Entertainment Peter Kaldheim: camel, tramp, beatnick and debuting writer at...

Peter Kaldheim: camel, tramp, beatnick and debuting writer at 70

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Wednesday
fifteen
January
2020

09:07

'The idiot wind' picks up the escape trip and redemption an admirer of Kerouac who travels the United States to save his life

Peter Kaldheim Yesterday in Madrid.
JAVIER BARBANCHO

We can read 200 books about Trump and his tricks, about Kissinger and his foreign policy, about racism and violence in the cities of North America, about the oera of its universities and the waste of its urbanism … AND it will not matter everything bad that we learned because we can always find a new story that renews the promise of innocence and freedom that we associate with the United States.

The idiot wind (Topics of Today), memory of youth of the debutante writer Peter Kaldheim (1949), is a new example of such sweet and essentially American literature.

A summary: we are in New York in 1987 and Kaldheim is a failed writer who consumes and sells cocana. In recent years he has lost and buried a couple of couples, has quarreled with his parents and has been dismissed from work in an embarrassing manner. In the Super Bowl weekend (he wins his team but he doesn't care) culminates his camel race: promises to sell seven grams of cocana but sniffs 14 in two days and discover that you cannot pay your provider. So you spend your last 30 dollars on a bus that takes you out of the city, as far as you can. A friend offers shelter in San Francisco, so Kaldheim, who has studied letters at a good university, it feels a little bit Sal Paradise in In the path.

The following months, full of satin nights, hitchhiking trips, wise wanderers, beautiful landscapes and generous people who cross their path, confirm that omen. During that time, talk about Kerouac With the people I was talking to, it was a way to remind me what I really liked about living, Kaldheim explains. Do you know what I like today on the road? All the jazz that comes out.

What was wrong in your life? I wanted to be a writer, but in 10 years I had not done more than 100 pages and had left all the stories I started, explains the author. I went to the bars of the literary environment to feel that I was part of that world and drink and dope to forget my failure. My self-esteem was collapsing. And there might have been something learned: all the writers I noticed had self-destructive lives. I suppose I planned to imitate them so that I could fulfill my mission as a writer.

Thus, until reaching the dramatic point at which Kaldheim launched Very American journey of redemption, in the style of Springsteen's songs. Why are Americans always leaving home in their books? We are a country of immigrants. We are all children of someone who left and we have that internalized way of life. And I suppose that families in the United States are a bit problematic and that is why people have fragile roots.

Kaldheim's trip was full of lonely and lonely moments. It was the journey of a tramp, not that of a backpacker. However, his story is cheerful. The depression did not feel her fleeing. The depression I had before, my addictions expressed that anguish. As soon as I got on the bus I felt free of the responsibilities that gripped me, glad to start a new life.

On good days, the traveler from The idiot wind sleep and coma of the charity of the Salvation Army; On very good days, I had a public library in which to spend the afternoon and read. Libraries admit homeless people, nobody asks you anything. Joyce.

And weren't 80s a bit of conservative and rather selfish values? Among the homeless, no. The same does not happen now. What conservatism can be among those who have nothing? There are people who doubt that such a trip is possible today. Well I think sneaking into a freight train is not as easy as before. But people are the same. You will find more good people than bad wherever you go.

An example: Gino, the owner of an Audi that crossed the country from south to north and recruited Kaldheim to give him relay at the wheel. At first, Gino was a rolled-up guy wanting to talk; later, it became his irritating bad conscience: He looked physically like my father. He was a very straight man who had lost his family because of his wife's cocana addiction. It was the mirror that reflected the damage I had done, the one that told me that growing up consists in assuming my responsibility. An addict is above all, that, someone who lives in a perpetual present and that he tries to believe that his actions have no consequences.

The idiot wind I needed a vital teaching of that kind to be a round text. That and a happy ending like the ones America still promises.

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

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(tagsToTranslate) culture / literature (t) United States

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