Here is the George W. S. Trow essay Steve Almond quotes in the piece Jason DeYoung cross-posted yesterday. Actually it’s not the entire essay, but some boiled down core of it. The entire essay was published in the New Yorker in 1980 and shortly after as a book. In itself, this boiled down bit is an amazing discovery. But then delve into George W. S. Trow himself. Here is a New York Magazine profile well worth reading.
Wonder was the grace of the country. Any action could be justified by that: the wonder it was rooted in. Period followed period, and finally the wonder was that things could be built so big. Bridges, skyscrapers, fortunes, all having a life first in the marketplace, still drew on the force of wonder. But then a moment’s quiet. What was it now that was built so big? Only the marketplace itself. Could there be wonder in that? The size of the con?