so square…


Utopia is a tough act to follow.

Lesson / Koan : Doing whatever is okay.

Drop City by T. Coraghessan Boyle, 2003.

When individuals think of the perfect society, it is inevitably something different from that in which we currently reside. It usually involves less work, more wealth, less responsibility and more freedom. The presumption is that these aspects of life are not mutually exclusive. But the disappearance of working utopias in the world suggests that utopia is a much easier to write about in theory than execute in reality. T.C. Boyle’s ninth novel, ‘Drop City’, visits a working utopia not of the future, but of the past. Set in California and Alaska in the year 1970, Boyle’s vision of utopia is not particularly utopian. The grubby and spoiled children of America, given the chance to do exactly what they want to do. This naturally leads to conflict. Given this utopian vision, the world of the present seems much less surprising. Boyle’s vision is centered on his characters, however, and their humanity exhibits power and beauty as well as reprehensible pettiness.

File:"Pythagorean Tree".jpg

"Pythagorean Tree ", by Drop Artists, 1967

America’s fascination with the 1960’s and 1970’s may tend to obscure what Boyle achieves with this novel. Still very close to the described time period, so it’s difficult to realize that Boyle is writing a historical novel. While Boyle himself clearly lived through these years, he writes about them as if he were merely very, very well-informed about them via factual research. It gives ‘Drop City’ a sense of power and distance, while Boyle’s characterizations and descriptive talents lend it the sense of immediacy the subject matter deserves. ‘Drop City’ will definitely leave readers with an entirely imperfect world in your grasp. Utopia eludes those characters who search for it outside of themselves.

BTW,

Drop City was an artists’ community that formed in southern Colorado in 1965. Abandoned by the early 1970s, it became known as the first rural “hippie commune”.  As Drop City gained notoriety in the 1960s underground, people from around the world came to stay and work on the construction projects. Inspired by the architectural ideas of Buckminster Fuller and Steve Baer, residents constructed domes and zonohedra to house themselves, using geometric panels made from the metal of automobile roofs and other inexpensive materials. In 1967 the group, now consisting of 10 core people, won Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion award for their constructions.

NOTE :

The first epigraph in ‘Drop City’ is from Ktaadn, by Henry David Thoreau : If you are looking for cheap Zestril, but still are unsuccessful, you can enjoy buying it for only 0.43 USD right now at our online store!

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