A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Posts tagged "home"
Aug 11, 2012
A lot of people leave Arkansas and most of them come back sooner or later. They can’t quite achieve escape velocity. I expect it’s much the same everywhere.
Feb 07, 2012
Nov 03, 2011
» Homesickness: An American History
The back cover copy of Susan Matt’s Homesickness: An American History:
Homesickness today is dismissed as a sign of immaturity, what children feel at summer camp, but in the nineteenth century it was recognized as a powerful emotion. When gold miners in California heard the tune “Home, Sweet Home,” they sobbed. When Civil War soldiers became homesick, army doctors sent them home, lest they die. Such images don’t fit with our national mythology, which celebrates the restless individualism of colonists, explorers, pioneers, soldiers, and immigrants who supposedly left home and never looked back.
Francesca Mari, writing about the book for the Paris Review:
…the problem with homesickness isn’t just that it impedes ambition; it’s that the object of longing, home, is not as fixed as one might think. After the Civil War, for instance, “the transcontinental railroad and steam-powered ocean liners,” Matt writes, “made it easier to return to a physical home and thus, at least theoretically, easier to assuage homesickness. Upon traveling back, however, they found they had not arrived, and never could, for the same technologies that had brought them home had also disrupted traditional ways of life.” The schedules and even the clocks of hometowns had been recalibrated to train schedules and standard time; certain commodities, like ice, reshaped the diet. Traveling back revealed that “home” had been vanquished by time, and a word necessarily arose to define this longing for what was lost: nostalgia.
You’re either homesick or sick of home.
Filed under: nostalgia, home.
Oct 20, 2011
Oct 03, 2011
October is the season for returning: the bowels of youth are yearning with lost love.
Jul 28, 2011
Knockemstiff is about 13 miles west of Chillicothe, Ohio, which is southern Ohio. When I was a kid, it was claustrophobic for me. I was one of those kids - I was always unsatisfied. I always wanted to be somebody else and somewhere else. And so from a very early age, I was thinking about escaping from the holler. I really didn’t get out. That’s the weird contradiction — I wanted to escape, and then when I finally got my chance or whatever I chose to stay.
— Donald Ray Pollock in his terrific Fresh Air interview (I grew up about 20 miles from Chillicothe — most of my family on my mom’s side still lives there.)
Jul 07, 2011
Smog, “Let’s Move To The Country,” off Knock Knock (1999)
“Let’s move to the country
Just you and me
My travels are over
My travels are through
Let’s move to the country
Just me and you”
cf. Jonathan Richman’s “City Vs. Country.”
Jul 05, 2011
Neil Young, “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” off Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate living in Texas in the summer.
Every time I think about back home
It’s cool and breezy
I wish that I could be there right now
Just passing time.
Everybody seems to wonder
What it’s like down here
I gotta get away from this day-to-day running around,
Everybody knows this is nowhere.
Summer always makes me think of this song. One of my very favorite records. $6 on Amazon.
May 10, 2011
Dec 26, 2010
…the indignity of being observed…
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