Cramped quarters -- freedom within structure?

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  • Amor Towles' novel, A Gentleman in Moscow begins with Count Alexander Rostov sentenced to lifetime house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel for the crime of writing a poem. The count is removed from his suite in the hotel and sent to a sixth floor cubby of a room with a low ceiling and barely enough square footage for a pirouette. 
  • When the Woolly Mammoth and I visit the Whitney and I am fascinated by Andrea Zittell's 1993 "Living Unit." Everything one needs for life packed in a box!
  • For twenty years my walking buddy and I have been scouting places where we could live in a cardboard appliance box when we are old or broke.
  • My walking buddy just got a new refrigerator. Where is the box?
  • Also at the Whitney, a corrugated cardboard and notebook clip geodesic dome. Aw, Howie, why didn't we try that?!

  • I'm wishing for a snow day to hunker down under a quilt dome and read in a very condensed version of home. Om. Instead we get a the coldest temperatures in two years. I must bring in the ridiculously huge pineapple plant from my balcony. Its circumference is the same as my dining table. 
  • Nina, a major character in Towles' book, drops a pineapple off the Metropol's ballroom balcony to test Galileo's theories.
  • Like a Christmas tree the novel is a structure for hanging bright ornaments of philosophy, Cold War history, literary criticism, etiquette critiques, and Russian culture observations.
  • Where on earth would I fit a Christmas tree, fake or "real," in this apartment? Besides the giant floor space-eating pineapple plant there's the sweater drying contraption in the living room next to the ironing board.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

I, too, just got a new refrigerator and am also wondering where is the box!?

Nancy Ruder said...

So it's not our imagination that the delivery folks are running off with the boxes?