Infinite Summer
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Hometown
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Author:  eric [ Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:52 am ]
Post subject:  Hometown

I must admit, I began reading IJ for reasons that were mostly geographic.

I was completely floored this spring when an idling trip to Wikipedia revealed that Mr. Wallace, Towering Giant of Contemporary Literature, was born and raised in a tiny town five miles—just five country blocks of corn and soy!—south of my boyhood home, in Philo, IL, whose population count on the green sign by the highway is kept at a perpetual "1000" even. He wrote a memoir about his time in the place, though it's mostly about geometry and (of course) tennis. I get the sense that he put a tremendous amount of himself into IJ, and throughout it I keep hunting for themes (or even just cameos) from our common geography, but I think DFW is maybe the very definition of transcending one's hometown. He name drops the UofI here, mentions that State Farm Insurance is based in Bloomington there, but I think this book ultimately belongs to Boston, as far as cities go.

Are there any Urbana-ites out there? Champaigners? Anybody from Phlio!?!???!!? (Sidney? Tolono? Villa Grove? Anywhere within the 217 area code?) Holla! Also, in addition to hollering, perhaps you might contribute to a thematic discussion of the relation/non-relation of rural east central Illinois' sense of place to DFW's life and work!?

—eric

Author:  denisess [ Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hometown

I lived in Decatur for a over a decade, and originally heard of DFW because at the time he was on the faculty at ISU.

Author:  rinard [ Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hometown

The View from Mrs. Thompson's is set back in Bloomington, too. Fabulous piece, if you haven't read it.

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