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Thread: Middleton,me,monktrout and donwinn

  1. #1
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    Default Middleton,me,monktrout and donwinn

    I think Middleton is a good writer.If you have fished the Smokies,his words about fly fishing can remind you of the simplicity and goodness in nature.You want to grab the cane and head for the mountains.I did a little research in Middleton.He was a gifted writer,but was born to lose because of alcohol,financial problems,and the inability to to get along with others.
    Peter Matthiessen was highly educated,an intellectual.The Snow Leopard was one of his great books.I think it won the National Book Award.I have read it several times,because of its beauty and humanity and truth.The author opens up,tells us the truth about life and bad marriage,and death by cancer.He traveled deep into the Himalayas,looked for religous gratification,hoped to see an ancient leopard,tried to cope with ther guilt of his wife's death,only to realize that finding one's self could not be plotted on a travel map.Self is human with a soul and his soul longed for his son,left behind in the USA.He was thousands of miles from home.He was a searcher,only to find there was no search,His love for his son was finding himself.I don't think Middleton had the ability to open up and lay himself bare before the reader like PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Middleton like PM had a gift with words and his description of fishing in the Smokies is memorable if not poignant(sp?)

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lauxier View Post
    ...I don't think Middleton had the ability to open up and lay himself bare before the reader like PM.
    You must not have read Bright Country. His struggle with depression was painfully evident. It made me cringe just read the parts about lying on the floor of his unfurnished apartment in a depression so deep that nothing - not even flyfishing - could drag him out of it. His state of mind was decidedly different when writing On the Spine...

    Just my thoughts.

  4. #4
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    Default Will not look at the creeks the same way...

    I am 2/3'rds thru "Spine", and don't believe I will ever look at trout/fly fishing again in the same way.
    I believe that we all get too caught up in the technology of the "latest and Greatest" toys out on the market, and miss the "Soul" of fishing, and that of the areas we fish in.
    I, for one, will be better for having read Middleton... maybe not a better fisherman, but hopefully a better husband, person, friend, and steward of my surroundings.

  5. #5
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    Question I wonder????

    Quote Originally Posted by lauxier View Post
    He was a gifted writer,but was born to lose because of alcohol,financial problems,and the inability to to get along with others.
    Laux,
    I wonder how many of us, isolate ourselves when fishing(or in life in general) to the point that we might have missed an opportunity to get to know a Guy like Middleton, and to care enough to try and help?

    What is worse is not knowing how much that act would have helped us.

    One of those things that make you hmmmmm

  6. #6
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    Default Sad life, good books

    I certainly would not want his other problems, but I wish I had his vocabulary and skill at piecing together those words into a reflection of what he gathered through his senses about his surroundings, people, and fly fishing.

    I do a little writing, very little I am afraid. It is hard work for me. For him, it was probably child’s play. I love his books. I think I wish I could have talked to him. Maybe he talked to me the best way he knew how. Thankfully, two of his books were about good memories for his life as a whole was sad.

    I bet ole Elias Wonder is giving Harry another fly fishing lesson right now.
    Don Winningham

    I don't live just to fish, but I want to fish just as long as I live.

  7. #7
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    Default

    plunker--I wonder why we need guys like Middleton to force feed us the abstract answers to the inigma of why we fly fish.I think you are right.Wheather Middleton knew it or not,his book(s)are primers ,they describe our streams,and the way we should see and feel them.His words changes the way we look at streams--you are right

  8. #8
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    Red face Aww Shucks

    Just a simple thought Lauxier. I think Middleton could have said it much better.

    I mentioned in another post somewhere that I was told about Middleton last year, but lost his name...someone here brought him up, I went out next day and found a copy of "Spine". Interesting part of the story is that the Bookstore I purchased it from is only a couple of blocks from where he lived, and the owner knows quite a few people who knew him. None knew him well it seemed.

    I was so happy to have found him though...unfortunatly I have an affinity for dead writers, which seriously limits available bodies of work. Middleton will now occupy the void next to Papa on the bookshelf, and in my heart.

    Also I would like to thank you for bringing up "the Snow Leopard" have heard of it, but never think of it when I'm out and about...I look forward to getting my hands on that as well!

  9. #9
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    Default Writers

    Some great posts from everyone. Middleton and Mathiesen wonderful writers asking us to look beyond our small world. For us who fly fish, in the end we are only talking about fishing. The streams, mountains, animals, fish , scenery are all happy accidents of our earnest endeavor - fishing. Another writer, Thomas McGuane said, "fishing is the sport of kings, but it is just what the deadbeat ordered." Aren't we at our best when we are simply deadbeats? The deadbeat lives in the moment- not fretting over yesterday or worrying about tomorrow. Middleton wanted that freedom of the moment. We all want to live in the moment when we are on the stream or in the mountains. If I can get 4 hours on the water I can give a better 40 to the boss. Or even better, I'll feel rejuvenated enough to visit a sick friend, tell the kids you love them, and make amends in the family - even if I wasn't wrong. Maybe it's not just fishing if we do it right.

  10. #10
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    Talking ohmmmmmmm... So MorpheusTrout...

    Is this where we take the "Blue" pill? or the "Red" one

    Just a footnote to my earlier story...Spoke to the owner of the Bookstore where I bought "Spine". Turns out he knew Middleton, and confirmed what Lauxier said...hard Guy to get to know, but that he had a depth of presence that was deeper than any pool he ever fished in. His most interesting comment about Middleton was that it seemed as though nothing escaped his attention. In a room with him you felt as though he was absorbing everything.

    I see the results in his writing...I get the feeling, if you were down stream of him, that there might not be any air, water, light, or trout...because he took it all in ahead of you.

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