Yes, the road.

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.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
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 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.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

American Houses: the original Cape Cod cottage. Sedgwick, Maine

This is about as close to an original Cape as you'll see. It's in Sedgwick, Maine. These were for a long time the standard house in rural and coastal Maine. Usually they were the 'starter' house that was added onto as years went by and families expanded. The classic configuration in Maine is Big house-little house-backhouse-barn, as in this example, just up the road. It's usually a 'summer kitchen' that connects the house to the barn.

But this Cape has none of that: perhaps there was a barn attached at one time, but it's gone now. Not even a shed dormer popped into the roof. Each time I pass it the house strikes me with its simple and organized beauty. It has something of the Shaker aesthetic. In Maine in the first half of the nineteenth century there would have been thousands of examples; in fact there still are, though rarely without the add-ons.

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