The Art of Travel
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|Format: ||Paperback, 272 pages|
|Other Information: ||b&w illustrations|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 29 May 2003|
Few things are as exciting as the idea of travelling somewhere far from home. Somewhere with better weather, more interesting customs and more inspiring landscapes. So why are we so often dissatisfied with the reality of travel? In "The Art of Travel" Alain de Botton, author of "The Consolidations of Philosophy", takes us on a journey through the satisfactions and disappointments of travelling. Dealing - among other things - with airports, exotic carpets, holiday romances and hotel mini-bars, this book reveals the hidden motivations, expectations and complications of our voyages into the wide world. Accompanying him on his journey are writers, artists and thinkers who were inspired by travel in all its forms: Gustave Flaubert, Edward Hopper, Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, Ruskin - all ready to give us their insights on the curious business of travelling. The perfect antidote to those guidebooks that tell us what to do when we get there, "The Art of Travel" tries to explain why we really wanted to go there in the first place - and modestly suggests how we could learn to be happier on our journeys.
Table of Contents
Departure: on anticipation; travelling places. Motives: on the exotic; on curiosity. Landscape: on the country and the city; on the sublime. Art: on eye-opening art; on possessing beauty. Return: on habit.
About the Author
Alain de Botton was born in 1969. He is the author of ESSAYS IN LOVE, THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT, KISS AND TELL, HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE and THE CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY.
An experienced traveler and the author of five books, including How Proust Can Change Your Life, De Botton here offers nine essays concerning the art of travel. Divided into five sections "Departure," "Motives," "Landscape," "Art," and "Return" the essays start with one of the author's travel experiences, meander through artists or writers related to it, and then intertwine the two. De Botton's style is very thoughtful and dense; he considers events of the moment and relates them to his internal dialog, showing how experiences from the past affect the present. In "On Curiosity," for example, which describes a weekend in Madrid, De Botton compares his reliance on a very detailed guidebook to the numerous systematic measurements Alexander von Humboldt made during his 1799 travels in South America. De Botton compares Humboldt's insatiable desire for detail with his own ennui and wish that he were home. There are also details about a fight over dessert, the van Gogh trail in Provence, and Wordsworth's vision of nature. Although well written and interesting, this volume will have limited popular appeal. Recommended for larger public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/02.] Alison Hopkins, Brantford P.L., ON Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
'Lucid, fluid, uplifting' Sunday Times
|Publisher: ||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Dimensions: ||18.0 x 13.0 x 1.0 centimetres (0.34 kg)|