Chanku Luta (Red Road)

Hau Mitakuyapi
Take a minute, read, review, comment, we of the Dakota Nation may be forgotten in time, but for now we will never be ignored...I will see you on the Red Road of Life...Wopida Tanka
Hokshida Maza (Iron Boy) Bdewakantowan Dakota Akichita

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: The Life and Work of Jane Bowles

A LITTLE ORIGINAL SIN, The Life and Work of Jane Bowles.

As usual this book took some time to read for me as I am a sporadic reader these days.

All I have read of Jane Bowles is what was included in the book, written by Millicent Dillon, University of California Press.  Anyway I'm not the best judge of the work of other writers, but according to important sources she was a great writer.

For me it was her life that was interesting.  As I read, I kept remembering the biography I read on William S. Burroughs many years ago.  It seemed that they both fit the tragic life mold.  And they both fit the outstanding writer designation.

The arrangement she had with her husband Paul was unusual and convenient, unusual to many who live typical lives and convenient to many who may have seen their arrangement to be consistent with their life's professions.

How Jane managed to work at all, and produce anything of significance borders on the miraculous.  Her illnesses were debilitating, any other person would have capitulated under those physical impairments.  To me this was her real strength of backbone, to struggle through those psychic and physical obstacles.

She certainly seemed to travel among a hoard of enablers, if not social misfits. Some of them were truly her allies, while others were fair weather friends.  This was revealed at the very end when she died alone, where even Paul was not there.

But the most striking aspect of her personality to me was her interactivity with others.  I think she liked to shock and awe others with her wit and slice and dice style of conversation and behavior, even before she was diagnosed with her brain tumor.

She lived during a time which in fact may not have been her time.  Her social circumstances and behaviors were far more liberal than many practice even today.  And she was perfectly comfortable in her own behavior.

She was what many would consider an expatriate today, working and living abroad, only traveling to the United States intermittently for precocious reasons, family, work, health, relationships.  Her life in Tangiers and other Middle Eastern countries really did not do much to influence her work, as Paul's travels did for his work.  Her life seemed to revolve around Paul's life and work and her own work seemed to be an afterthought.  But it was a fantastic afterthought.  As she was an outstanding writer, again this opinion is from others, as I have not really read her work.

Overall it was a very interesting, tragic, enthralling, and revealing read for me.  I would recommend it to those who have an interest in true bare bone biographies.  And anyone interested in being a serious writer needs to read this for sure.

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