Saturday, June 21, 2008

Workspace, Suburbia and Establishment Literary Fiction

I read on Nigel Beale's Note Bene HERE that Bud Parr has dedicated a Flicker group for photos of writer's workspaces.

... It seems I'm still Flicker-challenged. Couldn't figure out how to upload a photo to the right collection. Until I get this right, here's my desk--two moves ago. Still South Philly.

Doesn't look a lot different now, 'cept I have a new LCD monitor and twice as much space. This was a single room in a shared house, not much more than 10x12 feet. I slept on a blanket roll. No room for a bed. Submarine efficiency required. Now I have an Army cot!

The desk was on sale: $13. Holding up pretty well.

My Sheng Fooey Literary Idea: Maximum in the minimum. Pack it in. And so do I like to live. I have few "things" ... other than books. Let them surround me, as much as possible, within reach of the desk where I work.

Like my neighborhood. Can walk everywhere I have need. If you need a car for what you need to live: by my definition: uncivilized. We live surrounded by Mechanical Barbarians, despoiling the countryside, which is better left to fallow space and raising food. Cities are for people.

The modern American suburb, with its lawns--erasure of natural environment, of sense of place, its covert apartheid politics, its fascistic minute-by-minute control of childhood (which, like the American Christmas: a denial of the reality of childhood ... suburbia--the better part of what has gone wrong in the world, and for sure in the USA, can be traced to the cumulative decisions that have led to the creation of the modern American suburb.

You think this has nothing to do with literature? What is ELF? but a soothing drug of choice for suburban middlebrow America? ...
that is, for the few who still have managed to free themselves a few hours a day from indentured servitude.

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