11 year old boys make a neighborhood

Aside

In the January 2012 issue of The Believer, there is an interview with cartographer Denis Wood, who created Everything Sings, a representation of Boylan Heights, NC, where he lives and raised his children. The maps are not typical maps, instead they depict, according to the article (I don’t have this book, though I’m ordering it!) “the light that fills the streets, the delivery routes of local newspapers, the face of pumpkins in front of homes at Halloween”, among others. Wood says:

I wanted to think about what a neighborhood is. What makes a neighborhood a neighborhood? What are the characteristics of neighborhoodness? There’s a theaorist named Leonard Bowden who ahd the idea that neighborhoods are created by eleven-year-old preadolescent males. Intheir running through the neighborhood and connecting families together, crossing fences, going into homes that their parents would go into, and knowing people that their parents would never even acknowledge, they create the neighborhood. Not girls, because girls were not given the privilege of raning like the boys were, and not older boys, because they were being directed by the school toward classmates at a distance. 

 

Ezra Pound Interview, 1962

Aside

The what is so much more important than how. — Ezra Pound

Interviewer: Do you think that the modern world has changed the ways in which poetry can be written?

Pound: There is a lot of competition that never was there before. Take the serious side of Disney, the Confucian side of Disney. It’s in having taken an ethos, as he does in Perri, that squirrel film, where you have the values of courage and tenderness asserted in a way that everybody can understand. You have got an absolute genius there. You have got a greater correlation of nature than you have had since the time of Alexander the Great. Alexander gave orders to the fishermen that if they found out anything about fish that was interesting, a specific thing, they were to tell Aristotle. And with that correlation you got ichthyology to the scientific point where it stayed for two thousand years. And now one has got with the camera an enormous correlation of particulars. That capacity for making contact is a tremendous challenge to literature. It throws up the questions of what needs to be done and what is superfluous.