Posts Tagged ‘James Salter’
August 24, 2011 | by Sadie Stein
A cultural news roundup.
August 23, 2011 | by The Paris Review
James Salter, winner of The Paris Review’s 2011 Hadada Prize, has been given the 2010 Rea Award for the Short Story, a lifetime-achievement prize bestowed annually on “a living American or Canadian writer whose published work has made a significant contribution in the discipline of the short story as an art form.” This year ’s jurors praised Salter as “the most stylish and grave and exact of writers.” Past winners of the prize include Grace Paley, Cynthia Ozick, Tobias Wolff, Alice Munro, and John Updike.
To read more, see our complete coverage of James Salter month.
April 13, 2011 | by James Salter
Well of course I knew this was going to happen. Terry McDonell called me and he said, “We would like to give you the Hadada this year,” and I said, “Terry, it might be a better idea to give it to somebody a little younger.” He said, “No, no, no, no, you are missing the point entirely.” It turns out that in the African language from which the word comes, hadada means “Hail, great father.” Ha-da-da.
The Paris Review was always the pinnacle, it was the place to be published, you were thrilled if you were published in The Paris Review, and George Plimpton himself was practically mythical. He was a legendary figure.
I had written a novel. It was A Sport and a Pastime. And it had been turned down by publishers, four or five of them, and I thought I was probably wrong about it, it was not really any good. And then, through a friend, Bill Becker, it came to The Paris Review. One day the phone rang, and I said “Hello.” And a voice said, “Yes, hello, this is George Plimpton.” He said, “You know, I have your novel, and I really like it, I like it very much. We’d like to publish it.” At that time, The Paris Review had a small book publishing operation, they had published a handful of books. He said, “We’d like to publish it.” I said, “That’s wonderful.” He said, “Yes. But there is just one thing.” “Yes.” He said, “I don’t think that any really good novels are written in the first person.” Of course, my mind went blank. I couldn’t think of anything. I didn’t know what to say to him except, suddenly it occurred to me, a book really far removed from the book we were talking about, that was the only thing I could think of, I said, “Well, what about All Quiet on the Western Front,” and he said, “Yes, I suppose you’re right.” That was the end of the editing.
April 13, 2011 | by Robert Redford
A transcript of last night’s speech.
When I walked in, a woman came up with a little recorder and she said, “I am really sorry, but can I have a word with you?” And I assumed she was part of the program and so I said—I wanted to be helpful—so I said, “Sure.” And she said, “Just a few words, I just want to talk about [he mumbles into his hand].” And I said, “I’m sorry?” I thought she was saying something important, and I said, “What?” And she said, [he mumbles into his hand], and I said, “I’m really sorry,” and she said, “What do you think about Trump and Huckabee?” And I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know.” I was so surprised. And she says, “Now, what do you think about Trump running for president?” And I said, “I have absolutely no thought.”
I am happy to say that the reason I am here and that you are all here is such a good one, because I am here to dedicate an award to a man who is so deserving of it, and for me to see him come to this place in his life—his life has been so rich and full and varied in so many interesting ways—is truly an honor. And I guess some writers can write and be really flashy and just score big on their first work, and then maybe they fade away after that, maybe that was too much too soon, and other writers just build an aggregate over the years, and they just grind and they develop and they work and they grow, and they grow with time—they were always good, they stayed true to form, true to themselves, true to the form that they developed for themselves. And then they rise up to that point of shining light and that is where Jim is, so I am really happy to be here to support him and his family.
April 13, 2011 | by Thessaly La Force
Last night, close to five hundred people gathered at Cipriani’s 42nd Street to honor James Salter at our Spring Revel. Robert Redford was there to present the Hadada Prize to Salter. The two have known each other since the sixties, when Salter wrote the screenplay for Downhill Racer. Said Redford at the podium, “I am lucky to be here tonight to honor a man who is my friend and whom I respect deeply.” As Salter took the stage, guests at every table stood up, applauding the author. Salter thanked George Plimpton for publishing his novel A Sport and a Pastime, and as he picked up the statuette he told the crowd, “This is my Stockholm.”
April 12, 2011 | by J. D. Daniels
Our Spring Revel is tonight, April 12. In anticipation of the event, The Daily is featuring a series of essays celebrating James Salter, who is being honored this year with The Paris Review’s Hadada Prize.
Imagine: there is a man who likes to climb mountains. It’s the only thing he likes. Of course he likes women, too, but he won’t put them at the center of his life. “I’m not really a great climber,” he says, “I’m not that talented.” He just loves it more than anyone else does, or can. But he isn’t climbing. His name is Vernon Rand, and he’s bumming around, roofing, picking up work out in Los Angeles.
And then one day, playing father to his girlfriend’s twelve-year-old son, he encounters his old climbing companion, Jack Cabot. That they are lost brothers is admitted outright, but not that Cabot is Rand’s animating force, prophet, bird or devil, tempter sent.
As for Rand, he had had a brilliant start and then defected. Something had weakened in him. That was long ago. He was like an animal that has wintered somewhere, in the shadow of a hedgerow or barn, and one morning, mud-stained and dazed, shakes itself and comes to life. Sitting there [with Cabot], he remembered past days, their glory. He remembered the thrill of height.
That’s all it takes, Cabot’s tapping on the door. That in Rand which loves the mountain stirs.
There was something he had to tell her. He was leaving, she said. She could hardly hear him.
He repeated it. He was going away.
“When?” she asked foolishly. It was all she could manage to say.
“Tomorrow,” she said.