✮ The Art of Travel Books ✰ Author Alain de Botton – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “The Art of Travel

  1. says:

    i couldn t put my finger on why i didn t think this book was as great as de botton s other books but then i realized it s because of 2 reasons 1 the focus is very euro and christian centric obvo, de botton is writing about what he knows euro intelligentsia , but perhaps a book about travelling should be about things outside your sphere of knowledge e.g., why is it so exotic for french speaking de botton to go to the south of france why go to a postcolonial barbados resort and consider that such a huge jump i wish de botton had taken some non Euro history art lit classes whilst at Cambridge 2 de botton seems to be a bit of a dandy traveller when he travels, he goes to resorts or to friend s houses in the countryside where he gets treated to chocolate donut things in the morning i can t imagine that he would ever, e.g., take a shit into a hole on a moving train or off the side of a boat or sleep in a tent in the middle of nowhere he ...

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    In The Art of Travel, Alaine de Botton succeeds in the difficult task of opening the readers eyes to the many perceptual enhancements that travel can provide It is not a travelogue of wild times in exotic countries, nor an informative list of places one can go The Art of Travel is abstract, and focuses on concepts relating to the inner self and individual psychology the internal elements that affect, and are affected by, travel Through avenues such as poetry, writings from some of histories great travel philosophers, artwork, writings from scenic painters, fetching photographs, and through his own personalized experiences and intellectual insights, de Botton provides the reader with a greater understanding and appreciation of travel new paradigms that can result in visceral and illuminating travel experiences.De botton sees symbolism and connections in what may originally seem mundane Here, in his chapter on anticipation, he writes of the riding of an airplane There is psychological pleasure in this takeoff, too, for the swiftness of the plane s ascent is an exemplary symbol of transformation The display of power can inspire us to imagine analogous, decisive shifts in our own lives, to imagine that we, too, might one day surge above much that now looms over us What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home.My favorite chapter was On the Sublime It inspire...

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    As with all of De Botton s books, this one is really a series of tightly crafted essays, each of which could stand on its own I think the key messages of the book are well captured in the very first chapter Upon travelling to Barbados, de Botton wakes up the next morning and heads for the beach, then observes A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making itself apparent I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island As my wife occasionally remarks to me during our travels, in yet another rendering of the same insight Wherever you go, there you are We are sad at home and blame the weather or the ugliness of the buildings, but on the tropical island we learn that the state of the skies and the appearance of our dwellings can never on their own either underwrite our joy or condemn us to misery This explains why people are happy even in Winnipeg and unhappy even in Tahiti.These are probably good things to keep in mind when setting out on the road The external voyage only has an impact if accompanied by an internal one.De Botton has a wonderful ability to weave in all kinds of unexpected references to artists and writers, such as Charles Baudelaire and Edward Hopper I don t know much about either of them, but I m still impressed with the author s ability to casually tie together a 19th century French poet with a taste for opium and a 20th century American artist with a taste for painting Steak n Shakes restaurants and Mobil gas stations You can appreci...

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    I read this book Then I thought about it Then I went back and read it again, less thoroughly, with a pen in hand looking to further unpack and appreciate the ideas and self reflections they provoked in me It has taken me a long time to get around to declaring this book finished enough for me to write a review.The structure of this book is deceptively simple to summarize each chapter is a juxtaposition of de Botton s travel accounts with brief historical essays describing a famous author, thinker, or artist and their experience of travel and sense of place Both sides of this juxtaposition were exquisitely crafted Alain de Botton s narratives are full of gentle humor and thoughtfully expressed reflections The brief but fascinating accounts of to name just a few Flaubert s impatience with the bourgeois and yearning for the exotic, van Gogh s fervent desire to express his vision of Provence, and Alexander von Humboldt s remarkable energy for discovery are the reading equivalent of a delightful tasting menu from some of the world s most talented chefs Each would have been incomplete without the other de Botton s highly self aware travel narratives might seem tiresome or pompous if they were not woven into these wide ranging explications of famous minds that have grappled with the same ideas Conversely, these separate accounts of art...

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