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The Art of Travel (Vintage) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Alain De Botton
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Kurzbeschreibung

11. Mai 2004 Vintage
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.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Vintage; Auflage: Vintage Intl. (11. Mai 2004)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0375725342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375725340
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,3 x 13,2 x 1,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 43.602 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

The urge to be somewhere else is one of the abiding traits of human nature; in The Art of Travel author Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy, How Proust Can Change Your Life) sets out to discover why in his own inimitably witty and discursive way.

Of course, the proximate reasons we travel are many and various: as de Botton explains. Using the travel experiences of great writers and artists, like Van Gogh, Ruskin, Huysmans and Wordsworth (in Provence, Venice, Belgium and the Lake District respectively), de Botton shows that men will travel to see beautiful buildings, or climb beautiful mountains, or make love to beautiful (and comparatively amoral) women. But, using the same artists, de Botton also shows that there is an underlying theme to all travel: the urge for difference, for the rhapsody of change. That this is an urge more often disappointed than gratified only makes the condition more poignant. One of de Botton's best chapters, on Flaubert, amplifies this tragicomic point: the French novelist spent enervating years in genteel Normandy longing for the sensual splendours of Egypt, then, when he finally reached the pyramids, he promptly lapsed into maudlin nostalgia for rainy, bourgeois Rouen.

If there are flaws in this, de Botton's latest and perhaps most readable book, they are the usual suspects: just occasionally the author comes across as a bit long-winded and self-regarding. However, this is such a pleasant and effortless read even these flaws can be taken as endearing characteristics--like the lizards who kip in the bath in your otherwise idyllic holiday villa.--Sean Thomas -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Pressestimmen

“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, The New Statesman

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When someone says travel guide, most people will think of Lonely Planet, National Geographic, or other well known travel guides. Alain de Botton's 'The Art of Travel' is an utterly different approach to structure and present a guide for travelers. Summarized in a single sentence, The Art of Travel is to travel writing what Sophie's World is to philosophy.

Rather than focussing on a specific destination, de Botton structures his book around the more basic aspects of travel that tend to get ignored, overlooked or just de-prioritized in your perception ' the departure, motives, landscape and art that travelers encounter, the return. Each aspect is illustrated using the author's personal experience on his own travels as well as making use of recognized artists, writers, philosophers or scientists whose works and views De Botton cleverly integrates to make his point and open your perception about things you might otherwise overlook lightly in your own travel. My personal favorite was De Botton's use of Edward Hopper's work to introduce the reader to the visual poetry of travel ' or rather those moments in transit, at typical transit locations: airports, hotels, gas stations. Edward Hopper is the master of painted urban poetry who understands perfectly how to portray the beauty of the mundane, lonely places of travel and urbanity. De Botton is a master of helping you make use of Hopper's perception of urban beauty and open your eyes on your own travels.

Throughout the book, the writing is very light and uplifting. The reader is carried through the book through small episodes and every point is well put without keeping it alive artificially. As such, the book is entertaining and informative at the same time at any point.

