The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work
Edited by Matthew J. Brannan, Elizabeth Parsons and Vincenza Priola
Cad-dill-lac… Cad-dill-lac… the Lac… I saw you drive up… De-ville se-dan, ’79!... Last of the great ones… Did you see Goodfellas?... Cad-dill-lac… hmm. The syllables rolled around his mouth and off his tongue as if he were tasting them or feeling them for size like bits of broken-up gobstopper in his mouth. Humbert Humbert did not have more fun rolling ‘Lo-lee-ta’ around his mouth, neither was he more obsessed with syllables of a name, nor with its fetishized object. I had just bought a 79 Cadillac Deville from a car drive in Princeton, New Jersey. It was part of the estate of a woman who had died at the age of 99 and had been in her garage from new. It had 70,000 miles on the clock and there was a wheelchair in the trunk, honest! I had driven it down to a classics motor centre in Philly to get an idea of its place in the pantheon of the US golden age. The 72-year-old owner, Steve, owned and ran the place, 500 American antiques from the 1940s to the 1970s piled in line on a shabby lot, most of them in reasonable condition, some very well preserved in a big old shed, some mint-condition gleaming in a small showroom. It was not just the Cadillac name that rolled off his tongue, he seemed to like saying Olds-mob-ile too; there were many models he recited, a bit like a poem, or Chuck Berry or Johnny Cash rattling off place...