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Oh, Tennessee

August 2, 2010

Cue John Samson, maybe “A New Name for Everything”, as I reflect on the past few days.

I have been thinking quite a bit about Larry’s Punk Planet interview with John from 2001, which you can read here. Specifically, I’ve been mulling over this statement from John:

It’s very important to me to have a time and place in my writing, a sense of location.  I’ve lived here for 27 years, all my life.  I leave a lot, but I always return.  And this is the place I understand, it’s the landscape I understand.  I think the landscape has some profound effect on people, the place they’re from.  I don’t know how to describe what that is, but you recognize it when you go other places.

I don’t have much to say about that now, except it seems profoundly important, if not in an ultimately fleeting, temporal way. It is an importance and a feeling that cannot be avoided.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2010 12:11 pm

    Semi-related: I found this video, “Punk Planet Says Farewell” on youtube this morning. It fits with the over-arching concept of frameworks labeled home. Thoughts of PP will always make me misty-eyed.

  2. August 3, 2010 12:11 pm

    From Marya Hornbacher’s latest newsletter:

    “I think writers return and return to places, maybe a little obsessively, in their work. I don’t know why they do. I don’t know why some writers are so deeply immersed in place, and keep trying to describe the place they’re in and bring the reader into it with them and show them what it’s like and make them feel the place for themselves. I’m one of these weirdly place-centric writers. It bothers me when I can’t find myself in a place in my work; it makes me feel like I leave the reader floating in midair, unable to see or sense their surroundings, and it makes me very uneasy. So I keep coming back to places. One of them is obviously northern Minnesota, and I’m not sure why; it just absorbs me and I want to take people here. Though I’m not from here originally, I spent long spells of my childhood here, driving north on Highway 10 through cornfields and fields of sugar beet, to visit relatives who were loud and a little scary but fascinating, the same relatives who morphed into characters in my novel—and now they’re doing it again.”

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