The Roads Taken: Travels Through America's Literary Landscapes

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Juli 1995



The Roads Taken is a big-hearted book, a thoughtful and wryly affectionate rendering of our national character as revealed to Fred Setterberg in his extensive readings and wanderings. At once a travelogue and memoir, a literary history and extended nature piece, The Roads Taken reconnects Americans to each other and to the land they live and work in - and often forsake. From Henry David Thoreau's Maine Woods to Jack London's San Francisco Bay, from Ernest Hemingway's Upper Peninsula to Zora Neale Hurston's French Quarter, Setterberg pilots readers across the well-traveled pages of our national literature and the well-read contours of the American landscape. He acquaints us anew with the books and ideas that, time after time, have pried us from our self-centered moorings and set us into physical and metaphysical motion. The Roads Taken begins, fittingly, with a discussion between Setterberg and his nineteen-year-old vagabond cousin, Wally, about Jack Kerouac, invoking the Beat writer's spirit as they swap stories about hitchhiking and one-night stands, Setterberg praises Kerouac as perhaps the best of our "bad influence" writers - an author whose stories make people quit their jobs and give away their possessions, whose books are among the first to be banned or burned while formulaic and forgettable best-sellers look on with impunity. Spurred on by Wally (whose next stop is Alaska), Setterberg takes to the road. In chapters inspired by and devoted to particular writers and locales, he visits Red Cloud, Nebraska, a prairie hamlet virtually unknown except as Willa Cather's hometown, and tours across Texas, a state known for all the wrong things until Larry McMurtry distilled a century ofdimestore cowboy novels into his pure and beautiful literature of loneliness. He travels to Nevada, where the budding fabulist Mark Twain honed his truth-stretching skills as a reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and to New Orleans, where Zora Neale Hursto

EAN: 9781566561839
ISBN: 1566561833
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 1995
Seitenanzahl: 182 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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