I was checking out the new issue of Virginia Quarterly Review online earlier today and ran across a short review of a new collection of black-and-white photographs: Driftless: Photographs from Iowa by Danny Wilcox Frazier. According to VQR, the subjects of Frazier’s work—migrants, slaughterhouse and factory types, people who live in trailers—“haven’t been defeated”; rather, they get their pleasure “in the form of deer hunting and pool halls, cigarettes, beer, and”—wait for it—“love.”
In the end, the magazine assures us, these poor Iowans manage to hold on to their “essential dignity.”
Christ Almighty. How much more condescending and clichéd can a review get?
IMAGE: Dirt Road, Near Lone Tree, 2003 by Danny Wilcox Frazier