|Erica Van Horn
|Ugly Duckling Presse
120 x 180 mm
By Bus is a collection of journeys. Travel by bus in rural Ireland is never dull. It might be a bit uncomfortable, and probably it will be late—but it is never dull. Many people refuse to travel anywhere at all on a bus. They might make this choice from their experiences. These small texts may go some way towards giving readers a seat on the bus.
Erica Van Horn is an artist and writer. Born in New Hampshire in 1954, she has lived in Europe since the early eighties: France, Britain, and now rural Ireland, where she works together with the poet and artist Simon Cutts on the projects of Coracle.
“Buses,” as Helen Hamilton once ventured, “should inspire writers.” This is certainly the case for Erica Van Horn, whose accounts of bus journeys taken across Ireland achieve the “compound of bathos and pathos” Hamilton proposed in 1913. Replacing the hackneyed footsteps of the flâneur with the more humble and sedentary position of the bus seat, By Bus is a compelling panorama of modern life as it is witnessed among the rhythms, odors, phone conversations, and evanescent idiosyncrasies of the bus journey. From lonely widowers to eczema sufferers, detours to U-turns, the quality of the story is in Van Horn’s economic telling which is always sharp, exacting, but never judgmental. Just remember, though: one should always, always, thank the driver before getting off the bus.
– Ross Hair