemplares
The Paris Review 167 2003 Fall (2003) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
The Hunters [1958 film] (1958) — Original book — 14 exemplares
The Literary Horse: Great Modern Stories About Horses (1995) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Membros

Críticas

I liked this novel less and less as I read it. By the time I finished the "revenge" chapter near the end of the book, I'd have to say I hated it. I loved Salter's A Sport and a Pastime (1967) and enjoyed Solo Faces (1979), and was eager to read this, Salter's first novel in over three decades. It feels like Salter taking his shot at writing The Great American Novel - a book spanning the post-war decades, bringing in dozens of characters, and shifting between the literary scenes of New York and London and Paris. The publisher blurb promises "a fiercely intimate account of the great shocks and grand pleasures of being alive." But that's not what I found in these pages. I found unpleasant, uninteresting characters drifting along unexamined lives, picking up and discarding others at whim and with ease, failing to create any meaning. Grand pleasures? Not hardly. If this is all that is, damn, shoot me now.

I've read other reviewers accusing this novel specifically, and sometimes Salter generally, of misogyny. And I can see it. His other novels I've read, which I did in fact like, are strongly male-centered points of view and they treat women as accessories, generally, and not always kindly. But this novel goes considerably further in its unflattering treatment of female characters, though the men often appear as assholes as well. I do find myself wondering if when he writes of a character
He didn't like women who looked down on you for whatever reason. Within limits, he liked the opposite.
he is succinctly describing his own attitude.

And I have to wonder why so many of the characters Salter creates here are said to be on their third marriage or so, even when the character only appears for a few pages and that information wouldn't seem all that important:
Kenneth Wells was his name. He and his wife - she was his third wife, he didn't particularly look like a man who'd been married a number of times, he was homely, his eyesight was bad; she had been married to his neighbor and one day the two of them had simply gone off to Mexico together and not come back - lived in a house that Bowman liked and that always stayed in his mind as a model.
Wells only exists for 3 pages.
Evelyn Hinds was a dumpling of a woman with bright eyes that took things in immediately and a ready laugh. She was at ease with people. Her first husband had crashed at sea - it was thought he crashed, no one ever saw him again - but she'd been married two times after that and was on good terms with both her former husbands."
Hinds exists for one page.

There are plenty of other examples. What's with the compulsion to give so many characters so many spouses? To show how much you don't believe in things like commitment?

So then there's the ugliest chapter near the end, in which our protagonist, Philip Bowman, seduces the college aged daughter of a former lover who betrayed him, flies her to Paris with him, fucks her a few more times, then abandons her alone in a hotel room with no money.
He had gotten up early and quietly gathered his things. She was sleeping, an arm beneath the pillow, a bare leg showing. The freshness of her, even afterwards. He had forgiven her mother. Come and get your daughter, he thought.

Well, at least she's still fresh, thank God, even after the deflowering by an asshole decades older than she is. Shit.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
lelandleslie | 53 outras críticas | Feb 24, 2024 |
Another Salter novel featuring a young American man in France, traveling and hardly bothering with a means of income. In this case our hero, Rand, is traveling upwards, ascending the most difficult mountain faces of the French Alps. He has no money, or hardly any, beyond what comes from the odd illegal job or the women with whom he's sleeping. Possessions could not matter less to him; what he desires, mainly, is the climb.
In the morning he woke among peaks incredibly white against the muted sky. There is something greater than the life of the cities, greater than money and possessions; there is a manhood that can never be taken away. For this, one gives everything.
Comfort, he remarks elsewhere, kills.

For the climb, Rand will sacrifice all else. Certainly interpersonal relationships are well back in his concern. Not that he does not recognize and feel the camaraderie of the mountain climbing fraternity, at least those whose skills he respects - a small group that includes Cabot, his closest friend/competitor, but which does not seem to include most of the guides and climbers who come to Chamonix, the small French town at the base of the mountains. And he finds fame when he leads a difficult ascent in poor weather to rescue two climbers, taking a route up that was dismissed as too risky by the professional guides and official rescuers. But did he do that for selfless, or self-centered grandiose, reasons? Well, perhaps both.

