Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tony Hillerman

Quoted from The Spell of New Mexico, introduction. Copyright 1976:

"I could list a dozen such places - the lava flow that stretches south of I-40 east of Grants, the Bosque del Apache on winter mornings when the snow geese are flying and the sky is full of the sound of birds; the ruined, eroded one-time grazing country that stretches south of Shiprock, the cold ridge on which the village of Truchas is built; and the eastern plains, which inspired in Conrad Richter the concept of his classic The Sea of Grass. I have never made that long, monotonous drive through the great vacancy between Albuquerque and Roswell without finding my head filling with ideas crying to be written."


"By any material standards, ours is a poor state, and it looks poor. Its eternal drought, its barrenness, its immense and sterile badlands show at a glance. Except for a few narrow river valleys, it offers none of those views of lush, green fertility that speak to the primal subconscious of food, comfort, security, wealth, and therefore, of beauty. It's obvious that New Mexico didn't attract migrants with any glittering promises of easy living. Its appeal was to those who had values a little different from the materialism of American society."


As for me, I can only say that New Mexico seems to make me want to write."

~~Tony Hillerman~~


Buck said...

...the great vacancy between Albuquerque and Roswell...

Hey! This where I live! Kinda-sorta. Just a few (hundred) clicks north of Alien-ville, anyway...

Hillerman might be on to something when he speaks of the conjunction between the urge to write and the great vast emptiness of my adopted land. I'm gonna ponder that a lil bit today. But then again, I'm somewhat removed from the Great Vastness coz I live in the city (P-ville... a city? It IS to laugh!). Lin might have more and better input in this space.

Once again, Sharon...thanks for these quotes.

Lin said...

I don't remember Buck's end of the planet much since Dramamine knocks me quite out of it but I can't say that there was any part of the state that hasn't left me inspired. Even the wastelands awed me with their scale. And the animals and the people - all had a tenacity of spirit that drew me in and wouldn't let go. I can understand Hillerman's sentiment completely.