Trucks, cars, highways, landscape, good writing.
"You cannot travel on the path, before you have become the Path itself."
Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.
“You’re going to see a lot of folks out here running from something,” said a man who identified himself only as Sunny. He posed with a stuffed animal of an amphibian named Fabian for a portrait in his R.V. in a Walmart parking lot in Asheville, N.C. He added: “For the first time in my life I’m not running from anything. I guess I was running from myself.”
The Stephen Shore Exhibition at MOMA opens in New York this weekend. AL appreciates his deadpan look at American landscape. It is as mannered a style as any other but Shore forces us to see the dreary road-scape we have created for ourselves. Of course I love the cars. Wonder what John Brinckerhoff Jackson would have to say about these landscapes?
From Alex Emond, in south Saskatchewan: This Texaco Truck was sitting in a lot on Railway Ave. in Assiniboia. About 2 1/2 hours southwest of Regina. where it spent most of its working life. "You can trust your car to the man with the star". Glad to see this old REO truck again (see below), the Gold Comet. Stars, Comets ...there must be an old Galaxy around here somewhere. Cheers, Alex"
Don't know much about Fisker other than that they are the brainchild of a Finnish designer, and they are electric. The car was parked in front of a hydrant but no one seemed to mind. This was at the annual Remembrance Day parade and wreath-laying at the Westmount Cenotaph, in Montreal. As usual, a cold grey day...
The best book I've read on WWI has to be Paul Fussel's The Great War and Modern Memory. Here's Stephen Metcalf (in Slate), on Fussell:
" “I am saying,” he concludes one chapter in The Great War, as if replying to a margin note from a junior editor, “that there seems to be one dominating form of modern understanding; that it is essentially ironic; and that it originates largely in the application of mind and memory to the events of the Great War.”
Fussell iterates the thesis at length, and the result is a unique kind of masterpiece —a plausible argument by an ex-warrior in favor of literature as the most appropriate measure of the immense shock of not only war, but all social change..."
from Colin Roswell Washburn, in the Sierra foothills: "I've spotted this incredibly cool car a few times around Sonora. Finally saw it up close and got a few pics. The unmistakable PACKARD hubcaps told me what it was, and, according to my Google research, it seems to be an aptly named BOATTAIL ! It's dark grey, body straight and clean, a convertible, and a woman with lovely dirty-blonde hair is always at the wheel."
From Alex Emond in south Saskatchewan: This mid-sixties truck was in Gravelbourg , caught just after a brief (and rare) shower . This thing's got presence. Great shape , although I see that cardboard box full of vital fluids on the passenger seat. The headlights are about the size of hubcaps. Great colour . Cheers , Alex