Books

A diversion: from Gruen to Zevon via Minneapolis

Lorcan 1 min read

I was reading about Victor Gruen several days ago in the Atlantic, and about his work in helping create the US indoor shopping mall experience. The piece describes his work on the Southdale Center, the first enclosed mall in the US. See the Southdale website for the Center as it is now; see the fascinating Malls of America blog for what it was like in 1956 just before it opened.
Coincidentally, I am in Minneapolis today and tomorrow. This morning I was pleased to be speaking to the Minitex/OCLC User Group Meeting. Looking at the materials in the hotel room, I suddenly realized I was in fact a few miles away from America’s first indoor mall, and later I made the trip over to have a look. There were a couple of signs up about its fiftieth anniversary, but otherwise it was very much like ….. a mall.
I have now been there though!
I crossed the street to the Galleria mall, home to ‘shops of distinction’. Shops of distinction like Barnes and Noble, where I was lucky to find Horse Latitudes by Paul Muldoon. This contains such gems as ’90 Instant Messages to Tom Moore’, each in the form of a haiku.
It also includes ‘Sillyhow Stride: in memory of Warren Zevon’, which I had seen when it was noted a little while ago on Rough Type, Nicholas Carr’s blog:

I didn’t think it was possible to write a great poem about rock n roll, but Paul Muldoon proves me wrong with Sillyhow Stride, his elegy for Warren Zevon.

[Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Lycidas, with power chords]

I am not very familiar with Warren Zevon’s work, but think I should become more so. Whenever I look at www.liveplasma.com and look at stuff that I am interested in, a large Warren Zevon globe always seems to be a few hops away.
Things tie up ….

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