Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and an '86 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of '97 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 27 years--we're recycling. I've published 2 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), and THE O'BRIENS (2012), and 2 collections of stories NIGHT DRIVING (1987), and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). Novel # 3, CARRY ME, will be out from Pantheon (US) and House of Anansi (Canada) in February 2016 and by Editions Philippe-Rey (Paris). More of my book stuff at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I've been teaching at Colorado College, Wichita State, and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I'll be a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right. It's free. Never an ad, never a sales pitch.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Banff Fargo

from  Alex Emond. "This orange Fargo was catching the late day sun, making it ridiculously orange. It may be orange but it's a cherry. This truck has been in Banff since it was new. Long may she run."-AE

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

1972 Dodge Challenger

from Mike Moore, the painter. "Near the post office (Benicia CA)"

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Stoney Reserve, foothills. province of Alberta

these from Colin Washburn, on the road:
Alberta 22 is one of the most beautiful roads in the world, if you ask me. Especially the stretch from Rocky Mountain House to Pincher Creek. That's the Rocky Mountain front range to the right, if you're heading south. I always see bald eagles on this road.
In Alberta, they are called Texas Gates. In Texas they're called cattle guards. In Switzerland -- Grille Canadien. Go figure. Below: horse race at Morley, on the Stoney Reserve.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stephen Shore: American Surfaces

Stephen Shore, American Surfaces: Queens, New York, April 1972

from a review of Shore's 2014 show, posted on Esse 
"...Shore has the unique ability to document vernacular subjects with the formal casualness of a vacation snapshot but in a way that invests them with a kind of existential monumentality. In other words, he makes the overlooked details of everyday life important, plucking them from their place in space and time with the click of a well-placed shutter. Seen together, his photographs of American roadsides from the 1970s look as contemporary as his images of modern day Abu Dhabi. Scale is often the only giveaway about “when” we are seeing in Shore’s photographs. Keeping the size of the original images, the show lets the older snapshots brush up (sometimes quite literally) against the artist’s more recent large-scale prints..."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Agnes Martin at Tate Modern, the grid, Saskatchewan

Geometry has nothing to do with it. It’s all about finding perfection and perfection can’t be found in something so rigid as geometry. You have to go elsewhere for that, in between the lines.                                                                                                                                  — Agnes Martin

"Agnes Martin’s lifelong dedication to simplicity of mind was perhaps made easier (it was certainly not impeded) by the faint trace of simple-mindedness in her nature. Had she not had about her a touch of the holy fool, the strange and specialised soul of a secular saint, her life and work would not have attained its compelling singularity. She famously said that the artist should paint with her back to the world. The world, meanwhile, was always ready to embrace her, and in the 1960s she was a successful member of the New York avant garde. But her centre of gravity lay way outside the bright metropolitan circle, and her renunciation of the urban scene, her turning away so decisively from social living, was only a matter of time in coming. Perhaps she had no choice but to follow her lodestar, but nothing should diminish her extraordinary courage in doing so. In 1967, with her reputation at its zenith, she lay down her brushes, gave away her painting materials, bought a pick-up truck and headed out West, telling a friend that she did not intend to speak to anyone for three years. After eighteen months, she came to rest on a remote mesa in New Mexico, twenty miles from the nearest outpost, with neither running water nor power, and built herself an adobe house, where she lived for the next ten years. She was 57. In 1971 she began painting again and continued without interruption until she died in 2004, aged 92..." 
from Nicolas Spice's piece in the London Review of Books on the Agnes Martin show at Tate Modern:

Martin was born in Saskatchewan. I wonder to what extent was influenced by the starkness  of her native landscape, not to mention the dominant grid pattern of settlement there? Life lived in between the lines.

1950 International L-110 on the Road to Banff

from Colin Washburn, in the Canadian Rockies: "Spotted this  cherry old cornbinder while driving through Exshaw on the 1A road. Sign on the door says REID's REPAIR AND RESURRECTIONS!"--CRW