Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Learning From Louis L'Amour

Our book club choice this month is Education of a Wandering Man by Louis l'Amour, writer of 84 novels  Many of his  novels have been transformed to the big screen.  Lots of lessons to be learned from this writer.

He believes in historical accuracy. He says we should not have to second guess history because the facts are fantastic enough.  Because he believes in historical accuracy,  he read books about other cultures and traveled to the places he wrote about.  He wrote without using any obscenities and without spicing it up with sex scenes.

He describes himself, in this book, as a writer of the frontier, not a western writer, and  says his stories are about passing through or settling wild country.  He obviously admired the western pioneers because they chose to leave everything behind, break  the mold and start afresh in a new country with new problems. They did what L'Amour did,  moved from home and faced one challenge after another.  Man, he says. seeks a means to exist and is always striving to improve his situation. At the time of writing this memoir, he had an interest in the frontiers of outer space. His novel Walking Drum, he says, was about the frontiers of knowledge. 

I like this quote on page 156, "Education is everywhere, prompting one to think, to consider, to remember."  Interestingly, L'Amour felt he had acquired a lot of knowledge about Indonesia, Malaysia and China  and wanted a job in Naval Intelligence, unfortunately, he was turned down because he had no college degree.

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