SOLEDAD or SOLITUDES: A Novel . by Vliet, R. G.…

SOLEDAD or SOLITUDES: A Novel . by Vliet, R. G. (1929-1984) Introduction by Ann Vliet, afterword by Tom Pilkington. < >


Edition: First printing.

Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, (1986) dj. Hardcover first edition - A revised edition of Vliet's second novel with the original title he wanted - a revision he was working on even as he was battling cancer. Includes a new introduction by his wife, Ann Vliet, describing the difficulties he had in getting this published, and an afterword by Tom Pilkington. The hero of this historical Western, set in southwest Texas in the 1880s runs stolen cattle, kills a man, and survives plenty of natural perils, including cholera and a tornado, in quest of a beautiful woman - much like traditional formula Westerns. But there is also an inner search: "The man Claiborne Sandelin kills is a stranger, and . . not until the end of the novel do we begin to understand why Claiborne killed the man. He killed the man for sociological reasons: the stranger was a Meskin and Claiborne hates Mexicans; the stranger was rich and Claiborne is literally a poor white. But the real reason . . is much deeper; it is nothing less than a recognition of the strangers solitude, the fundamental aloneness that Claiborne is existentially sad about, seeing it in himself, in others, seeing it as the only truth beneath the appearance of everything. Claiborne eventually comes to terms with the murder, forgives himself, and understands the consoling paradox that all things are bound together by solitude and the sentence of death. . Most of the book is taken up with his search for the granddaughter of the man he killed and, conversely, with her search for the murderer. Vliets shift in point-of-view, from third-person focus on Claiborne to the woman Soledad, produces some of his best prose and creates a compelling psychological mystery." (Don Graham, Western American Literature of the original edition) With this revised edition, Vliet has succeeded in writing a great Western novel, comparable to the best of Cormac McCarthy. A title in the Texas Tradition Series. 270 pp. ISBN: 0-875650635.

Condition: Very good in a good dust jacket. (slight spine slant, tear to dj at fold of front flap.)

Book ID: 88822
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