You know how The Black Crowes get played on “classic rock” nostalgia radio, along with the Allman Brothers and The Eagles, while Nirvana gets played on “Generation X” nostalgia radio, even though they both “hit” at the same time? In art, chronology isn’t always the defining factor of a generation. Some artists belong in generations past; others point to the future.
Despite the fact that he is very, very old indeed, James Salter, for example, belongs in a generation that is even older than he is. Let’s call him the last distant peer-wannabe of Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, that crowd. He comes from the age of the Big, Brawling Man-Writer Who Took on the World and Won. The last of Hemingway’s literary children.
I do not mean this as a compliment, necessarily. I also don’t like the Black Crowes very much.