[lit-ideas] Re: Bum literature

  • From: Ceridwen Harris <cmharris@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 14:31:59 -0400

W.H.Davies "Dairy of a Supertramp" , "Leisure" etc ?


At 09:37 AM 15/05/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>I was driving along the other day listening to oldies.  The song was King 
>of the Road by Roger Miller about the drifter.  While neither demonizing 
>nor glorifying the difter, the song nevertheless ascribed no redeeming 
>qualities to him at all.  In the many "traveling songs" or road literature 
>such Kerouac (sp?) one gets the sense that these are young, ultimately 
>upwardly mobile people going through a phase or searching for the perfect 
>wave, etc..  Likewise in Don Quixote the protagonist is on a 
>mission.   Roger Miller, however, is singing about an out and out bum.  I 
>wondered at that point about other bum literature.  Not the Joe Hill-type 
>high minded working class but unredeemed bums.   The only character I can 
>think of is the Ratzo Rizzo character from Midnight Cowboy.  Possibly 
>Huckleberry Finn and Jim, who drift fairly aimlessly.  Is there, in fact, 
>a literature around the dregs of society?  Trainspotting perhaps (the movie)?
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