The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Native-Americana of Edward S. Curtis #6

Apache Brave (1906)


Jay River said...

Hey Tom:

Have you read the new Marianne Wiggins book, "The Shadow Catcher" yet?

It is based loosely on the life of Edward Curtis. Its pretty interesting.

Tom Sutpen said...

I cannot tell a lie. I've not even heard of the book, Jay (at the moment I'm reading Corn & Isikoff's Hubris). I assume this is a novel, no?

Jay River said...


It is a novel, weaving factual Curtis history into another plot that is mostly fictional. It concentrates on the life of Curtis's wife Clara. Artistic license was taken, with remarkable results. The author uses fiction to fill in many of the missing points in ESC's life. It simply works.

It's a masterpiece....probably giving Curtis more attention that he has had in decades.