FUGITIVE by Marion Montgomery


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A garrulous, somewhat misted novel about a country/western songwriter who is preoccupied with Kierkegaard and finally decides to sate his existential hungers in a small, unspoiled Georgia town. Tap some of them roots he's been tipping off; put back in a little of what he's took out. Walt Mason (Bobby Moss to the trade) is, obviously, a man of many facets, corresponding to people he's rubbed up against. With his manager, who is even more troubled by Kierkegaard and better read, he is the frenetically brilliant university boy decrying the enemy intellect. But after he's been in the sticks a while and learned the oral tradition from a wry, wise ruminant named Hugh Akers, he begins to feel the limits and a certain loss. Local events and commitments silt in, and without anyone to share the refinements of educated verbal play, which he calls ""The allusive mode,"" he begins to reel under the crashing, unrelieved reality of reality. Serves him right maybe for concluding so hastily that ""reading rots the mind."" But everybody here seems to have read a lot, and those who aren't quoting something are incarnating it. Yet Walt/Bobby does resolve his difficulties, and so does the book at least partially. The sensitivity to place (quite an attractive place) and to varieties of inner time/space would be enough to carry this. It's a longish haul though, with an allusive overload and more metaphysics than any community could demonstrate without tedium.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1974
Publisher: Harper & Row