Whether in the country or in a city, relationships define our sense of self and other, our possibility and our limitations. We learn who we are through the ways others respond to us, and we act accordingly. Relationships aren’t something we have; they’re something we do. We experience relationships, and they, in turn, shape us.
We’re in relationship with our environment at all times.
Throughout the history of culture, we’ve experienced eras that felt, tonally, positive or negative. At times, you could feel the sense of optimism in the air. At other times, moving through a crowd made you uneasy, filled you with skepticism and distrust.
These vibes were set in concrete and stone through the architecture of each era or the use to which structures were put. We can’t escape the things around us that make us feel any more than we can escape how we feel, and we imbue the products of our labor with the qualities of our emotions. We can choose how we respond, but the very nature of being in relationship demands responsivity.
My novels were meant to act as a sort of timeline for American culture, and Central City was meant to act as a prism to reflect how different cultural expressions, crime, justice, sport, music, art, film, economics, and science, among others, shape the cultural tone of any given time.