I found the very last section where he offers an opinion on environmental responsibility we all have for this earth sort of a tack-on. Kittredge's excellent, thoughtful, and well-written book is a memoir of growing up on a ranch in southeastern Oregon. Yellow monarch butterflies floated in the breezes, and there was a 6-foot thick layer of rich peat for topsoil laid down over the millennia. I could only find a little sympathy for his younger self-indulgent self and lost patience after a while. But for all of his candor, you realize that somewhere along the way he was transformed from clueless child to self-aware adult. But untouched by civilization it is not. And his deep felt history of this land and his family had me setting my roots in it along with him.
It wasn't all his fault nor all his family's fault. Yellow monarch butterflies floated in the breezes, and there was a 6-foot thick layer of rich peat for topsoil laid down over the millennia. Into this country, in July 1911, rode William Kittredge, grandfather and namesake of William Kittredge the writer, a man who owned cattle in California, and who was looking for a place to feed them and fatten them for market, which is the same thing as saying that Bill Kittredge was looking for a competitive edge. He speaks of family, place and identity. The ending was dismally chaotic.
It is one of our main ways of making our lives sensible. Bookseller: , Washington, United States Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1992. Maybe it's a shared eastern Oregon history, maybe he is just a kindred spirit, whatever, I find I have to read William Kittredge with a notebook beside me; so many forgotten incidents, stories, and thoughts about family and ranching pop into my head. But within the span of three generations, this willed Garden of Eden, which once had drawn the powerful and famous, fell into disarray. We were heedless people in a new country; we came and went in a couple of generations. You will not have read another Western like this.
But for all of his candor, you realize that somewhere along the way he was transformed from clueless child to self-aware adult. The descriptions of place are worth reading and it does serve as a warning that we, people, have responsibility for the land. He briefly mentions a part of his life spent with the Native American movement--enough to tease, and then he drops it quickly. He drank too much, and was unfaithful, and fell headlong into depression. But if someone felt that remorseful about the end result there are many organizations today whose aim is to return the land and wildlife back to what it once was. It seemed as if he was constantly apologizing about it as well as straddling the fence as to whether he would ever believe in himself as a writer. Bookseller: , Washington, United States Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1992.
He learned the rules of ranching—handle your horse and never hire someone you drink with. This is the story of a grandfather whose single-minded hunger for property won him a ranch the size of Delaware but estranged him from his family; of a father who farmed with tractors and drainage ditches but consorted with movie stars; and of Kittredge himself, who was raised by cowboys and saw them become obsolete, who floundered through three marriages, hard drinking, and madness before becoming a writer. Sadly, too, Kittredge says little of his own children, and seems unable to heed his own cautionary words in this regard. Host hauntingly, Hole in the Sky is an honest reckoning of the American myth that drove generations of Americans westward -- and what became of their dream after they reached the edge. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Host hauntingly, Hole in the Sky is an honest reckoning of the American myth that drove generations of Americans westward — and what became of their dream after they reached the edge.
Possible ex library copy, thatâll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. But Kittrege excels at recreation, and has an almost haunting ability to lift the veil on a scene—a dusty barroom, for example—and reveal the marrow of its hypnotic sadness. We were heedless people in a new country; we came and went in a couple of generations. His odes to the land and to A beautiful memoir. A memoir of his life and his struggles trying to live out his grandfathers dream of the land, knowing it is not him, knowing it is wrong, and finally coming to terms with that. William Kittredge's stunning memoir is at once autobiography, a family chronicle, and a Westerner's settling of accounts with the land he grew up in.
I got a little fed up with his alcohol fueled pity parties but he does salute the people in his life who nudged him in constructive paths. A thought-provoking read which I haven't completely absorbed just yet. I got a little fed up with his alcohol fueled pity parties but he does salute the people in his life who nudged him in constructive paths. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Unflinching is probably overused when it comes to memoirs, but this one really is. Clean, straight copy, but not perfect.
In all of it, from earliest memories to those of a man on the verge of middle-age, the author describes a deep uncertainty about his own worth and his purpose in life. He can go through the motions in the hardworking environment of seasoned cowboys and field hands an episode in which he takes the place of an injured hay stacker is an example , but he remains unsure of himself, wanting the security of the family ranch, while hating himself for not pursuing the writing career he believes is his real vocation. As it went dead and empty of the old life it became a place where no one wanted to live. . Bookseller: , Idaho, United States Knopf, 1992. Most of us, Kittredge says, are eager to live in connection with a specific run of territory and its seasons, in some intimacy with the animals that happen to inhabit that country creature to creature.
And how many of us are subtracted from this need. What he found that summer was the Warner Valley, near what is now Lakeview, Oregon. It is a painful book because there is so much heartache in it, so much confusion, shame, isolation, and fear. Brutally honest about his shortcomings, but also beautiful in his descriptions of his fears, the landscape of the mountain west, and, in spots, supremely enlightening. I think Kittredge is one of the great western writers; I would rank him up there with Stegner and Doig, and his memoir, Hole in the Sky, is a just flat out stellar. Second to last page has lower dog earing.