Over at The Bygone Bureau, I have a short essay on road metaphors, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, and Leos Carax’s Holy Motors:
Perhaps no metaphor saturates language more than the one that equates life with a journey down a long, winding lane. Frost has his forked path, Whitman his “Song of the Open Road.” Troubadours — from Springsteen to Willie to Kanye — march along with lyrics aimed to chauffeur listeners down Thunder Road or to unfurl “the coldest story ever told/ somewhere far along this road.” We even adopt such symbolism in everyday conversation. We seek direction, cross a bridge to make a decision, move on from failure, stand at the crossroads of change, and run into the speed bumps of life. We are so ensnared with this metaphor that it has turned into a cliché.
Read the rest right here.