Published in Berkeley Planning Journal, Volume 23, Issue 1, January 1, 2010, pages 195-200.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author William Riggs was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
In Thomas Wolfe’s 1940 novel You Can’t Go Home Again, the main character, George Webber, writes a novel that depicts his hometown is part of his home community. More than simply a case of vigilante exclusion, Webber's severed connection with his hometown is part of his exploration of a changing America, about the relationship between city and country and the tensions that surround a rapidly urbanizing country. This nostalgic disconnect has entered our lexicon to refer to the line between those who have moved to the “sophisticated” metropolis from the rural backwater (or perhaps now the bucolic suburb or exurb), and for whom a return, as Susan Matt has suggested, might constitute a failure (Matt 2007).
Urban, Community and Regional Planning
2010 William Riggs. Published by Berkeley Planning Journal.