Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tidbits about America.

I saw a new penny today. The back of it looked like this:

I really like this image of the American hero, sitting on a log, reading a book. It speaks to me about the best qualities of this country.

The image reminds me of something I learned a few years ago from a professor of literature who had translated Conrad's Heart of Darkness into Italian. He pointed out that Italians have no word that is the equivalent to "wilderness".

"It is," he said (and to do him justice, please envision this being said in a lovely Italian accent), "an American English word. In Italy, we haven't had truly wild places for thousands of years."

That's cool to think about. We in America still have wilderness... and we even have federally protected wilderness areas. I grew up presuming wilderness is a part of everyone's life, but wilderness is American.

Speaking of Pioneers and wilderness and America, have you seen those new ads for Levi's jeans? I don't want to get emotionally affected by someone's ad campaigns - and I'd feel weird providing a link for an advertisement, but they're just beautiful. And very, very American.


  1. I came here from That Wife and read your whole blog. Looking forward to reading more!

    I love love love this entry. Such a cool concept - that wilderness is an American thing. Lovely.

  2. I'm also here from That Wife. I LOVE the Levi's ads. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but they are just so cool.

  3. My second comment today :) - Did you know the French do not have a word for "siblings." I have one sister and one brother - thus I have two... blank stares. They didn't fully understand why I needed this word - being that they've never had it. Great post!

  4. Siblings? But... since I have one of each, it's a word I use all the time. What do they call multiple... siblings?

    I can't even think of how else to say it. Freres et Soeurs, I suppose.

    I didn't know that at all!


Be nice, now.