Thursday, 10 May 2012

any thoughts on communes?

Would you want to live on a commune? I kind of do - but only in the 1960s, and maybe as a child....
I'm reading Arcadia by Lauren Groff at the moment which is a novel set in a commune in the 70s. I'm really enjoying it so far (although bert has already read it and wasn't keen on the second half) especially the character of a child called Bit (he's just a 'little bit')  who is just the sweetest little boy ever. I love how Groff writes about this quiet little boy... looking for warmth and cuddles and struggling to speak.

It has a lovely cover doesn't it? I have a different version from the book above...
Bert has also just bought 'Little Miss Strange' by Joanna Rose too...

looks good huh?
am also planning on reading 'Drop City' by T.C. Boyle....

I love this picture, it looks so beautiful and peaceful. It's from Drop City in 1968.

another photo of Drop City taken by Clark Richert. These domes were inspired by Buckminster Fuller. There was a period of my life where I was pretty obsessed with wanting to build a geodesic dome...I actually went to an interview to get on to an MA course in London and told them that I wanted to build a glass dome.... I was not accepted.

Here's a film about Roberta Price and her experiences photographing communes in New Mexico and Colorado in the late 1960s.


  1. Hello Sian:
    Somehow the thought of living in a commune has never appealed to us. During the 1960s, at a time when we were students, such a way of life did attract many of our peers and the communes of Israel were then a very popular concept.

    The video clip looks most interesting; we shall return later to watch it all.

    1. i know! i quite like the idea of it but probably wouldn't like it in reality.

  2. I think about this a lot, because some friends of ours are always waxing lyrical about the idea. What puts me off is the though of that hierarchy thing that ends up happening whenever you get a group of people together.
    Someone will always lead, dictate and take over. I'm a bit of a rebel at heart, so there would be trouble!

    love the idea of children playing safely together and sharing chores though,

    1. ye-es, hierachy.. and someone being in charge and getting corrupted.... i love the idea of children playing together and all the freedom they would have.

  3. Hi, Found your blog through Pinterest ... I think communes have both positive and negative aspects as in anything else. Life can be difficult on a commune for sure. I have several friends who lived in such a way in New Mexico in the 1960's. Most did quite well as times changed and they moved on to more mainstream living, others could not assimilate and some including a few of the children did poorly, being lost to drugs and such.
    However, their is some beauty in the lifestyle if one can keep their head in the right place.

  4. hi maria!
    i love your comments. I don't know anyone who has lived on a commune... i would love to think that things would turn out well for people living communally... and like you say, there are postives as well as negatives. Lots of books and movies seem to focus on the negatives though with the 'leaders' being pretty awful.

  5. Oh lord no, I have lived in enough shared houses to know I would not get on with this at all! Friends to stay - yes definitely - sharing space long-term, BIG no!

  6. okay, looks like i'm going to be the "crazy" guy. i would join a commune in a second! if was exposed to one, i wouldn't say no. even the folks at jonestown looked like they were having the time of their life before the kool-aid.

    this video makes it seem dreamy:

    1. haha! maybe you could have a 'commune' name too robbie...x

  7. I just finished Arcadia! The gorgeous cover caught my eye at the library. Plus I have always been intrigued by the idea of living in a commune (again, like others, I think the idea of it is more appealing than the reality). Just watched the Roberta Price video and remembered an article I read a couple years ago called "The Hippies were right." In my early teens I used to read The Whole Earth Catalog in the school library every day. I think a large part of who I am today is due to the counterculture ideas I saw and read about in the late 60s and early 70s.
    I'd love to hear what you thought of Arcadia. There were things I liked and things I didn't like about it. Feel free to send me an email if you like. "Little Miss Strange" also looks good.

  8. I was exploring Good Reads and found your review. I agree with liking the first section best. Although a tad bit overwritten, I found the writing style suited the first section but not the later sections. The first section was more detailed and I understood Bit's motivations more, the end was vaguer, but maybe that was to show his intense awareness of moods, surroundings, etc as a child in the middle of it all.


hello! so nice to hear from you...


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