Knotty Gun


I’ve known guns all my life, having grown up in a family of deer poachers and shot-gunners. High-powered rifles helped provide lots of venison for the dinner table and, conversely, my  older brother’s friend accidentally shot him in the face with a .22 pistol. I mopped up the blood. In Trout Kill, a 45-calibre pistol appears, and throughout the story it plays an important thematic role. In fiction as in real life, guns are impossible to ignore. And here in NY City, when Deb and I visited the UN building yesterday, it was impossible to ignore the sculpture by the Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. Dubbed The Knotted Gun, it was created after John Lennon was shot and killed in 1980. Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, asked the Swedish artist to create a tribute to John and his vision of a more peaceful world. The sculpture was later donated to the UN by the Luxembourg government. In TK, the .45 is not so much a symbol of violence as it is of attempted reconciliation. In Chapter One, for example [Attention!: Spoiler Alert!], it’s passed from father to son as sort of an act of contrition and mercy. As far as my personal view of firearms is concerned, well, a picture is as good as a thousand words.

Quote of the Day: “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

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