|Cover art by my possible kinfolk, Thomas Hart Benton|
The story of Robert Grainier is an interesting one. From his murky beginnings to his relatively brief marriage to his later hermitic life, Grainier's life cast against the raw, wild backdrop of a Pacific Northwest still heavily influenced by the Kootenai's mystical roots that still had hold in the area is fascinating. The hard life he leads, heavily at the mercy of the harsh climes and geography of the region, and the resultant spartan lifestyle the land mandates is perfectly rendered in the lean, direct prose through which his tale is told. While there are tragic elements to Grainier's story, Johnson manages to avoid getting bogged down in tragedy, as in this environment these otherwise tragic events are simply a fact of life and treated as such. Just as everything in Grainier's life had utility, Johnson wastes few words in recounting his life, and its effectiveness without approaching being affected is astonishing.
For those wondering where this week's Wordy Old Men on Downton Abbey is, we hope to have that up tomorrow. There have been computer issues that have held it up. As for yesterday's contentlessness, I apologize. I've come down with something, and I passed out really early Monday night. I wish I were dead right now.