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Burning the Days (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

James Salter
4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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This is the brilliant memoir of a man who starts out in Manhattan and comes of age in the skies over Korea, before emerging as one of America's finest authors in the New York of the 1960s.

Burning the Days showcases James Salter's uniquely beautiful style with some of the most evocative pages about flying ever written, together with portraits of the actors, directors and authors who later influenced him. It is an unforgettable book about passion, ambition and what it means to live and to write.

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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 une autobiographie passionnante 11 septembre 2013
Par Alpen
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Biographie originale, plus que le récit d'une vie, celui de la condition humaine. Un homme qui pilote, qui combat sans fanfaronnades et qui courage suprême, lâche sa carrière pour écrire. On croise les caractères les plus divers de Edward White l'astronaute qui a fait les premiers " pas " dans l'espace et les scénaristes et autres producteurs que James Slater a croisés en explorant le mode littéraire et cinématographique.

Un grand livre écrit magnifiquement - dans sa version originale, je n'ai pas lu la traduction - par un écrivain et un homme hors du commun.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 un temoignage poignant 21 septembre 2014
James Salter n'est pas un écrivain conventionnel. Je considère que , dans ce livre, il est surtout grand reporter, très grand reporter; il est dans l'écriture ce que Capa fut en images. Il a le talent de l'émotion, de la beauté inouïe des descriptions, de la compassion, d'un sens très idéaliste de la vie et de ses valeurs. C'est un grand bonhomme, mais son livre n'a pas la construction d'une oeuvre littéraire et, ceci établi , c'est un témoignage passionnant sur ses années passées .... dans l'armée et dans l'armée de l'air.A lire absolument.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  58 commentaires
56 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A man like and better than other men. . . 1 juin 2005
Par Ronald Scheer - Publié sur
A colleague got me reading novels again after a long period by recommending "The Hunters." Not long afterward, I was reading "Solo Faces," stunned in both cases by Salter's crystal clear prose and the wrestling with themes of personal integrity. It has taken me a while to get round to his memoir "Burning the Days," which I found myself gulping down in two days and one long night of a holiday weekend. It has been a revelation.

Salter's novels are case studies of what I'd call male mythology. The heroes of "Hunters" and "Solo Faces" seem trapped in hyper gender roles, testing always both a kind of grace under pressure and an ability to endure physical and psychological extremes. "Burning the Days" turns out to be a celebration of those values, where to be a man is to embark on a long, lonely journey of proving that one is both like and better than other men.

The book is his own story of emerging from a fairly nondescript youth in New York to the life-transforming experience of West Point and a career as a pilot, along with the getting of a kind of worldly wisdom during times spent in Europe, especially Paris. His life as a writer introduces him to literary circles in New York and abroad and an international community of filmmakers and film stars.

Through it all, Salter focuses often on the men around him who earn his respect. He marvels at the particular integrity that makes each of them admirable. He elevates each of them into a kind of pantheon, and when all is said and done, he hopes that his own life warrants him a place among them. By contrast, the women who pass through his life are remarked upon for their beauty and intelligence, but beyond that they are walk-ons in this book about men. Readers may be taken by his old-fashioned glamorizing of women, or they may take exception to it.

Brilliantly written, the book is compelling for what it sets out to do - provide a remembrance of things past that not only captures moments and people in vivid detail but bathes them in a melancholy glow - like richly detailed sepia photographs.
27 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A read-before-you-die book 30 octobre 2001
Par Eric Krupin - Publié sur
I find it amusing to see how some people take this man's extraordinary lyrical gift for granted - as if prose poets of his caliber could be found in any issue of People magazine. Let's be clear about this: there is *no one* making more beautiful music with the magnificent instrument of the English language than James Salter. If this book were nothing more than a factual recounting of his life story, it would still be a greatly rewarding reading experience.
It is, in fact, a great deal more than that. Like Casanova's immortal memoir, this is the work of an old man looking back on the dazzling life he relished but which has vanished forever. As such, a funereal darkness lurks behind every sunlit memory, an abyss of ruin underneath every bejewelled sentence. There is a sad wisdom in these pages that makes "Burning the Days" a timeless classic, belonging to no one generation but to all.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A clinic on writing autobiography 17 mai 2006
Par T.M. Reader - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I love Salter's fiction. After reading "Burning the Days", his autobiography (memoirs if your prefer), I'm not sure that I like the man - but the book review should have nothing to do with that personal opinion.

Salter's writing style is unusual. The syntax often makes one stop and reconstruct, thus stop and think. On rare occasions it's nonsensical. I particularly was annoyed with the confusion of general pronouns among mixed proper pronouns, the result being that I couldn't figure out who he was talking about. That said, his use of the language is superb. It's there in all of his work. And he's a wonderful "observer and describer" of people and things.

