For two decades he encouraged people to investigate the neurotoxicity of mercury in medical products In the early s, he started manipulating CDs and CD playerspioneering many of the techniques adopted by glitch music artists in the 90s.
He disapproved of white wine, finding it pale and insipid. In his writing and his life, he was a champion of boldness, lushness, vibrancy.
Why drink wine that looked like watery urine, he argued, when you could drink wine the colour of rubies and blood?
Charles Bowden was the name on his books and magazine stories, but in person he was always Chuck. Tall, rangy and rugged, he had blunt handsome features, blue eyes that seemed to devour his surroundings, hair that wanted to climb back down his collar into the s.
He was always deeply tanned. He would lie out in the desert sun for hours, smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes, and reading big scholarly books about his latest obsessions, which ranged from medieval trade routes to rattlesnakes, American jurisprudence to Italian food.
It was a way of feeding his intellect, decompressing after writing, and drinking in heat and light through his skin. He had no fear of skin cancer, lung cancer, or other ways of dying.
He wrote for eight or nine hours on a normal day, 15 or 16 hours if the crunch was on, and he almost never took a day off or a vacation.
By this method, he produced 26 books of utterly distinctive non-fiction, and hundreds of magazine articles.
At his best, in Desierto: Memories of the Futureor Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder and Familyhe was searing, incandescent, incomparable, a hard-nosed reporter who wrote like a poet or a fire-breathing prophet, and seemed wired into the deepest currents of his time.
At his worst, he was overblown, macho, teetering on self-parody — too many perfumed whores and fierce dark hungers in the midnight streets. He was always willing to risk his life to get the story, and the deeper he got into the Mexican drug world, exposing cartel bosses and the role of the army, the more urgent and extreme that risk became.
Bodyguards accompanied him on occasion. He started keeping guns within reach at all times. His contacts in the US Drug Enforcement Administration said there were three contracts out on his life.
Risk was there in his prose, too. He gambled with structure and tone. Writing about a brilliant, charismatic, amoral financier, he interspersed the story with observations on mountain lions, suggesting that both were predators following their instinctual desires.
When your friends are dying, he advised, go into the kitchen, cook well, savour the flavours on your tongue. So I lay the yellow peppers on the blue flames of the stove, and start chopping the onions, carrots and other vegetables.
He grew up in Chicago, and it was still there in his accent, and his no-bullshit attitude, but he lived most of his life in Tucson, Arizona.This page intentionally left blank V I RGI N I A WOOL F A N D T H E ST U DY OF NAT U R E Reflecting the modernist fascination with science, Virginia Woolf’s representations.
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Sign up to view the complete essay. Show me the full essay. Show me the full essay. View Full Essay. This is the end of the preview. Barbara Gowdy’s White Bone is a novel that is written about the perspective of a herd of elephants living in Africa.
The main characters are Mud, Tall-Time, Date Bed, and Torrent.
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