Wednesday September 21st, 2011

Jumping Out of Himself

Tom Bissell writes a lovely profile of Jim Harrison for Outside. Worth reading in full. Until you get the chance, here’s a brief excerpt that occurs after Harrison mentions the death of David Foster Wallace, who was a friend of Bissell’s:

Harrison brought up Jonathan Franzen’s much discussed New Yorker piece about Wallace, in which Franzen revealed that he could never get Wallace interested in his passion of bird watching. “This is interesting,” Harrison said. “Of the 12 or 13 suicides I’ve known, none of them had any interest in nature. In other words, they had no interest in what Rimbaud called ‘the other.’ The otherness, say, of nature.” They could not make, Harrison said, “that jump out of themselves.”

We were silent for a while. “You know,” Harrison said finally, “he loved his dogs for that last year, but he should’ve been having dogs for 30 years. Every day of the year, the first thing I do after breakfast is take the dogs for a walk. They absolutely depend on it. But it’s also what’s best for me.”