Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pearls of Wisdom...

From Jim Harrison's "What I've Learned" piece in the August issue of Esquire...(these are a just a few I filched, the whole thing is worth reading...

I don't see any evidence of wisdom accelerating as you get older. Old people will say it does, but they're generally speaking full of shit.

I won't even talk to young writers anymore unless they can give me a good reason. I say, "I don't have any time to talk to you unless you intend to give your entire life over to it, because it can't be done otherwise."

 I probably wouldn't have been a poet if I hadn't lost my left eye when I was a boy. A neighbor girl shoved a broken bottle in my face during a quarrel. Afterward, I retreated to the natural world and never really came back, you know.

 It's like hunting with Mario Batali. He checked his fancy phone and said, "Fuck. I've got 280 e-mails." And I said, "What do we do now?" And he said, "Nothing" and put it in his pocket, and we went hunting.
I don't know if it was writer's block or if I just didn't have anything I wanted to say.

I work every morning, all morning, sometimes in the afternoons. Then sometimes I hunt in the afternoons—quail, doves, grouse up north—but just to stay alive, because writers die from their lifestyle but also from their lack of movement.

 Has happiness changed with age? Yes, I expect less of everything.

 What's the meaning of it all? Seems to me nobody's got a clue. Quote Jim Harrison on that: Nobody's got a clue

And my personal favorite...

Unlike a lot of writers, I don't have any craving to be understood.

You know the worst part about telling someone Jim Harrison is one of my favorite writers? That part where the person I'm speaking with invariably says "who?" and I have to say "you know, "Legends of the Fall, Brad Pitt..." and they say, "Oh, yeah, yeah. I saw that movie. Cool flick. So it was a book, too, huh?" And I have to keep from calling them a goddamned moron. Yeah, that's the hardest part.


  1. Can't tell you how many times I've had that same conversation. Verbatim.

  2. He is one tough old SOB, ain't he?

    And re "There's a book?" I first started getting that back in Cambridge in the 70's, when John Huston made that great flick "The Man Who Would Be King" with Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

    It was a book?

    A story by Kipling.


  3. You can drop Harrison's name to suss out anyone not worth talking to.