I can highly recommend this book to everyone who has become the indifferent traveler that needs to recalibrate their senses. Also, if you're into photography, this book may give you new ways to look at travel with your camera.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A must for blasé travellers 30. Juli 2002
Von MartinP - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In the past, when I still regularly attended graduation parties, such parties were always teeming with graduates-to-be harbouring fanciful travel plans. Everybody seemed intent on getting away a.s.a.p., as long as possible, and to a very far away and preferably out of the way place. They wanted to become travellers, a breed not to be confused with commonplace tourists. I've never been able to detect any intrinsic motivations driving this graduate travelling habit, e.g. a deep-seated and longstanding interest in a particular country or culture. It was simply a matter of opportunity, this jumping at the a chance to be thoroughly irresponsible for a while, before entering on the responsibilities of a steady job. And of course, everybody was going and it would be very un-cool to stay at home. After these people returned from their well-organised adventures, it invariably struck me how little they had changed, and how little they had to tell about the places they had been; apart maybe from random scraps on local customs that I could as easily and more completely have found in any travel guide book. Nevertheless most of these people, even years later, would be prone to lapse into dreamy states of blissful reminiscence at the slightest cue, expressing a deep longing to go back there, preferably to stay. It got me wondering why it is that the same things we find boring or commonplace at home are suddenly deeply interesting simply because they occur 5,000 miles away.
I remember one such party where I met an acquaintance who just got her degree in philosophy. I asked her if she was planning on her more or less mandatory world trip as well. But she just gave me a weary smile, tapped the side of her head and said: `Travelling is something you do in here'.
In a nutshell that's the question and the essence of the answer in Alain de Botton's thoughtful book on travel. Why do we bother? What do we expect, and why are we so often disappointed? And then again, why do our memories of the trip rarely reflect the disappointments? And what is the clue to not being disappointed? How do you go about really experiencing the place where you are and making it part of yourself? On all such questions De Botton has interesting and often entertaining observations to make. He shows us that the exotic is not defined by long-haul flights and palm trees, but can be found literally on your doorstep if you just know how to look. He explains why a travelling Englishman can be depressed on far away and exotic Barbados and euphoric in nearby, but in many ways equally exotic Amsterdam, or even around the corner in Hammersmith where he lives. As a Dutchman I was fascinated by his detailed analysis of a sign in the arrivals hall of Amsterdam Airport, explaining its exotic nature from a British viewpoint, and the reasons you would never ever find a sign like that in the UK, just across the Channel. De Botton is a master at finding such surprising angles to elucidate his subjects. Moreover he has considerable erudition to add, resulting in an engrossing mixture of philosophical insight, personal experience, and references to artists, writers, explorers and scientists of the past. Mostly these historical figures, Flaubert in Egypt, say, or Humboldt in South America or Van Gogh in the Provence, are exemplary `artists of travel', people who knew how to make the most of their expeditions. By taking their mindset, involving energy, patience and an eye for detail, as a template, De Botton generates some useful suggestions for the modern day traveller who no longer wants to bore himself by `scoring' obligatory highlights in the guidebook star-rating order, or who refuses to be a slave to his camera any longer. He may even give you some clues as to how to deal with that greatest travelling problem of them all, the fact that wherever you go, you always have to take yourself along.
In all, an elegant, intelligent, thought-provoking, amusing and useful little book, that nobody who takes travelling seriously should miss. Don't take it with you though - it won't last you much longer than an afternoon on the beach...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A must-read for the traveller 3. September 2002
Von Jon R. Schlueter - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In his chapter called "On Eye-opening Art", Alain de Botton describes his lukewarm initial reaction to the much-extolled Provence, France. Then, in a sleepless first night there, he happened to read chapters in a book about Vincent Van Gogh that focussed on Van Gogh's Arles period. Van Gogh's art opened de Botton's eyes to the beauty of the landscape, because he started to see it as that great artist had. I mention this detail in particular because what Van Gough did for de Botton, de Botton does for the reader. "The Art of Travel" introduces the reader to an attitude toward and practice of travel that allows him or her to enjoy it more fully. de Botton's suggestions and observations are surprising, of the "Huh, I never thought about that" variety.
de Botton is well read, and he draws upon his knowledge of artists, philosophers, naturalists and poets, combined with first-person narrative, to illuminate his points. If you take the author's suggestions to heart, wherever you go -- across the globe or in your own neighborhood -- you will immerse yourself in your wanderings to a greater and more satisfying degree.
Having said that, I should add that this book is not just a means to an end. The journey itself is enjoyable. de Botton's writing is as engaging as his philosophy is attractive.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Philosophical tools for a meaningful travelling experience. 30. August 2002
Von C. Middleton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Alain De Botton's latest publication, ~The Art of Travel~ is a philosophical investigation, simply written, on the reasons and motivations for why we travel. The book's main thesis is that our lives are dominated by a search for that illusive and fleeting emotion or state known as happiness. Travel, he proposes, is a major activity, amongst many, where we seek-out this state of mind. Travel can possibly show us what life is about outside our routine-filled day-to-day existence. The book examines our motives for travelling, our anticipations, and expectations using the writings of various artists, poets and explorers, providing different and highly creative perspectives on the subject.
Personally, I found the most rewarding and instructive chapter to be, 'On eye-opening Art', using the views and paintings of Vincent van Gogh. Just as instructive, however, is the chapter, 'On Possessing Beauty', drawing on the works of the 19th century critic and writer, John Ruskin. The message from both these individuals are quite similar. One of the tasks of art, specifically painting, is to provide us, the viewer, with new perspectives in which to view the world. Vincent van Gogh's exceedingly original style and use of colour, for example, transformed, for some of us, the way we see a sunflower, a wheat field and a Cypress tree. When viewing these works of art, or any work of art, we are inspired to travel to these places where the artist created, and experience the subject of the works first-hand.
John Ruskin believed that one of our primary needs in life is beauty and its possession. He suggested that the only meaningful way to possess beauty was through understanding it: '...making ourselves conscious of the factors (psychological and visual) that are responsible for it,' (P.220) The way to attain this understanding, he suggests, is to draw and write (word paint) those things and places we come across in our travels that strike us as beautiful. A person sitting down in front of an expansive landscape, and sketching its many features, will discover aspects about the scene that would be invisible to the casual observer. When travelling, take the time to draw and write about those places and things one sees, and the experience will be much richer as a result.
~The Art of Travel~ is a helpful philosophical guide to the budding and seasoned traveller. Where other books on the subject instruct us on where to go and what to see, Alain De Botton tells us how to approach our journeys and some useful tools on achieving a much more meaningful and rewarding experience.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wherever You Go, There You Are 26. Mai 2006
Von James Paris - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I work for some very wealthy people who travel frequently. They always buy a package tour for umpteen thousands of dollars, stay at four-star hotels or on luxury cruise vessels, make no effort to read anything about the countries they're visiting because there's "not enough time," and -- other than some nice photographic trophies and a few stories about the funny things their guide said -- don't know much more about their destinations after the trip than before.

