Nate's Bookgroup's Reviews > The Fortress of Solitude

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
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's review
Jan 03, 10

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Read in April, 2006

I read through most of the holiday too. There's a part in the book I'm reading (Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem) about a kid that goes around with an El Marko in his jacket lining so he can tag places in the city. It went into a little bit of why a kid would want to write graffiti and the kind of culture of it. I don't know if there really is a culture, but that would endear them to me more. I've always felt like graffiti artists and I were kindred spirits. They have an interest in font (I used to practice writing the alphabet different ways in math class - bubble font with serifs, letters made from geometric shapes) and they want to leave a mark in their world(some of the reason I write). I decided my tag would be 'in8.' Problem is if I would have tagged around where I grew up everyone would know who was doing it. The book talked about how it was bad to get caught by people. Some of tagging was the mystery of how it got in places that seemed impossible to not only stand in front of but to make a piece of art there. And how those feats got you more respect in the artists world. So on the L, I'm noticing all the graffiti and trying to find patterns now. There really is such a grace to their lettering. The boldness of putting their tag up in very obvious places along the tracks. And a little sadness knowing that in a few weeks, when the city workers get around to it, all it takes is a squirt or two from a can and a wipe and their mark on the world is gone.

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