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Topic: Growth & Planning     Department: Letters

Wet dreams

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In Jonathan Thompson's recent column, he writes of grand new resorts that "depend entirely on the wealthy buying into them" (HCN, 8/18/08). Well, maybe not entirely. I was reminded of Leslie Marmon Silko's highly praised 1991 novel Almanac of the Dead. One of the major plot lines is about an architect who feverishly envisions "Venice, Arizona," a resort with water spewing everywhere, because "people wanted to have water around them in the desert." "(S)cience will solve the water problem in the West," Leah, the architect, asserts, but the native people of the Southwest know better. Almanac of the Dead (a top candidate for Great American Novel, in my opinion), with its breathless pacing, places such grandiose visions within a 500-year context of conquest. And we see that these frenzied dreams have afflicted Europeans in the West for as long as they've been here. Ultimately, it's not a question of whether the rich will buy, but of where the water will come from.


Ramona Gault
Seattle, Washington

 

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