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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Map of Eric's Route for the Day Starting at 1st Ave Going West on 47th St

 Eric Packer on his Appointment in Samarra.

Follow Eric on his route starting at 47th St. and 1st Ave. right by the Japan Society (yen you know). You will see the green park where he starts going West on 47th St. His residential tower is imaginary at 89 stories, (WTC had 107 stories) and is De Lillo's judgement on the Twin Towers which Eric does not pass that day in April 2000. De Lillo finished the manuscript before 9-11 and left it unchanged. The description of Eric's residential tower:

It was nine hundred feet high, the tallest residential tower in the world, a commonplace oblong whose only statement was its size. It had the kind of banality that reveals itself over time as being truly brutal. He liked it for this reason. This is a referent to Hannah Arendt's definition of EVIL: "Evil is banal."
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at 47th between 1st and 2nd Ave

Michael Chin is in the car, sitting in the jump seat that faces backward and there is gridlock at 3rd Avenue.

Jane jumps into the limo at 47th and Madison. She has been running in the nearby Bryant Park when she gets the call.
Bryant Park

The violent demonstration occurs just before 7th Avenue and North  of where Broadway intersects at 7th, right before the triangle. Vija is in the limo now. The description in the book and the map are a little off I think, as the book puts it at the intersection a few blocks south and closer to Times Square.

Then follow Eric West across town into Hell's Kitchen just before the shipyard. I often like to follow characters on maps. Sometimes some insight appears that you hadn't thought of. In this case we see that Eric is following Elise all day, who is always ahead of his route when he sees her all day long. I knew this but didn't really know this until I saw the map. But it fits with the way I am reading Elise  - through Gradiva (Hansen and Freud) and hoping the film will make this clear.

Scene in Hell'a Kitchen from Past
Old Barbershop in Hell's Kitchen


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