Midwestern Traveler: wherever you go, there you are
This week watch for an announcement regarding the publication of Emanations: 2 + 2 = 5. In the meantime, Philip Murray-Lawson has posted an interview with American travel writer Christina Ammon. As I also have Midwestern origins, I find that her description of breaking from the Midwest strikes a sympathetic chord. Perhaps there is something about leaving the Midwest that is itself Midwestern, unique among the experiences of all those the world over who choose to leave their homes. Perhaps the effect of the landscape is such that you can never really escape. Wherever you go, you take it with you. The flatness, the distant clouds, the sense that there is no where else to go--it stays with you. Indeed, leaving the Midwest is psychologically impossible. Compare a figure in a Salvador Dali painting walking off that boundless plane. Beyond the horizon there is nothing but another empty horizon, filled by different poetic metaphors, perhaps, but that broad horizon remains the defining characteristic of the place, and of the experience. Our first fictitious Midwestern sister, Dorothy, is only half right when she says, "There is no place like home." Oz is really just a figment of localized atoms swirling through an immense vacuum, and the truth of the matter is a Midwesterner is home everywhere.
Carter Kaplan has taught in Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City, and Scotland. His work includes a book on Wittgenstein and literary theory, Critical Synoptics: Menippean Satire and the Analysis of Intellectual Mythology. Articles on “Karel Čapek,” “Menippean Satire” and “Dystopian Literature” appear in The Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics. Articles on "Herman Melville" and "Michael Butterworth" appear in A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (which also has an article about him). He has contributed a chapter on William Blake and Michael Moorcock to New Boundaries in Political Science Fiction. Author of the novels Tally-Ho, Cornelius! and Echoes, and the Aristophanic comedy Diogenes. He edits the annual literary anthology Emanations. Editor of the IA edition of The Scarlet Letter, with his Afterword, "A" is for Antinomian: Theology and Politics in The Scarlet Letter. He is editor of the anthology Fantasy Worlds. He is co-translator and editor of Creation of the World by Torquato Tasso.