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All Is Well

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by Snacks1 Comment

After diving (driving?) into Nelson Algren’s Somebody in Boots and Nathaniel West’s A Cool Million, there was actually something very comforting about going back to Nathan Asch’s The Road. The first two works I listed are heavy; the latter obviously satirically, the other more subtle in it’s satire. However, they involve stories of rape and teeth pulling and unsuccessful pregnancies …

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In Motion

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by AadiLeave a Comment

“Girl on the Road” is a story that questions the fleeting nature of life. The lead character, Hazel, goes through immense struggle. She’s been assaulted by the LA ‘Bulls,’ lost two husbands, one who robbed her as well, and left in a state of deep poverty due to the financial institutions imposed on her. Essentially, she has nothing. While this would …

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A Need to Go, The Road

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by BrendanLeave a Comment

Nathan Asch’s ‘The Road’ introduces a very travel-hungry, road-loving individual that takes to stops across America to gain a true understanding of what America is. He makes it abundantly clear this is not an easy task, and that he himself is just trying. In the opening line of the foreward he presents “When you decide to try to see America”, …

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Trust, Buses and Uber

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by MichaelLeave a Comment

In recent years, markets have treated trust as if it were a new concept. Uber, AirBNB, and others have achieved multibillion dollar valuations for their business derived from the sharing economy. But as Nathan Ash teaches us in The Road, trust, and in particular trust in travel, has been long been ingrained into American culture. Ash, in discussing the attitude …

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Searching for Worse

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by IanLeave a Comment

  In “Revolt in South Dakota” the traveling writers are posturing, there is a pretentiousness bordering on a quasi-ethnocentricity. It is reminiscent of sociologists studying third-world countries. The author’s veil of objectivity is met with pity and apathy of these small town people left behind by the industrial age. The author’s traveled to the dustbowl for self affirmation, the economy …

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American Optimism

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by Melanie1 Comment

Grittiness. Perseverance. Unwavering optimism in the face of difficult circumstances. No other word perhaps describes the American spirit better than optimism. The belief that despite difficult circumstances better times will follow, is permanently woven into the fabric of America. There has been perhaps no greater test to this American optimism than the Great Depression that rocked this nation in the …

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The “Trip of Inconsequential Value” in the Modern Era

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by Kiril1 Comment

Did the Great Depression instigate commercialized travel? I won’t bother reading up on the history of it, but the themes Erskine Caldwell discusses in her short piece “Advertisement” ring painfully reminiscent of the hollow commercialization of present-day travel. “See America First” might not be a national slogan any longer, but only because our priorities have changed; and it isn’t just …

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Journeying to Understand: A Writer’s Duty

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by JaxxLeave a Comment

What I found particularly interesting about the texts from “Writers on the Road” was the sense of duty all four writers had to document the Great Depression. In 1935, the Works Progress Administration, one of the programs started by the New Deal, created the Federal Writer’s Project, which put writers, historians, etc. to work.[1]  The writers involved with this program …

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The Life of an Individual

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by AgneLeave a Comment

The selections from Erskine Caldwell’s “Some American People” remind me of why travel writing and writing about individuals is so great. As described in the “Advertisement” section Caldwell sets out to depict people during this time in history. The chapters are not about the scenery or even the action of travel; they are about what one encounters on the road. …

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Humanity on the Open Road

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by Madison1 Comment

Travel has always been a deeply human activity. The purpose of travel is often related back to individual introspection or external observation. Thus, it only fits that travel in the 1930s was intrinsically tied to human interaction. On the road, crossing paths with others was inevitable – especially in the age in which the United States seemed to be one …

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Traveling to Prosperity

In Writers on the Road (1), The Travel Habit by Khirad3 Comments

Louis Adamic’s “Girl on the Road” is a story that deals with constant movement. Hazel has been cheated and lied to, hurt by the “Bulls” outside of LA, robbed by her own husband, and according to Adamic, wronged by the capitalist society she was born into. While there are some people that traveled America as a leisurely activity at this …