This Train Is Bound for Glory.

Photographs by Justine Kurland. Text by William T. Vollmann and Jonathan Raymond.
Estatic Peace Library, 2010. 132 pp., 60 color illustrations, 10x8".

Publisher's Description
Published cancelled

“For the past ten years I have lived alone, criss-crossing the United States in search of willing subjects to photograph,” writes Justine Kurland (born 1969) in the introduction to her first collection in several years. Here, Kurland, internationally admired for her painterly photographs of female groups in Arcadian landscapes, explores and records the still-thriving subculture of the freight-hopping hobo. Her beautifully composed images of trains, train-jumpers and young refuseniks who exist far beyond workaday society, taken while journeying alongside them, allude to an American hobo narrative that harks back to the early days of the railroad, into the Great Depression and through the VietnamWar. Kurland’s vision of this ongoing tradition is, gloriously, a utopian one:“We who are brave enough (or stupid enough) to become explorers today,when all available land has been conquered and occupied, can still be... the builders of a new world and a new consciousness.” A signed and numbered limited edition, This Train is Bound for Glory presents 50 color photographs that document her exploration of the modern steel lines that crisscross the American landscape, and the trails of the hobos who follow in the footsteps of such American folk heroes asWoody Guthrie,whose classic tune “This Train is Bound for Glory” includes the lines “Don’t carry nothing but the righteous and the holy” and “She’s streamlined and a midnight flyer.”

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