If his autobiography is anything to go by, James Michener, author of such tomes as Tales of the South Pacific, Texas and Hawaii, was a complete bore.
A stand-out moment in a sea of hints, is when he comments that the sex life he shared with his 3rd wife was “very satisfactory”.
Can you imagine?
He: “Ah, thank you darling, that was very satisfactory”
She: “Oh James. You saucy fox.”
But you have to admire his work ethic and his output, which was prolific.
His books sold in the tens of millions, and dog eared copies can still be found the world over, propping up disintegrating bookshelves in 3 star hotels, and in the waiting rooms of ageing doctors.
His autobiography paints him as a very particular, very exacting and highly disciplined craftsman.
There was a passage that really caught me. I had it printed out and on my wall for years. Typed on a typewriter, yes, that long ago.
It recounts a time after a near fatal landing in World War 2 on the Tontouta Air Base in French New Caledonia.
It reads like this:
– “But as the stars came out and I could see the low mountains. I had escaped, I swore:
– ‘I’m going to live the rest of my life as if I were a great man.’
– And despite the terrible braggadocio of those words, I understood precisely what I meant:
– ‘I’m going to erase envy and cheap thoughts.
– I’m going to concentrate my life on the biggest ideals and ideas I can handle.
– I’m going to associate myself with people who know more than I do.
– I’m going to tackle objectives of moment.”
Perhaps its worthy of your wall?