One of the perks of working at my school is our Symposium signature program. Last year we had Tim O’Brien visit, an author whom I love. This year we had Peter Matthiessen visit. (For those with more discriminating tastes in resources, here’s is your Wikipedia.
To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled that he was going to be our author, but once I began reading his non-fiction, I began to dig him. I can’t say that I worship everything he writes. (after all, he is no Arundhati Roy.) But I did begin to appreciate much of his work. I love his interplay of subjectivity and objectivity. Much to Sujal’s chagrin, I am one of those people who believes that everything is subjective.
In terms of Matthiessen’s work, I read from the The Peter Matthiessen Reader. I really enjoyed the excerpt from Wildlife in America that featured the now extinct Great Auk. I also like The Snow Leopard, which I affectionately call The Sneopard. (And I wonder why the kids love me!)
My favorite excerpt cam from In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. The section I read told a section of the narrative on the events June 26, 1975 on the Pine Ridge reservation leadning to the incarcertaion of Leonard Peltier. The New York Times has this cool little feature — featured writer section on him.
He is a talker, all right. During both of the “readings” I attended, he mainly told story after story, which was actually quite fun. Since I haven’t read any of his fiction, I’m looking forward to checking it out.