Main Street, originally published inis the story of a sophisticated young woman who moves to a small town in the American Midwest in and struggles against the small-minded culture of the citizens who live there. The town, Gopher Prairie, is closely patterned on Sauk Centre, Min-nesota, which is where Sinclair Lewis grew up, although the book makes clear that it could be any of thousands of towns across the heartland.
Lawrence THE HANDLE, which varies in length according to the height of its user, and in some cases is made by that user to his or her specifications, is like most of the other parts of the tool in that it has a name and thus a character of its own. I call it the snath, as do most of us in the UK, though variations include the snathe, the snaithe, the snead, and the sned.
Onto the snath are attached two hand grips, adjusted for the height of the user. On the bottom of the snath is a small hole, a rubberized protector, and a metal D-ring with two hex sockets.
Into this little assemblage slides the tang of the blade.
This thin crescent of steel is the fulcrum of the whole tool. From the genus blade fans out a number of ever-evolving species, each seeking out and colonizing new niches. I also have a couple of ditch blades which, despite the name, are not used for mowing ditches in particular, but are all-purpose cutting tools that can manage anything from fine grass to tousled brambles and a bush blade, which is as thick as a billhook and can take down small trees.
These are the big mammals you can see and hear. Beneath and around them scuttle any number of harder-to-spot competitors for the summer grass, all finding their place in the ecosystem of the tool.
None of them, of course, is any use at all unless it is kept sharp, really sharp: You need to take a couple of stones out into the field with you and use them regularly—every five minutes or so—to keep the edge honed. And you need to know how to use your peening anvil, and when.
When the edge of your blade thickens with overuse and oversharpening, you need to draw the edge out by peening it—cold-forging the blade with hammer and small anvil. Probably you never master it, just as you never really master anything.
That lack of mastery, and the promise of one day reaching it, is part of the complex beauty of the tool. Etymology can be interesting. Scythe, originally rendered sithe, is an Old English word, indicating that the tool has been in use in these islands for at least a thousand years. But archaeology pushes that date much further out; Roman scythes have been found with blades nearly two meters long.
Basic, curved cutting tools for use on grass date back at least ten thousand years, to the dawn of agriculture and thus to the dawn of civilizations. Like the tool, the word, too, has older origins.
The Proto-Indo-European root of scythe is the word sek, meaning to cut, or to divide. Sek is also the root word of sickle, saw, schism, sex, and science. Some books do that, from time to time, and this is beginning to shape up as one of them.
By his own admission, his arguments are not new.
But the clarity with which he makes them, and his refusal to obfuscate, are refreshing. I seem to be at a point in my life where I am open to hearing this again. Here are the four premises with which he begins the book: Technological progress is carrying us to inevitable disaster.
Only the collapse of modern technological civilization can avert disaster. What is needed is a new revolutionary movement, dedicated to the elimination of technological society. I have a tendency toward sentimentality around these issues, so I appreciate his discipline.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, if I do end up agreeing with him—and with other such critics I have been exploring recently, such as Jacques Ellul and D.How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street - Kindle edition by Michael Lewis.
Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street.
Jane Smiley continues her series on the novel with a look at Sinclair Lewis's Main Street, about the claustrophobia of small-town life in America. Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and poet living in Cumbria, England. He is the author of several books, including the poetry collection Kidland and his fictional debut The Wake, winner of the Gordon Burn Prize and the Bookseller Book of the Year Award.
Kingsnorth is the cofounder and director of the Dark Mountain Project, a network of writers, artists, and thinkers.
Write Essay ; Lit Glossary ; Table of Contents The bulk of this novel takes place in the small fictional town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota. Lewis did such a convincing job describing this town that ever since this book appeared, Gopher Prairie Narrator Point of View. 95% of this book, you could say that Main Street features a limited.
Powell's Blog Q&As Powell's Q&A: Jessi Bloom, Author of 'Creating Sanctuary' by Jessi Bloom Creating Sanctuary is the intersection of my work as an ecological landscape designer and a student of psychology, bioenergetics, herbalism, and meditation with my personal experience as a patient and survivor with PTSD.
As a publicly funded institution Monroe County Community College is committed to providing information including financial reports to the public.