For Love of the Automobile: Looking Back into the History of Our Desires
© University of California Press, 1992

Wolfgang Sachs


book cover


22 January 2003 |

With mass motorization … the relative advantages the automobile once conferred have dwindled: the more cars, the less joy. Now the masters of space and time are held captive by clogged streets, now the pleasure of speed falls by the wayside of full highways and high-powered competitors. The desires become fragile because the conditions under which they first grew up no longer pertain. Driving is no longer reserved to the few able to enjoy their privilege at others’ expense; on the contrary, many have in the meantime squeezed behind the wheel, and now their cars hinder other cars, their desires get in the way of other desires. Privilege evaporates in this mutual blockade, with disillusion spreading in its place. The desires get old because experience continually denies them. Modern street traffic destroys the very hopes that created it.


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