Thursday, October 11, 2007

Locust - Earle's Camp

Earle's camp, located in an arroyo somewhere in the Hollywood Hills, might have looked a bit like this photo (of the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena in 1937). It seems to be an idyllic place, "a little green valley thick with trees, mostly eucalyptus, with here and there a poplar and one enormous black oak," (West, 113), yet is the site of a grotesque and violent scene, a foreshadowing event of the final pages of the novel.

Enclaves like Earle's camp have mostly disappeared from the Hollywood Hills, replaced by mansions. His camp's pastoral aspect, coupled with his cowboy personality contrast with camp's ancestors today, camps of homeless people in areas like Griffith Park. The fundamentals between the two are identical--Earle is indeed homeless, living hidden in the hills, yet his air makes this seem like choice rather than necessity. One wonders if that is indeed the case.

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