Friday, December 5, 2008

1899 Indiana: 2008 Indiana minus billboards

Booth Tarkington, The Gentleman from Indiana:
There is a fertile stretch of flat lands in Indiana where unagrarian Eastern travellers, glancing from car-windows, shudder and return their eyes to interior upholstery, preferring even the swaying caparisons of a Pullman to the monotony without. The landscape lies interminably level: bleak in winter, a desolate plain of mud and snow; hot and dusty in summer, in its flat lonesomeness, miles on miles with not one cool hill slope away from the sun. The persistent tourist who seeks for signs of man in this sad expanse perceives a reckless amount of rail fence; at intervals a large barn; and, here and there, man himself, incurious, patient, slow, looking up from the fields apathetically as the Limited flies by.
(This one's for you, Brooklyn.  Ha.)


  1. I would give a dirty look, but you just posted one of the most romantic descriptions of land ever written.



  2. This and Alice Adams are on my iPod now, btw.

  3. i LOVE Alice Adams. I stole my copy from a library a long time ago. I swear it's close enough to a first printing. It smells awful, and falls apart a little more every time I open it, but it's such a lovely, simple book!