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.


My photo
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, September 22, 2013

Ed Ruscha & John Brinckerhoff Jackson

Driving into work at my windowless office at Colorado College, I heard a good NPR piece on Ed Ruscha. Twenty Six Gasoline Stations was published fifty years ago.  I always have been thrilled by the concept and execution of that book, and will claim it as an influence on the American Houses and The Way We Live Now series that post on AL from time to time. I wonder if Ruscha and John Brinckerhoff Jackson had any influence upon each other. They were both fascinated by their contemporary American landscape, and by the idea of the vernacular landscape.  Jackson as a geographer was interested in patterns of settlement and land use, Ruscha maybe more interested in objects, which happened to be buildings....but there is a lot of overlap between the two.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Peter. Brinckerhoff Jackson is always terrific. The landscape of auto travel in the US is amazing. I have always wanted to do a piece on the kitch dinosaurs, lobsters, and assorted effigies hovering over roadside restaurants and truck stops. My best, Rosemary