This, truly, is a stellar book.
Round about p. 286, I thought I would give up on it. There were many interesting anecdotes, a lot of open talk about sex (homosexual) - and it really didn't add up to much. But then, as Richie aged, the book itself began to gather weight and gravity and a certain centeredness… and by the end, I had the feeling that I was in the presence of a work… indeed, a life -- of permanent value -- intelligent, feeling, yet utterly clear-eyed… almost visionary, as he glances, at the very end, at the sadly spectacular future that has NowAlready (jam tomorrow…) thus arrived…, even as he maturates in waves of memory about a past whose tender naturalism had so touched him during a long, rich life…
There is a lot frank discussion about his sexuality, and his experiences are described in great deal. Generally books like this -- like much contemporary ethnic literature -- serves only to balkanize…, to particularize… both the author… and his readers…. But Richie, quite amazingly, uses all his sex-talk much as Beethoven or Sebelius use a local German or Finnish folk tune… as a small bit of local coloring that reflects the universal aspects of the artist's genius…. It is really something….
And of course, much of it is just funny….
I've read very few (if any) journals…. but reading this, I now see some of the possibilities of the genre that had always escaped me -- and will read more when opportunity presents.
I thank Jimmy for tipping me off to this book, and keeping it on my to-read shelf.