15 October 2004

Frankly spoken

Geoff Dyer has a loving appreciation of photographer Robert Frank in the Guardian: ...There is also a snatched, self-cancelling lyricism, a grainy yearning that never quite has the opportunity to manifest itself fully. Articulating something similar, John Cheever confided to his journal that "this nomadic, roadside civilisation [was] the creation of the loneliest travellers the world has ever seen." Unlike Kerouac—who considered Frank's view of urinals "the loneliest picture ever made"—Cheever did not have Frank or any other photographer in mind when he wrote this; but his "vision of the waywardness of man and the blessings of velocity" serves as a sidelong commentary on a world glimpsed and preserved in "The Americans."