L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sterling Hayden - more than beefcake

I find Sterling Hayden a fascinating actor and a fascinating man.  As an actor, he has a quality - like many of the most interesting actors - of sometimes seeming to not be acting at all, or even to not know how to act, and then he'll just take off - like his bravura scenes in Doctor Strangelove - and completely blow you away.  And I think I find him even more interesting as a person.  And as a writer.

His autobiography, Wanderer, is one of the most brilliant, memorable books I've ever read.  Nothing like any kind of a movie star memoir, the writing is completely audacious and sometimes shockingly, personally honest.  Told in flashback and flashforward, with a recklessly poetic use of language and bold shifts in tense - and from first person, to second, to third - he tells his story in the context of his experiences of the great masted sailboats - the great passion of his life - and his constant longing for that life, a life of ships and the ocean.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone, even to those, like me, who have no interest in boats or sailing; it's a book that deserves to be better known.

(Of course, he was also really good looking.)

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