Literary Nonfiction. American West. Urban Studies. Translated from the French by Colin Keaveney. COMMON PLACE is the second part of a triology begun with Zeropolis, a broad archeological inquiry into the meanings of our daily urban world. Bégout's essay restores the poetry to that essential element of the contemporary imagination that is the motel, at the same time dissecting its myth. Far from a mere sample of the "American way of life," the motel reveals new forms of urban life in which mobility, wandering, and poverty play a dominant role. Standing at the intersection of economy, architecture, and fiction, Bégout's writing sheds light on the problematic character of ordinary things, revealing the fundamental structures hidden beneath their chaotic surface. Especially, what is laid bare here is that this special form of architecture has given birth to a "motel man" whose behavior prefigures new modes of life.
Author City: Bordeaux FRA
Bruce Bégout, born May 21, 1967, is a French philosopher and writer. He holds the title maître de conférences at the University of Bordeaux. Bégout has published several philosophical works, four essays (Zéropolis: L'expérience de Las Vegas, 2002; Lieu commun: Le motel américain, 2003; La Découverte du quotidien: Éléments pour une phénoménologie du monde de la vie, 2005; De la décence ordinaire, 2008), but also a "documentary fiction" drawn from his novel L'Éblouissement des bords de route (Éditions Verticales, 2004). He is currently the series editor of "Matière étrangere" for Éditions Vrin.