- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Other titles in the Culture Trails series:
Spiral Jetta: A Road Trip Through the Land Art of the American West (Culture Trails)by Erin Hogan
Synopses & Reviews
Erin Hogan hit the road in her Volkswagen Jetta and headed west from Chicago in search of the monuments of American land art: a salty coil of rocks, four hundred stainless steel poles, a gash in a mesa, four concrete tubes, and military sheds filled with cubes. Her journey took her through the states of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. It also took her through the states of anxiety, drunkenness, disorientation, and heat exhaustion. Spiral Jetta is a chronicle of this journey.
A lapsed art historian and devoted urbanite, Hogan initially sought firsthand experience of the monumental earthworks of the 1970s and the 1980s—Robert Smithsons Spiral Jetty, Nancy Holts Sun Tunnels, Walter De Marias Lightning Field, James Turrells Roden Crater, Michael Heizers Double Negative, and the contemporary art mecca of Marfa, Texas. Armed with spotty directions, no compass, and less-than-desert-appropriate clothing, she found most of what she was looking for and then some.
“I was never quite sure what Hogan was looking for when she set out . . . or indeed whether she found it. But I loved the ride. In Spiral Jetta, an unashamedly honest, slyly uproarious, ever-probing book, art doesnt magically have the power to change lives, but it can, perhaps no less powerfully, change ways of seeing.”—Tom Vanderbilt, New York Times Book Review
“The reader emerges enlightened and even delighted. . . . Casually scrutinizing the artistic works . . . while gamely playing up her fish-out-of-water status, Hogan delivers an ingeniously engaging travelogue-cum-art history.”—Atlantic
“Smart and unexpectedly hilarious.”—Kevin Nance, Chicago Sun-Times
“One of the funniest and most entertaining road trips to be published in quite some time.”—June Sawyers, Chicago Tribune
“Hogan ruminates on how the work affects our sense of time, space, size, and scale. She is at her best when she reexamines the precepts of modernism in the changing light of New Mexico, and shows how the human body is meant to be a participant in these grand constructions.”—New Yorker
Cambridge don Helen Moralesand#151;recently transplanted to a new job in Californiaand#151;has written a rousing travel book centering on the life and legacy of Tennessee native Dolly Parton.and#160;and#160; Apart from being a distinguished philologist, Morales is an avid country-music fan.and#160; For years she has especially admired the great country singer, songwriter, actress, and all-round smart cookie Dolly Parton. The Dolly Parton trail she traces is set entirely in Tennessee.and#160; It takes in key sites of Dollyand#8217;s life, from the Grand Ole Opry, where Dolly became a star, to Sevierville, her birthplace, to various homes occupied by Dolly and her gigantic family, to schools she attended. Helen also visits the institutions that have helped immortalize the singer, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, where relics of Dollyand#8217;s life are displayed as those of a saint.and#160; If this is starting to sound like a sacred pilgrimage, well, in a sense it is.and#160; It culminates at the town of Pigeon Forge, where the Dolly Parton Annual Parade is held, featuring the star herself as Grand Marshall, enthroned on a float.and#160; Helen was accompanied on her trip by her husband and their pre-pubescent daughter, Athena, who operates as aand#160; matter-of-fact foil to the authorand#8217;s own romantic and sometimes misguided English notions about American popular culture.and#160; Itand#8217;s good chemistry and makes for a hilarious read.
A star par excellence, Dolly Parton is one of country musicand#8217;s most likable personalities. Even a hard-rocking punk or orchestral aesthete canand#8217;t help cracking a smile or singing along with songs like and#147;Joleneand#8221; and and#147;9 to 5.and#8221; More than a mere singer or actress, Parton is a true cultural phenomenon, immediately recognizable and beloved for her talent, tinkling laugh, and steel magnolia spirit. She is also the only female star to have her own themed amusement park: Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Every year thousands of fans flock to Dollywood to celebrate the icon, and Helen Morales is one of those fans.
In Pilgrimage to Dollywood, Morales sets out to discover Partonand#8217;s Tennessee. Her travels begin at the top celebrity pilgrimage site of Elvis Presleyand#8217;s Graceland, then take her to Loretta Lynnand#8217;s ranch in Hurricane Mills; the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville; to Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and finally to Pigeon Forge, home of the and#147;Dolly Homecoming Parade,and#8221; featuring the star herself as grand marshall. Moralesand#8217;s adventure allows her to compare the imaginary Tennessee of Partonand#8217;s lyrics with the real Tennessee where the singer grew up, looking at essential connections between country music, the land, and a way of life. Itand#8217;s also a personal pilgrimage for Morales. Accompanied by her partner, Tony, and their nine-year-old daughter, Athena (who respectively prefer Mozart and Miley Cyrus), Morales, a recent transplant from England, seeks to understand America and American values through the celebrity sites and attractions of Tennessee.
This celebration of Dolly and Americana is for anyone with an old country soul who relies on music to help understand the world, and it is guaranteed to make a Dolly Parton fan of anyone who has not yet fallen for her music or charisma.
Erin Hogan hit the road in her Volkswagen Jetta and headed west from Chicago in search of the monuments of American land art: a salty coil of rocks, four hundred stainless-steel poles, a gash in a mesa, four concrete tubes, and military sheds filled with cubes. Her journey took her through the states of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. It also took her through the states of anxiety, drunkenness, disorientation, and heat exhaustion. Spiral Jetta is a chronicle of this journey.
A lapsed art historian and devoted urbanite, Hogan initially sought firsthand experience of the monumental earthworks of the 1970s and the 1980s--Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, Walter De Maria's Lightning Field, James Turrell's Roden Crater, Michael Heizer's Double Negative, and the contemporary art mecca of Marfa, Texas. Armed with spotty directions, no compass, and less-than-desert-appropriate clothing, she found most of what she was looking for and then some. Her encounters with these artworks are recorded here, personal observations lightly draped in art history and theory. But for Hogan this trip was also the most extended time she had spent alone, and her 3,000-mile circuit through the west became an experiment in solitude, with mixed results.
Spiral Jetta offers a view of a critical moment of twentieth-century American art. It also offers a view of the American landscape, seen through the windshield of a car streaming through the empty highways of the American West, piloted by a woman who had no real idea where she was going.
About the Author
Erin Hogan is director of public affairs at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Spiral Jetty
Chapter 2 Sun Tunnels
Chapter 3 Moab
Chapter 4 Double Negative
Chapter 5 Roden Crater
Chapter 6 Lightning Field
Chapter 7 Juárez
Chapter 8 Marfa
Doing the Pilgrimage
Readings and References
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism