In America one feels not solitude but isolations.

Santa Monica, California

From “Liste de Americains,” by Charles Dantzig, in his Encyclopedie capricieuse du tout et du rien (French Edition).  Translated from the French by Lorin Stein.

Charles Olson—or was it Melville?—said that America has replaced history with geography.  What makes for boredom, which in America can be so violent, is the unfilled urban space.  In contrast to Europe or Asia, which are stuffed to overflowing, in the United States the population density per square kilometer is very low.  Whence those depressing suburbs, depressing because one can always find a parking place.  In America one feels not solitude but isolations.

They are a people without balconies.  Yet they cannot help interfering in other people’s business, according to the Protestant custom.  And on courthouse steps one sees people brandishing signs that say, as if they knew, GOD HATES ABORTIONISTS.  It is a country fascinated by lust.