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.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Robert Redford & Route 66; Patricia Highsmith, Cate Blanchett, & Carol

Route 66 was the first TV show I ever watched. Two straight guys on the road. Sorta clean-cut versions of Dean and Sal--I think at one point Kerouac tried to sue the producers for stealing his On the Road. It was on from 1961-64, and the existential banter was over my head--the 2 young men were looking to 'find themselves'--but I certainly liked that Corvette and the whole idea of taking off across the country. The show was filmed on locations all over the USA, but usually not on Route 66. Robert Redford was in a couple of episodes.

On the subject of road epics, about twenty years ago in London I came across a neat little Bloomsbury Press edition of a Patricia Highsmith novel I'd never heard of. Bloomsbury published it as CAROL, by Patricia Highsmith, but it was first published, in 1952, as THE PRICE OF SALT by Claire Morgan. Highsmith used the nom de plume because it was a novel about two women on a road trip falling in love with each other. There are some scenes at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Under any title it is a great novel, flawed but deft, and strange in the Highsmith manner--she takes her time with time, and she sees things other writers of the period don't notice. Todd Haynes' film of the novel starring Cate Blanchett, premiered at Cannes last spring and is scheduled for limited release in the US in November. 

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