While Rand comes off as heroic when he's conquering mountains, his relationships with women are anything but. The reader first sees this when Rand abruptly leaves his girlfriend in America to move to France. Salter slips in a little detail here that is telling:
He left behind some cardboard boxes filled with shoes, fishing equipment, and a handful of letters from an old girlfriend, born in Kauai, who had cut his palm one night and, to seal their love, raised it to her mouth and drunk the welt of blood.
Fall in love with Rand but don't expect much, it would appear.

In France he has relationships with a number of women, most importantly Catherin. She becomes pregnant, news which Rand reacts to with cold distaste. "I don't want to be tied down", he tells her. She promises him he can always do whatever he likes, but he is not placated.
[S]he would forget what she was saying now, her instincts as a woman would come out. That was what always happened.
The relationship ends.

The novel takes a sharp turn when Rand, on a dangerous solo climb, turns back before the summit and retreats, defeated. His confidence, his belief in his ability to cling to the side of the smoothest, most difficult piece of rock, is shattered. Without that, he is no good as a climber. And having thrown everything else aside, what is left to him?

Salter's prose, again, is terrifically good. Sharp and hard. A favorite passage is his description of English climbers:
There is a strain of English whose faces are somehow crude as if they were not worth finishing or touching with color. It was these sullen faces that filled the room…

British climbing had changed since the war. Once the province of university men, it had been invaded by the working class who cut their teeth on the rock of Scotland and Wales and then traveled everywhere, suspicious and unfriendly. They came from the blackened cities of England - Manchester, Leeds. To the mountains they brought the same qualities - toughness and cynicism - that let them survive in the slums. They had no credo, no code. They had bad teeth, bad manners, and one ambition: to conquer.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
lelandleslie | 13 outras críticas | Feb 24, 2024 |
A literary, sexually explicit novel written in 1967 that is about the absence of sex, and love, written from a strongly male point of view.

Our narrator is a man in his thirties, an expatriate living in France, acutely feeling the lack of female affection in his life. He lives alone in a borrowed house. An attempt by his friends to set him up with a woman they think he might hit it off with goes nowhere; he is incapable of making the connection ("It's exciting to be in her company, but I'm always a little afraid of what she might say next, and this fear causes me to be helpless.")

A slightly younger American expatriate arrives to stay with him. Dean has a relationship with a young French woman, which sets our narrator off on flights of envying imaginations. He reminds us, "I am not telling the truth about Dean, I am inventing him. I am creating him out of my own inadequacies, you must always remember that."

And what creations he comes up with:
With a touch like flowers, she is gently tracing the base of his cock, driven by now all the way into her, touching his balls, and beginning to writhe slowly beneath him in a sort of obedient rebellion while in his own dream he rises a little and defines the moist rim of her cunt with his finger, and as he does, he comes like a bull. They remain close for a long time, still without talking. It is these exchanges which cement them, that is the terrible thing. These atrocities induce them towards love.

Our narrator finds in Dean, thanks to Dean's seemingly effortless success with women, an object of envy and admiration, and his self-professed uncontrollable fantasies about Dean's love life eventually lead to self-hatred.
These long months. It's as if I've been in prison. My ribs show. My flesh is white, so white I'm ashamed to take off my clothes. And with it is a bitterness that soaks in like brine.

It's a devastating off-center portrait of an unhappy man who cannot achieve what he most desires, that intimate loving connection with another human being, told with brilliant not-strictly-linear prose by Salter.

One final passage to remember:
She has been a famous actress. I recognize her. The debris of a great star. Narrow lips. The face of a dedicated drinker. She constantly piles up her hair with her hands and then lets it fall. She laughs, but there is no sound. It's all in silence - she is made out of yesterdays.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
lelandleslie | 45 outras críticas | Feb 24, 2024 |
With perfectly intense prose, Salter tells a fevered love story that may not have happened. Or happened in very different ways. A mesmerous tale.
 
Assinalado
ben_r47 | 45 outras críticas | Feb 22, 2024 |

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Estatísticas

Obras
28
Also by
16
Membros
6,656
Popularidade
#3,679
Avaliação
½ 3.7
Críticas
207
ISBN
279
Línguas
15
Marcado como favorito
36

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