Posted by: Jim E | August 15, 2010

Ivan Doig…Montana…(ref. imjustwalkin)…

Here I am finally…somehow my trusty computer “caught” a virus…I don’t know if you have ever had one but it is frustrating…every time I wanted to get on line…screen after screen, warning after warning came and went…they wanted to sell me something…it was bad…I finally called my “anti-virus” people and after some time and money, the problem was solved…don’t ask me questions about it…I don’t have answers…and many of them I have already asked…but with the right people and the right amount of money…problem solved!!!…Finis…

I just finished another book by Ivan Doig, “Heart Earth”…it was a memoir…his years in Montana growing up…his mother died when he was 6 and this book came out of letters his mother wrote to her brother in the U. S. Navy during WWII…he is a wonderful writer…a wordsmith of unusual depth…his sentence construction is complex and complete…and takes you down the roads of your mind that are new and also peaks your own memories…I have read, I think, four of his previous books…another memoir…”This House Of Sky”…and a trilogy I have written about in a previous post…(I’m Just Walkin’ in Two Medicine Country” July 8, 2010)…the new book I’m reading now is “The Whistling Season”…to show you his skill with words, he starts this way, first chapter, first paragraph:

“When I visit the back corners of my life again after so long a time, littlest things jump out first. The oilcloth, tiny blue windmills on white squares, worn to colorless smears at our four places at the kitchen table. Our father’s pungent coffee, so strong it was almost ambulatory, which he gulped down from suppertime until bedtime and then slept serenely as a sphinx. The pesky wind, the one element we could count on at Marias Coulee, whistling into some weather-cracked cranny of this house as if invited in.”

He is a child of Montana…and he writes about Montana…you can get a geography lesson from his books…the mountains, rivers, towns and cities…the back country that hardly anyone knows or cares about…but it is Montana through and through…I love his language of the West…his knowledge of history of both Montana and America…the descriptive language that is the West and is Montana…

His story telling, his irresistible characters bring life to the Montana landscape that he describes…and if you think I am trying to get you to read one of his books…guilty as charged…I am…you will thank me…

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