Friday, July 18, 2008

Travel writing to fuel the myth of the rural idyll

This, about rural southern New England, is from today's NYT "Escapes" section. The story, by Maura J. Casey, is headlined "134 miles of Yankee Charm" and purports to identify largely undiscovered rural gems of the region, in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and southern Massachusetts. She writes:
When you’re primed for a taste of today’s countryside, leave Sturbridge on Route 131, veer right onto Route 169, and drive out where fast-food restaurants are nonexistent but horse farms and general stores are commonplace.
It all sounds so genteel, so civilized, doesn't it -- quite different to most of our associations with rural places in Appalachia and the mountain West, for example. As with those places, though, experiencing a rural locale merely as a tourist provides a uni-dimensional perspective on rural living, and that perspective is very often an idealized one. Certainly, the rural New England experience suggested by Casey's story and the accompanying photos do and are.

Here's a link to the article's accompanying multi-media feature.

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