But I just can't help myself. The rewards are much too great to hold back. For example, I recently bought a couple of titles by the late James Dickey, the poet and author of Deliverance. I've known his name forever but never taken the time to explore his work. I bought a book of his poetry and, the real gem, a volume called Sorties containing his personal journals and a handful of essays. This discovery has been nothing short of life changing. Yeah, I know that sounds dramatic. But man, this guy is a literary monster!
Dickey is deeply informed and intelligent, imaginative, opinionated, a real jerk and, most of all, extremely talented at putting words together in a way that illuminates the dark crevices of our lives. And by the way, he was apparently quite an impressive guitar player. Among my favorite excerpts from Sorties:
"Alert and relaxed: that is the secret."
"The main thing is to ride the flood tide. Only a few get a chance to do this and one year of it is worth a thousand years of mediocrity."
"What we all want is savage delight."
"The ability to cut away the literary frills and affectations and to say something necessary: that is the mark of a great writer."
"At the age of 48, one becomes aware of a singular, distressing, strange and exhilarating thing: the world and experience gets going faster and faster. Life is speeded up, the lid comes off and one has no recourse but to go with bodily desire, imaginative abandon, frustration and death."
CLICK HERE FOR MORE GREAT DICKEY QUOTES.