His life story is, of course, fascinating. Raised in privilege in NYC. West Point. Combat jet fighter pilot. Author. Director. Screeenwriter. Literary socialite. World traveler.

His singularly candid recounting of his years at West Point was excellent in quality and style. He gives West Point to us warts and all. And his internal struggles. Loathing it, living it, finally loving it.

The tales of flight are absolutely riveting. Nobody does it better. True storytelling that sometimes touches your heart, and sometimes raises your heartrate with the tension. In reading these memoirs I found that as I had suspected, his first novel, "The Hunters", was largely autobiographical. For me, this only adds to the greatness of that work.

The writing years seemed to be a little slower reading. At least for me. And I can't decide whether Salter was indulging in a little "name dropping". In any case, he travels in high company. He is loyal to and generous to his friends. Plenty of saucy tales, no vulgarity. Well done.

I do not share his love for Paris. Salter breathes it. Perhaps it rejected me, as Salter claims Rome rejected him. No matter - Salter is an accomplished individual, in a wordly way, and travels in circles far above the heads of most of us. He does not claim to be atheist, but his overtures toward God (or gods) are tenuous and ambiguous. As I wrote earlier, I'm not sure I like him - but I savour his work.

This is an unusual autobiography of rare quality. Generally, Salter presents himself as he often presents his fictional characters. If you've read any of his novels, you understand what I mean.

This autobiography is not for the People magazine crowd. It is thoughtful and broad in scope, spanning an accomplished man's life. I recommend it.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been 26 août 2010
Par Eric Treanor - Publié sur
You either burn the days or you're burned by them, I suppose--although at some point the wood becomes the fire, the fire the wood, and attempting a distinction is futile. That futility might be what we mean by aging, if we're lucky.

James Salter certainly has burned through his days, as this oddly structured, intensely lyrical memoir demonstrates. He's best known (properly) as the author of two of my favorite post-war novels--A Sport and a Pastime and Light Years. He wrote the screenplay for the icy, piercing Downhill Racer, one of Robert Redford's best films. Before becoming a writer, he graduated West Point and fought in the Korean War as an Air Force fighter pilot.

Also, to his credit, he embraced the post-war possibilities open to an American man: see (and rule) the world; educate yourself as a world citizen; help re-construct, if only by your love, Western Europe; and never cease to admire our country's incomparable landscapes and coincident opportunities.

By all appearances, Salter has known power--been close to it--but never allowed that closeness to ruin him as an artist. He evokes the circles of power, the famous faces, with their fantastic, distorted personalities, with intriguing delicacy. He's also had the good sense to fall in love a few times. Anyone who has picked up A Sport and a Pastime already knows how precisely, how lethally he records the burning choreography of love.

I don't know if it's still possible for an American man to burn the days as Salter did. There are obstacles on all sides--foremost among them our post-Reagan isolationism and moralistic fervor, our proud Crawford stupidity, our decadent laziness. Reading this book, I couldn't help but lament what we're becoming (which is probably another way of saying, What I'm becoming). This book allows us the secondary pleasure of envying Salter--which is an important pleasure, as it means that something essential is not yet forgotten.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A life lived, if not always in the right way. 28 octobre 2002
Par Bruddy Dahl - Publié sur
The first question I have about this book is where was Salter's wife when he was carrying on all the adulterous affairs he had? She is almost never mentioned. We do encounter, however, an incredibly interesting number of people, many of whom are famous: Robert Redford, Irwin Shaw, James Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, are only a few. And then there are the dazzling descriptions of the restaurants, hotels, residences and cities of Europe. The food that was eaten, the wine that was drunk, and the conversations had on literature, writing and film making. These are complimented by Salter's experiences as a pilot, flying in the States, Europe and across deserts in Africa. All of it, delivered in an often brilliant, dizzying prose.
There is no doubting James Salter lived an interesting life and drank from the lees more than most of us, and yet the one defect of this rich memoir is its morally flawed author. Salter seems to have not the slightest hesitation in sleeping with someone's wife or betraying his own wife for that matter. Adultery seems almost par for the course of being someone who is someone. Knowledge of women (many women), like knowledge of books and wines, seems almost a requirement to being cultured, to having truly lived. Which is perfectly acceptable, I suppose, if that's what you believe. But the problem is that the most emotionally honest part of this book comes when Salter briefly mentions the death of his daughter. The pain in his words stand in counterbalance to all the frivolity of his affairs throughout the book. And I found myself thinking that Salter would have done his daughter much better if he had never betrayed his wife, had never run off to Europe and other places for months at a time and sipped wine from golden goblets with genuises and moviestars. It's a consideration I believe Salter takes into account also.
The book succeeds because the author does not try to recapture the past (the days that he has burned away) or to ever justify his actions, but only the impressions that they have left him. And so if we are not given the whole picture, we are at least presented with a small part of the indelible proof of a life remembered, and the wisdom gained by having lived it.
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