Sunday, July 5, 2009

Authors Define Towns (in one sentence or less ... )


We define towns -- ours, others, imaginary -- using all means at our disposal. Norman Mailer, in Miami and the Siege of Chicago, defined and then levelled Los Angeles in a matter of three words, calling it a "constellation of plastic." Not one for a succint turn of phrase, Mailer nonetheless nails the essential thing about that place, or what we imagine the essential thing about that place, a large vacuum of dreams, to be.
I wanted to start off this blog-project with a broad gesture, even a stereotype, toward place. From there we can move on, and in, ever narrower and more personal. Because we are the authorities on the places we live in, the places we've known and loved.
Or, like Gerturde Stein, the places we couldn't run from fast enough. Because, "when there is no there there," we'd rather be anywhere else. For fun: which "there" was she talking about? Hint: it's pictured.

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