As the days lengthen, the gross snow melts and the temps rise – if briefly – vast numbers of Americans get the itch to get on the road again. Even those of us who can’t afford the time or the gas, it’s a dream that wafts through the mind.
There’s a delightful read about the Romance of the Road, written by Ronald Primeau, and accessible online. It’s the next best thing to being there. Primeau writes about Americans’ romance with the open road, “places of exhilarating motion, speed, and solitude.” The open road represents a new start, sometimes discovery, and at least a take-away experience about which the nomad can go home and sing or write.
Primeau tells us that the road trip may be an “epic quest,” a “pilgrimage”, a romance or a mere ritual. Anything from the tale tellers of Canterbury to Jack Kerouac or Charles Kuralt.
Once again, librarian volunteer Ruthann Ovenshire is organizing an exhibit on the theme “Hit the Road” set to lure the traveler. A wealth of books, DVDs and audiobooks drawn from the collection are now on open display at the Minneapolis Central Library.
A few titles will awaken the wanderlust in the most homebound reader, listener or viewer. Let your mind take to the road by remembering some chestnuts:
- Horatio’s Drive: America’s First Road Trip, by David Duncan and Ken Burns (audiobook and DVD)
- Charles Kuralt’s On the Road. (DVD)
- Jack Kerouac’s classics, On the Road and Dharma Bums
- William Faulkner’s The Reiver
- Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
- The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
- Richard Paul Evans trilogy on walking roads: The Walk, Miles to Go, and The Road to Grace
- Barbara Kingsolver’s, The Bean Trees
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Just as the road turns, revealing new vistas and unexplored horizons these print, audio and video treasures can expand the mind and what the wonder of wanderlust in the most sedentary reader/viewer/listener. Consider an armchair road trip before mere tourists take to the roads . The lure of the landscape and the fast lane cannoat be ignored.