On James Salter

From a 2009 interview at Hamptons.com:

When I asked him about his detached narrative style he responded, "I have never written a book in the first person that I can think of and I think that is a rich field of opportunity for writers. Philip Roth is an example; it is too late for me to start. It is not that I can't do it, I never felt impelled to do it. Speaking of it as a gauge of temperament, I suppose I tend towards the cool side and perhaps my writing tends to the cool side as well. I do not mean anything judgmental by that. I think the writing is tempered with not what I call a pitiless eye, but an eye that is not clouded with sentiment."

From Light Years:

There is no happiness like this happiness: quiet mornings, light from the river, the weekend ahead. They lived a Russian life, a rich life, interwoven, in which the misfortune of one, a failure, illness, would stagger them all. It was like a garment, this life. Its beauty was outside, its warmth within.

From Burning the Days:

I like men who have known the best and the worst, whose life has been anything but a smooth trip. Storms have battered them, they have lain, sometimes for months on end, becalmed. There is a residue even if they fail. It has not all been tinkling; there have been grand chords.

From The Paris Review:

To write? Because all this is going to vanish. The only thing left will be the prose and poems, the books, what is written down. Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it the past would completely vanish, and we would be left with nothing, we would be naked on earth.

Cool, unsentimental, detached, removed, reserved: adore. I adored him. He was, and is, my favorite Voice of Men.

+ James Salter dies at 90