THE MAN WITH THE CALABASH PIPE by Oliver La Farge

THE MAN WITH THE CALABASH PIPE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

...is not Sherlock Holmes, the most world-renowned calabash pipesmoker. He is instead a pleasant, somewhat testy and sententious old bachelor in Santa Fe whom La Farge used as a foil in his weekly newspaper columns from which this posthumous collection is drawn. La Farge, as his editor the poet Winfield Townley Scott tells us, had the misfortune of reaching literary success too early in life. He won the Pulitzer prize for his novel Laughing Boy at 29, and never again had a comparable success. This occasionally saddened him, since, according to Scott, his best and most serious writing came later. The columns here are casual and unassuming and concern Sante Fe, La Farge's adopted home Indian affairs, and such trivia of modern life as machine billing or true Rhode Island chowder. He also developed another foil, a charming Indian named Horned Husband Kachina Chief. As a sample of the Chief's humor, here is his comment on the Hall of Fame: ""The more I learn of you white people, the more peculiar you are. You're always labelling things. You kill a cow, then you examine the meat, and if it's good, you put a stamp on it. A man dies, and if he's been good enough, you put a stamp on him, sometimes you put him on a stamp and show your respect by cancelling him. A peculiar, peculiar people.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1965
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin