As a traveling writer myself, I have often found inspiration for continuing what can sometimes be a lonely life full of unexpected days and the occasional learning opportunity disguised as a tragedy, usually a flat tire a hundred miles into a desert road or a shoddy Wi-Fi signal when deadlines loom. The words of fellow travelers, both past and present, remind me of why I first started out in this life and invariably keep me moving forward. While the works of Kerouac, Brock, and Thoreau are constantly on loop within my reading schedule, I sometimes come across modern writers who have tapped into the same inspiration and feeling that those early writers and pioneers of this life found themselves.
Doug Levitt’s Greyhound Diaries Paints a Picture of an America Unknown to Americans
When I first came across Doug Levitt’s work it was in the form of the many songs he writes, often drawing from the inspiration of the people he meets while traveling, and had no idea that he was also an author. Having eventually made my way to reading his writing, the Greyhound Diaries specifically, I found a work of writing that I would compare to Jack Kerouac’s first venture into writing.
The Greyhound Diaries read very similarly to On the Road, though not in the same free form verse that Kerouac pioneered, but sharing the same message. That message being finding oneself by discovering the unknown hidden within the borders of America. Doug Levitt’s writing captured every moment of discovery he encountered while traveling across the country using only Greyhound buses to ferry him towards a new location and inspiration. The people and conversations shared between one stop and the next painted a picture of America that has largely gone unnoticed by those not privy to being there.Between Neo-nazis, veterans suffering from guilt, and individuals seeking redemption from a life they were leaving behind Doug Levitt was able to piece together the commonality shared between everyone who calls this country home.
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