Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Legends of the Fall’ author Jim Harrison dead at 78

Published

on

Jim Harrison, considered one of the great writers in contemporary American fiction and author of the novella Legends of the Fall, has died at age 78 at his home in Patagonia, Arizona.

Harrison made a career with his description of outdoor life – often through the lens of history – and was unconcerned by the limits of genre. Over 50 years he penned poetry, essays, interviews, screenplays, criticism, and reviews in addition to his fiction.

The hunter and fisherman published more than 30 books. Harrison, who spent much of his time in a rural cabin near his Michigan hometown, often found himself compared to Ernest Hemingway, who also hailed from the midwest and cultivated a reputation for seeking adventure.

Harrison was not fond of the comparison, writing once that Hemingway seemed to him “a woodstove that didn’t give off much heat”.

As a screenwriter, Harrison became friends with Jack Nicholson, and came to know Sean Connery and Warren Beatty. Yet, he became best known for his adapted screenplay of his 1979 novella, Legends of the Fall. The 1994 film adaptation starred Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins in the story of three brothers and their father living in the wilderness of America in the early 1900s.

ADVERTISEMENT

Harrison was born in Grayling, Michigan, in 1937, and grew up close to the land, spending his time fishing and hunting. His first book of poetry, Plain Song, was published in 1965. His first novel, Wolf, was published in 1971, and later made into a film starring Nicholson. In 2007 he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Blinded in one eye in a childhood accident, Harrison set many of his dramas in rural isolated, imposing landscapes of the American west, including Nebraska’s Sand Hills and the mountains of Montana. His characters were rough-hewn and tended to have clear moral perspectives, and he claimed influences as diverse as the Russian modernist Sergei Yesenin and the English poet William Wordsworth.

His later novels included Good Day to Die, about the decline of American ecological systems, and Dalva, about a Nebraska woman’s search for the son she had given up for adoption.

ADVERTISEMENT

His love of the wilderness suffused much of his work. “In my lifetime,” Harrison told the writer Tom Bissell for Outside magazine , “the country has gone from being 25% urban and 75% rural to 75% urban and 25% rural.”

But even in old age, no lament stopped him from seeking out experiences for their own sake. “I ate a gross of oysters once, to see if I could,” he told Bissell. “I could. I got gout the next morning.”

Nor did he lose his awe, asking the writer jokingly: “Certain bears eat 80 pounds of moths a day. Can you imagine?”

ADVERTISEMENT

Similarly he found his muse to write “totally uncontrollable”, as he wrote in the introduction to one of his collections of poetry, The Shape of the Journey.

“You don’t have any idea when it’s going to emerge, and when it’s not going to emerge,” he wrote. “You can put off a novel for a while but you can’t not write a poem because that particular muse is not very cooperative,” he later told GR Magazine .

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Meghan McCain snaps at Sunny Hostin for daring to disagree with her about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Published

on

Meghan McCain slammed President Donald Trump for hurling racist abuse at four Democratic congresswomen to heighten divisions in his rival party, and then framed the debate in the exact same way he has.

The conservative co-host on "The View" condemned the president's statements urging the four first-year lawmakers to return to their home countries as racist, and then complained that one of their chiefs of staff had accused moderate Democrats of turning a blind eye to racism.

"I think the politics of this is fascinating," McCain began. "We spent our entire week last week talking about how racist and xenophobic the original comments and the chants were, and I stand by that statement."

Continue Reading

Facebook

Here’s the insidious role Sean Hannity played in derailing Al Franken’s political career

Published

on

The U.S. Senate lost one of its most prominent liberals when Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, dogged by sexual harassment allegations, announced his resignation in December 2017. Some of Franken’s defenders believed the Democratic Party was too quick to throw him under the bus; other Democrats stressed that in light of the #MeToo movement, his resignation was absolutely necessary. Franken’s political downfall is the subject of an in-depth report by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who describes — among many other things — the role that Fox News’ Sean Hannity played in the media firestorm.

Continue Reading
 

Commentary

The media got it wrong: There’s no evidence GOP support for Trump improved after his racist outburst

Published

on

One of the most popular articles last week involved claims that polls showed Republicans had increased their support of President Trump.  But a closer analysis of the data reveals that any increase in support was within the margin of error.  So the polls couldn’t conclude that GOP support for President Trump had gone up or down.

Polls are tricky creatures.  We either give them near god-like status, or discount them entirely, often depending on whether they show us what we want.

I remember the movie “Machete,” where an opportunistic Texas politician fakes his own shooting.  Within five minutes of that story breaking, the news anchor reported that the politician had drastically improved his standing in the polls.  Surveys don’t work that way.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image