THE HIGH TRAVERSE

Blanchard, Richard

Published by Livingston Press At The University Of West Alabama, 2000
ISBN 10: 0942979680 / ISBN 13: 9780942979688
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Synopsis: This novel combines photographs, letters, images, and questions, questions, questions to mythologize our dying moment. Too, the reader is drawn by several mysteries: the elusive Miss Wright, a primary school teacher who fills the dying man's thoughts; the competition between two brothers; the role the father played in World War II-and not least, just who is dying? The father? A brother? Or some part of all three, and of the grandsons too? The juncture of sensuality and death is disarmingly achieved by the novel's seemingly grammar-school diction. Stunning photographs and evocative images of mountains underline the building myth associated with our final moments.

From the Back Cover: "My life flashed before me." That's the cliché concerning death, and one presumes at least a kernel of truth inheres in any cliché. But who's to say the flash will be any less mysterious than the preceding life? Who's to say that lifelong desires won't blossom in that flash? Who's to even say that the flash will illuminate only the dying? In the end, every friend and every relative reflects the gleam, however briefly. Just so in this novel. The reader will find that Blanchard's simple and delightful-his deceptively simple and delightful-prose delivers the sacrosanct mystery with impact.

"...the connection between myself and Blanchard's text, you want to know what it is? You know what it really is? As in behind the scenes?...The feeling I get when in the presence of these disclosures is that Richard has usurped my feelings...It's scary. ...and oh so eerily pleasing....The mysterious purity, the pure mystery of Richard's sentences, how they turn and what they turn themselves into, did all the work. Be warned: you will come away from this book haunted by the sensation that what you believed was the very thing of your inalienable separation has been murmured into the world. ...Thank goodness we have the gift. The High Traverse?-don't ever say you were not given the utter, the perfect, gift." -Gordon Lish

"Richard Blanchard's writing is incandescent and absolutely original. He evokes a world...in spare sentences that never lapse into sentimentality, that haunt the mind and heart with their understated power." -Jackson Lears, (Fables of Abundance)

"Blanchard's book is a record of the love and loss and reverence summoned from the late days of a long revering life. The High Traverse is a necessary heartbreaker. I will continue to read it for the same plain truths I continue to read in Dante and in Woolf, in Mother Goose and in Shakespeare."-Sam Michael (Under the Light)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE HIGH TRAVERSE
Publisher: Livingston Press At The University Of West Alabama
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Softcover
Book Condition: VG+

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