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The Impossible Representability of Devastation

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by cLeave a Comment

Throughout this collection of selected pieces (which include: the “Introduction” to Sherwood Anderson’s Puzzled America, the “Forward” and “Chapter 1” of Nathan Asch’s The Road: In Search of America, selections titled “Advertisement,” “Saturday Night in Marysville,” “A Country That Moves,” and “Welcome Home,” from Erskine Caldwell’s Some American People, selections from The Anxious Years, America in the Nineteen Thirties: A Collection of Contemporary …

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Hitting the road

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Julian GonzalezLeave a Comment

The possibilities of seeing how other people live has always been of interest to the socially-minded and radical persuasion. It offered a way to see how the ‘real’ proletariat lived, outside of books of Marxist theory, to get one’s hands dirty in the struggle, or at the very least to get interesting material for a forthcoming book or article. The …

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Roads to change?

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Julian GonzalezLeave a Comment

The possibilities of seeing how other people live has always been of interest to the socially-minded and radical persuasion. It offered a way to see how the ‘real’ proletariat lived, outside of books of Marxist theory, to get one’s hands dirty in the struggle, or at the very least to get interesting material for a forthcoming book or article. The …

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Truth and Belief

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Mark JoyLeave a Comment

Although the stories vary, the themes of finding, or searching for America, traveling, and stressing the importance of interaction with individuals that a writer might meet along the way were clearly present. At the time of the Depression, the primary modes of cross-country transportation that were offered to the general public were the bus and the train. As Nathan Asch …

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Exploiting Solidarity

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by EllisLeave a Comment

We find Lauren Gilfillan in a tight spot. After embedding herself in a mining community with the hopes of producing an angle that will get her published, she’s accused of being a traitor and kicked out. Gillfillan’s I Went to Pit College, “No Comrade” has some important moral and political implications for the work we read this week, much of …

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The Art of Pride

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Nancee1 Comment

Pride is a very fickle emotion. Too much of it and it could mean your eventual downfall. Too little of it and you might not ever move up in the world. To what extent do we owe pride for our very survival? Would we be here without it? Would the characters in Sherwood Anderson’s “Puzzled America”? In a time like …

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Whose Fault Is It?

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Wendy1 Comment

In Sherwood Anderson’s Puzzled America, he notes the willingness of Americans who “want to tell” and “are glad to tell” their stories to writers like himself (ix). This gives the reader an important insight into American society during the 1930s such that it was a time when people were more trusting of and open with others. This contention is also …

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Traveling and Idle Wealth

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Richard1 Comment

One of the more striking ideas from the readings was from Caldwell’s “Some American People.” On page 9, he writes, “Travel should not be confused with sightseeing and touring, the latter two being pastimes of idle wealth. In its true meaning, a traveler is a stranger who a sympathetic understanding with the people he encounters.” Under Caldwell’s definition, traveling is …

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Not Just Little Black Dots

In Setting Off, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Thomas Schermerhorn1 Comment

Despite the differences in style and personality, the writers agree that travel is a deeply personal experience that cannot be captured from the third person. In addition, the attempt to understand and relay all of America with a “complete” sense is foolishness. This is counter to what I’ve always assumed were the basic tenants of travel. Travel means bonding experiences …