Currently Reading

Valerie Plame Wilson, Sarah Lovett, Negin Farsad
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee, Bob Reed
Collection: The Tailor of Panama / Our Game / The Night Manager
John le Carré
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee
Blowback: A Vanessa Pierson Novel
Valerie Plame Wilson, Sarah Lovett
The Mask of Dimitrios
Eric Ambler, Mark Mazower
Detective Inspector Huss
Helene Tursten
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry
Merlin Trilogy
Mary Stewart
Progress: 340/928 pages
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle

Recently Added

Blowback - Valerie Plame Wilson, Sarah Lovett, Negin Farsad
In Defense of a Liberal Education - Fareed Zakaria
Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News - A. Brad Schwartz
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West

"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." ― Mark Twain

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ― Robert A. Heinlein

"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else." ― Judy Garland
Find me elsewhere:
My Leafmarks Profile
Project Hamlet

In Harmony With the Earth

A Fragile Beauty: John Nichols' Milagro Country: Text and Photographs from His Life and Work - John     Nichols

"An albatross around his neck" John Nichols called his 1974 novel The Milagro Beanfield War in an afterword to the book's 1994 anniversary edition, because he felt that particularly after Milagro had, over multiple obstacles, been made into a 1988 movie directed by Robert Redford, it had eclipsed much of his other work; be it the two other novels in his New Mexico Trilogy (The Magic Journey, 1978, and The Nirvana Blues, 1981), his other novels, from 1965's Sterile Cuckoo to A Ghost in the Music (1979), Conjugal Bliss (1994) and beyond, and his extensive nonfiction work, much of which, like his novels, deals with life and the love of the land in his beloved northern New Mexico.


A Fragile Beauty is part companion volume to the Milagro novel(s) and movie, part introduction to Nichols's world, in which the movie's release had created new interest. As such, it follows prior works such as If Mountains Die (1979, with photographs by the author's friend William Davis), the memoir The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn (1982), Nichols's joint piece with Edward Abbey (In Praise of Mountain Lions, 1984), as well as On the Mesa (1986). As in the 1982 memoir and in several other pieces (The Sky's the Limit, 1990, and Keep It Simple, 1992), Nichols himself not only supplied the text but also the photography; chronicling his New Mexico neighbors' extraordinary spirit and powers of subsistence, and the unique natural charms of the state which, not without reason, bears the name "The Land of Enchantment."


In an introductory essay, extracts of which were originally published as an article in the May 1987 edition of American Film Magazine, the author talks about the years of his political formation, and his arrival and early experience in New Mexico, particularly his work as a reporter and editor with a now long-defunct newspaper called The New Mexico Review, and his support of the fight for a fair and responsible water distribution system, which eventually fed into Milagro; as well as about the novel's tenuous transformation into multiple draft screenplays and, eventually, a movie. But mostly, A Fragile Beauty is a celebration of life on the mesa; of the humble and humbling majesty of its mountains, endless skies, seasons, storms, sun and snow, sagebrush, flowers, cottonwoods, pinons, forests, golden asters and aspens, rivulets, gullies, gorges, lakes, ponds, trout, lizards, dragonflies, coyotes, wolves, birds, horses, cattle, and sheep ... and of Nichols's friends and neighbors: Justin Locke, Julian Ledoux, the Martinezes, Charley Reynolds, Mike Kimmel, Doug Terry, Isabel Vigil and her daughter Evelyn, Pacomio Mondragon, and the folks of the Tres Rios Association. (No, I never met any of these people in person. But the way Nichols talks about them, he makes you feel like you know them just this much – and of course you have met them and many others, too, if you have read "Milagro.")


Read more on my own website, ThemisAthena.info.


Preview also cross-posted on Leafmarks.


Favorite Quote

"We are touched by magic wands. For just a fraction of our day life is perfect, and we are absolutely happy and in harmony with the earth. The feeling passes much too quickly. But the memory – and the anticipation of other miracles – sustains us in the battle indefinitely."

Source: http://www.themisathena.info/literature/nichols.html#FragileBeauty