Townships (Bur Oak Book) by Michael Martone, Raymond Bial

By Michael Martone, Raymond Bial

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And some other authors I associated with a par- Page 13 ticular state surprised me by writing about another area altogether. It doesn't matter to me now. I like a flaw in the carpet's pattern. The reality of townships, the things themselves and this book, never fit the relentless logic of its conception. Think of these essays then as a collection of corrections that are not quite correct. They are minute though complex attempts at location. They are adding, bit by bit, layer by layer, to the accumulating sediments that underlie our understanding of this place.

Growing up in Fort Wayne, I read about Perseus and Medusa, Theseus in the labyrinth, Odysseus wandering home. I also marveled at the strange connection that had brought these old stories to me. I saw a picture of the ancient Miss Hamilton in the theater of Dionysus in Athens being named a citizen of the city. She wore the draping gown of the Golden Age. I'd sit on the steep banks of Hamilton Park, where we sledded in winter, and imagine it was another classical theater. Hamilton Park had those steep hills because it had been, before it was grassed over, a trash dump.

First, perhaps nature lovers lack compassion for those who live in ugly places because they don't know how ugly people have made Page 17 the earth. " Or second, perhaps we all make a virtue out of anything we enjoy lest we otherwise feel guilty that others haven't the same blessing. I have even heard men feel virtuous because they weren't bald. Surely the unconscious chooses that attitude so it won't have to feel sorry for people who are bald. If we noticed that others haven't the same access to land that we have, we would suppose we ought to share with thembut there are so many of them!

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