Books by james pumpelly
About the Author
Reared by traveling evangelists, my sheltered years were a moth-swarm of questions and quandaries. Like drawn curtains against the sun, my naiveté rebuffed the dazzle of temporal joy. I feigned comprehension, for to do otherwise was to be reproached by the happiness of others - until the milieu of university curricula enlightened me. As Eudora Welty wrote, "A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."
In retrospect, I treasure the innocent years - as most do - a kind of throwback to Thoreau's life at Walden. Yet, as I write, I suspect only God and romanticists empathize with my quest, my yearning for warmth - like a meadow on a summer day. Peace. A palliative of which the world is bereft.
Having eyes that see, and ears that hear (in the biblical sense), I often feel complicit in the world's duress; escaping via demiurgical expression, creating
characters, places and events by the whim of fancy. Freud instructs us to hold our parents accountable for our problematic existence, Marx tells us we should point the finger at the upper class, when, in truth, we have only ourselves at fault. Blake believed if the doors of perception were cleansed, we would see everything as it is. Infinite. But truth is beyond the rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Beyond thought, even.
Accordingly, I've stumbled through the fifty states, and much of Europe and Asia, gathering impressions for my narrative. To quote Melville, "This world clean fails me: still I yearn." Such hunger funds the heart, the will to live. As the journey lengthens and the destination seems never nearer, I've grown to accept that my journey IS the destination. A writer's duty, I think, is to brave possibilities. Temerity breaths life into characters.
Accepting the challenge, I've been writing since the mid seventies - poetry (that window on the soul) and short stories, reflecting the uniqueness of station and local. Before college, I was homeschooled, due to my parents' constant travel. As an adult, I've called home by many names: Texas, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Louisiana, among them.
My hobbies include reading, cooking, gardening, and piano (the latter one of my college majors). Surmounting these four, is writing, making memories into more than they were; for memories are living things, conjoining the past and the future, resurrecting the dead and imagining the unborn.
Two thousand years ago, Pilate asked Christ, "What is truth?" the answer being every man's quest - to which I add another Pilate excerpt: "What I have written I have written."