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The Art of Travel

Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.

Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom. The Art of Travel is a wise and utterly original book. Don't leave home without it.
Rezension
"A jewel of civility, wit and insight; de Botton has produced wondrous essays. An invitation to hyperbole . . . a volume to give one an expansive sense of wonder."-The Baltimore Sun

"Illuminating. . .a lovely combination of enthusiasm, sensitivity, a care for the large and small, and the local and the foreign. . . reading de Botton's book will help a person discover something fabulous in everyday.- Chicago Tribune

"There is something Proustian in The Art of Travel, in the best sense, for Mr. de Botton is a kind of flaneur, strolling through his subject thoughtfully and offering nuanced truths based on his reading, experience and philosophical temperament."-The Wall Street Journal

"It would be difficult to name a writer as erudite and yet as reader friendly. . .With a wry, self-deprecating charm, he passes his enthusiasms along in such manner that you can't help being delighted by them." - The Seattle Times

"[R]efreshing and profoundly readable. . . . Thanks to de Botton's detailed and thoughtful writing, coupled with his clever curiosity, The Art of Travel has the potential to enrich not only our journeys, but also our lives." -The Philadelphia Inquirer

"[De Botton] relates even the most disappointing experiences with delightful wit, graceful prose and surprising insight.." -The Los Angeles Times

"Wickedly funny . . . De Botton travels like the rest of us, but he brings with him the amazing erudition, crisp, lovely prose, and entertaining intellect that made How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy such phenomenal successes." -The Boston Globe

"[E]xudes erudition and artfulness. . . . Delightful." -Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"[A] wonderful book: inventive, witty, intelligent, and beautifully written. At its best, its prose achieves the intensity of aphorism . . . provocative and insightful . . . teeming with tantalizing detail." -The Boston Phoenix

"Charmingly and capably convinces us how unaware most of us are as we move about in the world . . . will leave the reader mentally reaching for a pencil to check off the graceful, witty turns of Mr. de Botton's mind." -The Washington Times

"A thoughtful and anecdote-rich meditation on how trips can alter us in unexpected ways." -Elle Magazine

"An erudite, funny brand of philosophy . . . will make you think and laugh and want to plan a trip to test out some of de Botton's ideas for yourself." -Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"[A] quirky, delightful meditation on why we go where we go . . . What makes his book so much fun and so utterly unique is the way his mind works as he contemplates his (and our) responses to museums, airports, landscapes, hotels-even to a gas station. Read just a few pages of de Botton and you'll follow him anywhere." -O Magazine

"Quietly terrific . . . It says a great deal about his ability that no matter whom he might invoke he does not pale by comparison." -The NewYork Sun

"De Botton . . . gives voice and meaning to the thousands of epiphanies great and small brought about by voyaging." -Esquire

"Alain de Botton piques curiosity not only about where we go but why and how-questions worth considering even if our destination is no farther than the nearest cabana." -Vogue

"Journeys of the de Botton kind . . . expand our perspective, they broaden our mind, they enrich the intellect. We travel, this precocious young man reminds us, to find ourselves." -The Dallas Morning News

"Delicious writing . . . pure, unalloyed pleasure . . . [De Botton's] thoughts are original, startling, and what is more, feel true." -The Arizona Republic

"Utterly charming. . . . De Botton notices the details, and as we grow accustomed to seeing the world through his eyes, perhaps we will notice more too. . . . [A] fine writer." -The Times Picayune

"An elegant and subtle work, unlike any other. Beguiling." -The Times (London)

"One of the very best contemporary travel writers-an artist in the genre." -Jan Morris,
Portrait
Alain de Botton, 1969 in der Schweiz geboren, hat nach dem Studium der Geschichte und Philosophie rasch seinen Weg zur Literatur gefunden. Kosmopolit und phantasievoller Flaneur der Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte, hat er sich mit seinen mittlerweile sechs Büchern, die in zahlreiche Sprachen übersetzt wurden, einen festen Platz in der jüngeren Literaturgeschichte erschrieben. De Botton lebt in London.
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  • On Anticipation

    1.

    It was hard to say when exactly winter arrived. The decline was gradual, like that of a person into old age, inconspicuous from day to day until the season became an established, relentless reality. First came a dip in evening temperatures, then days of continuous rain, confused gusts of Atlantic wind, dampness, the fall of leaves and the changing of the clocks-though there were still occasional moments of reprieve, mornings when one could leave the house without a coat and the sky was cloudless and bright. But they were like false signs of recovery in a patient upon whom death has already passed its sentence. By December the new season was entrenched, and the city was covered almost every day by an ominous steel-grey sky, like one in a painting by Mantegna or Veronese, the perfect backdrop to the crucifixion of Christ or to a day beneath the bedclothes. The neighbourhood park became a desolate spread of mud and water, lit up at night by rain-streaked street lamps. Passing it one evening during a downpour, I recalled how, in the intense heat of the previous summer, I had stretched out on the ground and let my bare feet slip out of my shoes to caress the grass, and how this direct contact with the earth had brought with it a sense of freedom and expansiveness, summer breaking down the usual boundaries between indoors and out and allowing me to feel as much at home in the world as in my own bedroom.

    But now the park was foreign once more, the grass a forbidding arena in the incessant rain. Any sadness I might have felt, any suspicion that happiness or understanding was unattainable, seemed to find ready encouragement in the sodden dark-red brick buildings and low skies tinged orange by the city's streetlights.

    Such climatic circumstances, together with a sequence of events that occurred at around this time (and seemed to confirm Chamfort's dictum that a man must swallow a toad every morning to be sure of not meeting with anything more revolting in the day ahead), conspired to render me intensely susceptible to the unsolicited arrival one late afternoon of a large, brightly illustrated brochure entitled 'Winter Sun'. Its cover displayed a row of palm trees, many of them growing at an angle, on a sandy beach fringed by a turquoise sea, set against a backdrop of hills where I imagined there to be waterfalls and relief from the heat in the shade of sweet-smelling fruit trees. The photographs reminded me of the paintings of Tahiti that William Hodges had brought back from his journey with Captain Cook, showing a tropical lagoon in soft evening light, where smiling local girls cavorted carefree (and barefoot) through luxuriant foliage-images that had provoked wonder and longing when Hodges had first exhibited them at the Royal Academy in London in the sharp winter of 1776, and that continued to provide a model for subsequent depictions of tropical idylls, including those in the pages of 'Winter Sun'.

    Those responsible for the brochure had darkly intuited how easily their audience might be turned into prey by photographs whose power insulted the intelligence and contravened any notions of free will: overexposed photographs of palm trees, clear skies and white beaches. Readers who would have been capable of scepticism and prudence in other areas of their lives reverted, in contact with these elements, to a primordial innocence and optimism. The longing provoked by the brochure was an example, at once touching and bathetic, of how projects (and even whole lives) might be influenced by the simplest and most unexamined images of happiness; of how a lengthy and ruinously expensive journey might be set into motion by nothing more than the sight of a photograph of a palm tree gently inclining in a tropical breeze.

    I resolved to travel to the island of Barbados.

    2.

    If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 272
Erscheinungsdatum 01.05.2004
Sprache Deutsch, Englisch
ISBN 978-0-375-72534-0
Reihe Vintage International
Verlag Vintage, New York
Maße (L/B/H) 20.3/13.2/1.4 cm
Gewicht 256 g
Abbildungen w. numerous photos and Illustrationen 20,5 cm
Buch (Taschenbuch, Deutsch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Deutsch, Englisch)
Fr. 19.90
Fr. 19.90
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inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
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