Advertisement
 
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsBooks
(Page 12 of 12)

James M. Cain's 'Paradise'

January 01, 2012|By James M. Cain

Now what? If you know, you are a wiser man than I am. We have a great deal of running around about it, visionaries providing us with a lot of pat destinies: one set trying to make us the most cultured nation on earth, and demanding that we pile novel on top of symphony on top of skyscraper until we claim our place in the aesthetic sun; another set trying to make us the most moral nation on earth, piling Prohibition laws on top of cigarette laws on top of anti-Evolution laws on top of blue laws; another set trying to make us the most prosperous nation on earth, piling tariffs on top of R.F.C.'s on top of apostrophes to the Forgotten Man. But all these stars, unfortunately, begin to look a great deal like fish-scales, and where we are actually headed, if anywhere, it is pretty hard, for me at least, to see.

So that when you come to a place that not only thinks it has a destiny, but knows it has a destiny, you cannot but be arrested. Where this place is headed is to be the leader in commerce, art, citrus production, music, rabbit breeding, oil production, furniture manufacture, walnut growing, literature, olive bottling, short- and long-distance hauling, clay modelling, msthetic criticism, fish export, canary-bird culture, playwrighting, shipping, cinematic creativeness, and drawing-room manners. In short, it is going to be a paradise on earth. And, with such vaulting ambitions, it might pull off something: you can't tell. It is keenly aware of the Orient, and also of Mexico; streams are meeting here that ought to churn up some exciting whirlpools. I, personally, even if the first act hasn't been so hot, am not going to walk out on the show. One thing it is going to be, within the twelve-month, is the wine center of the New World. I guess you think I'm going to walk out on that, do you? That will make a lot of things different.

No, I stay. The climate suits me fine.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|