This is not about how it feels to be homeless. It is merely about someone who, knowing little of such matters and without money in his pockets, went onto the streets of St. Louis and found shelter and food, and it is about what and whom he saw in the process.
Wayne Fields is the Lynne Cooper Harvey Chair Emeritus in English at Washington University in St. Louis and is a renowned author and expert on American presidential rhetoric and political argument. He received the university’s honorary doctorate of humane letters in May 2019. He is the author of several books, most notably What the River Knows: An Angler in Midstream (1990, Poseidon Press).
Posts by Wayne Fields
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.