I know Wednesdays are usually Dianne's day to share recipes and crafts and such but events on Monday made me want to use today's blog to pay tribute to a writer I think many of us western writers owe a debt to, Charles Portis. Portis' brother, Jonathan, reported the author passed away from complications of Alzheimers while in hospice care February 17th (you can read more here).
Portis is probably best known for writing True Grit. A great western novel that spawned two critically acclaimed movies and inspired many to fall in love the western genre. He was born in El Dorado, Arkansas in 1933. As a child, Portis and his family moved around southern Arkansas a bit, living in a few different towns. Later, Portis enlisted in the Marines during the Korean War. He achieved the rank of sergeant before leaving the service and then in 1955, enrolled in the University of Arkansas where he earned a degree in Journalism.
During his career as a writer, Portis wrote six fictions novels: Norwood (1966), True Grit(1968), The Dog of the South (1979), Masters of Atlantis (1985), Gringos (1991). He also wrote several articles and short fiction pieces as well as one nonfiction book: Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany (2012).
Below you will find a video comparing the two standoffs scenes from the John Wayne and Jeff Bridges versions of True Grit. Both films stand up well and bring different nuances to the characters.
To Charles Portis,
Thank you for the inspiration and entertainment. May you rest in peace.