Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Capturing what America is and what it is to be American has long been an obsession of American artists.

Jake Stangel photography portfolio seems similarly motivated; he tries to capture the quintessentially American on film.

His images are idyllic but beautiful, and well worth a look... http://jakestangel.com/overview/portfolio/

Other attempts to capture America and the American psyche have painted a far darker picture. So to balance out his nostalgic photography I thought I'd leave with some of my favorite extracts capturing the other side to life in America. So to finish off this corner of little America...

'American Pastoral' by Philip Roth:

I was impressed, as the meal wore on, by how assured he seemed of everything commonplace he said, and how everything he said was suffused by his good nature. I kept waiting for him to lay bare something more than this pointed unobjectionableness, but all that rose to the surface was more surface. What he has instead of a being, I thought, is blandness -- the guy's radiant with it. He has devised for himself an incognito, and the incognito has become him. Several times during the meal I didn't think I was going to make it, didn't think I'd get to dessert if he was going to keep praising his family and praising his family...until I began to wonder if it wasn't that he was incognito but that he was mad.

Something was on top of him that had called a halt to him. Something had turned him into a human platitude. Something had warned him: You must not run counter to anything.

'Bonfire of the Vanities' by Tom Wolfe:

Read the single page from "He wrote a story" to "Thank you Inez"...


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