Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July, Independence day

¨America is skyscrapers, but it is also wide-open spaces and deserts; it is scenes of future life but also landscapes of the dawn of the world that are certainly not "our" European dawn but that, from Audubon to Baudrillard are a kind of reminiscence of it, or a reminder. So there it is; perhaps this journey has the peculiarity, finally, of giving us a taste of both. Perhaps it's one of those very rare experiences capable of offering, in one single bundle of sensations, a whiff of the ultramodern and another of the extremely archaic. And perhaps the love we feel for the journey seems from the obscure conviction that here, and here alone, the possibility is offered to a human being to see concentrated the materialization of these two dreams, pre- and posthistorical, both equally powerful, but which usually we can think of only as separated by thousands of kilometers and, even more, by millenia. The American journey, in one single space (a country), in one short period of time (scarcely three centuries, maybe four), in the scarcely one hundred years, for instance, that sufficed for the first American pioneers who entered the territory of Death Valley and the Grand Canyon to invent the hideous Las Vegas (and doing so, to leap from the prebibical to the postmodern): the American journey, then or the endless passage from Eden to Gehenna, the permanent short circuit of the Bible and science fiction, the journey across humanity's golden age and age of lead...¨

Bernard-Henri Lévy, American vertigo

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