Monday, November 16, 2009

On Travel...

I recently finished at book called The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. Unlike many travel memoirs, this book is divided into sections (Departure, Motives, Landscape, Art, Return), and goes chapter by chapter inspired by varying artists (or "Guides" like Van Gough, Edward Hopper, Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Alexander von Humboldt and more), and place they traveled. An interesting compilation of essays by Botton, complete with pictures of the paintings, photographs, writings of the artists and pictures of the places they loved.

Some excerpts to share:

"Unexpectedly poetic travelling places--airport terminals, harbours, train stations and motels."
"It always seems to me that I'll be well where I am not, and this question of moving is one that I'm forever entertaining with my soul." -Charles Baudelaire

"Baudelaire honored reveries of travel as a mark of those noble, questioning soulds he described as 'poets,' who could not be satisfied witht he horizons of home even as they appreciated the limits of other lands, whose temperaments oscillated between hope and despaire, childlike idealism and cynicism. It was the fate of poets, like Christian pilgrims, to live in a falled world while refusing to surrender their vision of an alternative, less compromised realm."
"Carriage, take me with you! Ship, steal me away from here! Take me far, far away. Here the mud is made of our tears!" -Baudelaire

"What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home."

"I'm obsessed with inventing stories for people I come across."
"I think I must have been transplanted by the winds to this land of mud; surely I was born elsewhere-- I've always had what seem to be memories or intutions of perfumed shores and blue seas." -Gustave Flaubert

"I am a soul brother to everything that lives, to the giraffe and to the crocodile as much as to man." -Flaubert

When asked where he came from, Socrates said not 'from Athens' but 'from the world.'"
"L'infinie immensité des espaces que j'ignore et qui m'ignorent." -Pascal
"The night is even more richly colored than the day.." -Vincent Van Gough

"The most effective means of pursuing this conscious understanding was by attempting to describe beautiful places through art, by writing about or drawing them, irrespective of whether one happened to have any talent for doing so."

Ah, the words are so tasty to gobble whole.

1 comment:

  1. love it and you :) and would love to hear more!