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Egrets and Tigers and Editors, Oh My! Matthiessen on Wondrous Creatures

Filed under: On the Spot   Tagged: ,

Martin Schneider writes:

File it under "lectures I wish I'd seen." Yesterday, 81-year-old author Peter Matthiessen appeared at the Emerson Center in Bozeman, Montana, to tell tales from his adventuresome life, one that combines working as a commercial fisherman with helping George Plimpton found The Paris Review, undertaking naturalist expeditions in Siberia with submitting revisions to William Shawn.

Matthiessen described Shawn as "one of the strangest guys you could imagine" but also fiercely loyal to his writers. One suspects that to the good citizens of Bozeman, the valuable plumage of egrets and the "big red ears" of Shawn belong to much the same category (certainly, Gail Schontzler of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle implies as much).

Is Matthiessen speaking in New York any time soon? Is his novel Shadow Country the masterpiece many have claimed? I think the answers go "no" and "yes," which I'll regard as a glass half full.


Tonight at 10 pm Eastern, PBS (check your local &c.) is airing a new doc: Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries.

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