Thursday, March 26

On John Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie

On page 154 of John Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie (Bantam Books), it's being mentioned that there's a place called Badlands which the author described with appropriate adjectives and he added: "They deserve this name." Two pages later, he wrote that after talking with a woman who lived there, he continued, saying: "Her voice rattled on as though she was terrified of the silence that would settle when I was gone. As she talked, it came to me that she was afraid of this place and, further, that so was I. I felt I wouldn't like to have the night catch me here." He wrote further that he was "in a state of flight and was ready to get away from the unearthly landscape." He continued, "And then the late afternoon changed everything. As the sun angled, the buttes and coules, the cliffs and the sculptured hills and ravines lost their burned and dreadful look and glowed with yellow and rich browns and a hundred variations of red and silver gray, all picked out by streaks of coal black. It was so beautiful that I stopped near a thicket of dwarfed and wind-warped cedars and junipers, and once stopped, I was caught, trapped in color and dazzled by the clarity of the light......... The strange landscape shouted with color! And the night, far from being frightful, was lovely beyond thought."



GiGi said...

One of my all-time favorite books!

Char said...

his writing is so descriptive and amazing


I'm so glad you referred to his book; the 'badlands' are one of the most intriguing and beautiful places in our country.

I have some rose-quartz that I cut from the side of one of the mountains.

When you drive down to the base (which you can on a very small road), the base is almost a gray-white you'd see on the moon.

The winds come up; they make sounds like I've never heard as they travel through the canyons, and the moon and stars are so visible and huge.

A magical place indeed.

Diane - Laughlin, Nevada, USA