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lauxier
01-25-2008, 12:42 PM
can anyone supply a bio on Harry Middleton--have not read any of his books--sounds to be a pretty complex guy--an intellectual burdened by his own demons---relative to fly fishing and The Smokies,his complexities would seem to make for good reading.

donwinn
01-25-2008, 12:59 PM
There is little out there about Middleton. He went to school at a small college in Louisiana and then to graduate school at LSU. He eventually was the editor of the outdoor section of Southern Living. He died at 42 or 43. Most of what you will find you will discover in his books. Look at the site below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Middleton

Jswitow
01-25-2008, 02:39 PM
Great writer, It has been too long since I read one of his books though because I can't remember all of them. My copy of "On The Spine Of Time" is falling apart from use. That is actually not my favorite though. The book he wrote about the time he spent with his grandfather, great uncle and the old indian Elias Wonder is my favorite. Well I do like the both an awful lot! Another is out of print and copies of it are pretty valuable now. I believe that is "The Starlight Creek Angling Society".

One I didn't finish, "River's of Memory" or "The Bright Country". One of these spends a fair amount of time covering his nervous breakdown and his downward spiral. I will get the book off the shelf and look them over and comment later. All are well written and may be to your taste.
What do you all think?
Best,
John

donwinn
01-25-2008, 03:15 PM
Harry Middleton wrote the following books:

The Earth is Enough - a book about the time he lived with his widowed Grandfather, Great Uncle, and a befriended Indian in Arkansas where he was introduced to fly fishing.

On the Spine of Time - a book about his fishing trips to the GSMNP and surrounding areas. This book is as much about the people he met and life as it is fishing, but there is a great deal about fishing different streams in the mountains.

The Bright Country - a book about a period in his life after his mother died and he was fired from Southern Living. You won't believe his story of being fired. Many people do not finish this book - it can be troubling.

The Starlight Creek Angling Society - have not read, don't want to pay the price.

Rivers of Memory - have not read, but this is a compliation of short stories. I think three are from his other books and are reproduced here.

Funny, my friend Steve and I were just talking about this on the phone the other night. I think we need a road trip. Maybe we can take the wives to shop in Pigeon Forge while we fish. Here are some excerpts Steve pointed out from On the Spine of Time:

She went on talking of her quest, her studies, and I slipped back away, out of the candlelight, and took note of the clouds moving slowly across the night sky and thinking why I hadn't used time more and worried about it less. Fished more, loved more, risked more, spent less time trying to mend the past, undo old mistakes, regretting lost friends, trying always to exceed what is expected of me, breaking musty resolutions, making new ones, making a living instead of just living. Everything comes and goes, comes and goes.

Altitude does something to a man's need to measure or even keep track of time's passage. The convenient measurements of hours and days mean little up here, here where it is all stone and shadow sunlight and forrest, and moving water. Trying to take time's pulse in the high country seems a frivolous notion: a waste of time. Time has a way of defining its own symmetry and fulfilling its own rhythms. Days are days, though, and are best used by spending each one fully, nothing saved. For years I tried collecting time as though it were precious stones, certain that if I gave myself completely to earning a living fifty weeks a year, I could wrench a year's worth of solace, solitude, relaxation, joy, and fulfillment out of two weeks' vacation. It never worked. I never felt better, only empty and exhausted. These days I try not to divide time but only use it, use it all, as it comes, living through it all like fire moving through dry grass leaving only ashes. Because things come and go. Come and go.