Sunday, January 9, 2011
Wolf A False Memoir by Jim Harrison
I didn’t mean to read this immediately after Leonard Gardner’s Fat City, but now I see these books are very similar. The fruit picking, the drunkenness, the hitchhiking, the compelling soggy bog of femininity, the sixties. However, Fat City is a real novel, carefully structured with a Chekhovian interest in recounting what society does to human souls. Reading Wolf was like sitting next to a fascinating drunk and having him go on and on and on. The sentences were juicy and captivating but I didn’t get any special insight into the human condition. Also, there’s a whiff of datedness about this and an even bigger whiff of egomania – like, Groovy hippie chicks dug balling me.
Definitely echoes of On the Road, definitely echoes of Hemingway. The struggle is with Nature and masculinity. But where is the emotional truth?