Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (8 November)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish event in which participants share excerpts from their current reads, hosted by ShouldBeReading.
"But then Paris was a continuing lesson in the enjoyment to be found in such simple, unhurried occupations as a walk in a garden or watching children at play or just sitting observing the human cavalcade. One learned to take time to savor life, much as one took time to savor a good meal or a glass of wine. The French called it 'l'entente de la vie', the harmony of life."

p. 44, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

"The problem in America is not that we're driving the wrong kind of cars. The trouble is we're driving every kind of car incessantly. [...] Let the car die. Let the motoring system die, and let's move on to the next thing -- which ought to be good urbanism, walkable neighborhoods, walkable cities that are scaled to the true energy resources of the future, not just wishes and fantasies."

p.11, 12  KunstlerCast: Conversations with James Howard Kunstler. Quoted from The Geography of Nowhere


And because it gives me such pleasure to read it, another from Kunstler:

Eighty percent of everything ever built in America has been built in the last fifty years, and most of it is depressing, brutal, ugly, unhealthy, and spiritually degrading -- the jive plastic computer tract home wastelands, the Potemkin village shopping plazas with their vast parking lagoons, the Lego block hotel complexes, the 'gourmet mansardic' junk-food joints, the Orwellian office 'parks' featuring buildings sheathed in the same reflective glass as the sunglasses worn by chain-gang guards, the particle board garden apartments rising up in every meadow and cornfield, the freeway loops around every big and little city with their clusters of discount merchandise marts, the whole destructive, wasteful, toxic, agoraphobic-inducing spectacle that politicians proudly call 'growth'."

p. 2,.  KunstlerCast, quoting The Geography of Nowhere.

3 comments:

  1. Great teasers! I really want to read The Greater Journey -- I'm something like number 87 on a waiting list for it at our local library. Might have to break down and buy my own copy.

    The Kunstler book sounds like something my husband would love -- he has similar views. But, hey, I love those "clusters of discount merchandise marts"!

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  2. I'm loving McCullough so far! I just finished the section on American artists whose works were inspired in Paris, and have now progressed to the medical students. As far as Kunstler goes, I'd recommend his work, especially on suburban sprawl. Would that I had more access to his work, I'd read all of it!

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  3. It's such a fascinating book. I loved it very much. Here is my review: http://wordsandpeace.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/my-review-45-the-greater-journey/

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