Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two Pages in "Two Vermonts"

I've been plowing through Two Vermonts by Paul Searls and practically on every page wishing for concrete examples of just what uphillers or downhillers wanted at any given time. I would give a lot if Searls simply once defined authentically rural life!

And, on pp. 154-155 I at last found something quotable.

...Vermont's appeal to early-twentieth-century Americans lay in the degree to which outsiders perceived that the authentically rural life [...] described as extinct in fact survived.

...the downhillers' unilateral approach to achieving a "new Vermont" imperiled the very remnants of the way of life they praised as the source of Vermont's virtues. If they had wholly had their way, there would eventually have been nothing left to sell.

and finally this Vermont oxymoron

...Beautiful Vermont, a short book aimed at selling summer homes [put out by the State Board of Agriculture contained this quote:]" a scenic sense, Vergennes is superb." Therefore, "a great future awaits the capitalist or association of moneyed interests that decides to establish a big industry in Vergennes."

Postively schizophrenic. Now, and once again or perhaps, as usual, we are still messing about with this dichotomy.

1 comment:

  1. Clair - Good points. Reading books on Vermont is pretty odd -- have you read FAST LANE ON A DIRT ROAD? - Charlie (another AoA finalist trying to figure out how to grapple with this whole thing.....)