“It was no doubt gratuitous, even sentimental, but looking at the butterfly on the young whore’s ass, I thought of the long snaking pipeline falling from Prudhoe Bay across the interior of Alaska to the Bay of Valdez. I thought: If Alaska is not our young whore, what is she? She is rich, but who can live with her? She is full of all that will pleasure us, but she is hard and cold to the bone. And if we scar her, leave her with pestilence and corrupted with infection, irrefutably marked with our own private design, who can blame us? Didn’t we buy her for a trifling sum to start with?”
—Harry Crews, “Going Down in Valdeez,” Blood and Grits, 1979


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