Last Night by James Salter: My Notes and Kindle Highlights
Light Years: My Notes and Kindle Highlights
Burning the Days: My Notes and Kindle Highlights
All That Is: My Notes and Kindle Highlights
A Sport and a Pastime: My Notes and Kindle Highlights
Solo Faces: My Notes and Kindle Highlights (coming soon)
What We Read in 2014
2015 Reading List
Honestly, I have emotional problems with his writing as it doesn't reflect a value placed on family and children which makes me a little sad since I can't imagine a life without my amazing wife and magical children. But this is only an initial reaction--like all great writers Salter needs to be reread and reread, to be grappled with. He has a wonderful line in Light Years concerning children that challenges my initial reaction:
Of them all, it was the true love. Of them all, it was the best. That other, that sumptuous love which made one drunk, which one longed for, envied, believed in, that was not life. It was what life was seeking; it was a suspension of life. But to be close to a child, for whom one spent everything, whose life was protected and nourished by one’s own, to have that child beside one, at peace, was the real, the deepest, the only joy.
But this is probably unfair as I don't hold other writers to the same standards (or even think about this type of thing). When one reads Salter, however, one immediately discovers a blurred line between autobiography and fiction--this blurred border is something that Salter has openly acknowledged as key to his ability as a writer. This is part of what makes his writing so powerful--one reads it his sentences and associates them to the core of the writer himself. Salter wrote lines and crafts similes that knock you down with their detail and power. His lines were slender ones that penetrate the reader and inhabit them. Below I've tried to compile as many of the interviews and articles as I could find on him--and then--because I'm just that type of guy, I copied them below so you can read them all in one place. But first a collection of my favorites quotes from his novels and short stories.
James Salter, A Sport and a Pastime Documentary, Amazon. James Salter, 1925–2015, in Grantland by Louisa Thomas. June 22, 2015