Monday, September 25, 2017

Kent Haruf Celebration

Kent Haruf ~ Literary Celebration
Centerpieces ~ fall flowers, pages from Haruf's novels
& cream - colored scrap paper that he used for rough drafts.

This Little Light of Mine
"If I had learned anything over those years of work and persistence, it was that you had to believe in yourself even when no one else did. And later I often said something like that to my graduate students. You have to believe in yourself despite the evidence. I felt as though I had a little flame of talent, not a big talent, but a little pilot-light-sized flame of talent, and I had to tend to it regularly, religiously, with care and discipline, like a kind of monk or acolyte, and not to ever let the little flame go out."

Kent Haruf (1943 - 2014)
From "The Making of a Writer,"
his autobiographical essay in Granta

See also "The Complete Final Interview"

Gerry had an interesting idea as we were driving back to the airport: comparing Kent's life to that of George Orwell, and then moving on to compare Kent's imaginary Holt, Colorado, to the town of Lower Binfield, near the River Thames, that Orwell creates as the setting for his novel Coming Up For Air.

What crossed my mind was the fiction of Patricia Henley (both novels and short stories) particularly the opening story "Rocky Gap," in her collection Other Heartbreaks. At a campfire ceremony, "They toss little scraps or origami wishes into the fire. June thinks she should wish for World Peace, but she doesn't. She wishes for Local Peace" (more on my book blog).

I can definitely see that "local peace" is a priority for the many of the citizens of Holt and the focal point of their choices and of their narratives.
See also:
Almost Equinox Birthday
Haruf (Rhymes with Sheriff)
Not the Husband, Not the Father
Everything by Kent Haruf

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