In his other books that I have read -- HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE and THE CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY -- Alain de Botton has succeeded to taking very complex material and distilling it down to a few home truths that are as enlightening as anything I have read on the subjects.

You can imagine that I was eager to see what de Botton would do with travel, about which I know something because I love it above all other things in my life. Before going on a vacation, I start a six-month reading program encompassing guidebooks, histories, biographies, and the literature of the country or countries I am visiting.

When I visited Iceland in 2001, for example, I read all the major medieval Icelandic sagas, anything I could find by Nobel Prize winner Halldor Laxness, histories, travel books by W. H. Auden, Lord Dufferin (19th century Governor General of Canada), and others. That would place me in the category of J. K. Huysmans's hero Des Esseintes -- with one major difference: I also took the journey and enjoyed it. I am doing the same prep now for an upcoming visit to Patagonia.

People travel for many reasons, but they sometimes forget that travel will not necessarily open their minds and hearts to anything. There is an old 1960s saying: "Wherever you go, there you are." De Botton exposes our motives and shows that, in effect, the way to enjoy travel the most is to be prepared for and open to change, to in effect change the "you" that is travelling.

Both Pascal and Dostoyevsky have noted that man is unhappy largely because he does not know how to stay quietly in his own room. If so, man will be no happier under a palm tree in Bora Bora.

There is one scene in the first chapter, "On Anticipation," that summarizes it all for me. De Botton and his travelling companion get into a spat over who gets which portion of dessert. Despite the idyllic setting in Barbados, the day is spoiled for both of them:

"There is a contrast between the vast projects we set in motion, the construction of hotels and the dredging of bays, and the basic psychological knots that undermine them, How quickly may the advantages of civilisation be wiped out by a tantrum. The intractibility of the mental knots points to the austere, wry wisdom of those ancient philosophers who walked away from prosperity and sophistication and argued, from within a barrel or a mud hut, that the key ingredients of happiness could not be material or aesthetic but most always be stubbornly psychological..."

And there we get to the rub: This is a book about how travel can make you happy -- if you're ready for it!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An "examined life" continues... 28. November 2002
Von Charles S. Houser - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
De Botton seems to have given his new book, like two of his previous volumes (HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE and THE CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY), a self-satirizing title. But like those earlier works, THE ART OF TRAVEL exhibits a strong belief in the ability of art, observation, and thinking about art to make a difference on how one experiences one's own life and place in the world. His interest in "stay-at-home" artists, first evidenced in his study of Proust, continues. THE ART OF TRAVEL is comprised of nine chapters. The first ("On Anticipation") uses the disappointment of the decadent aesthete "hero" of J.K. Huysmans's novel A REBOURS as the basis of an exploration of why the experience of travel never seems to match our expectations (at least for those of us who are well-read). Huysmans's Parisian hero had a hankering to see London after reading a Dickens novel, made preparations for his trip, but got no further than an English tavern in Paris when he "was abruptly overcome by lassitude." In the final chapter ("On Habit") de Botton identifies an author who takes Huysmans's and Proust's approach to travel to the extreme--Xavier de Maistre. The work is JOURNEY AROUND MY BEDROOM. (The man and the book exist; I checked the Internet.) De Botton, in his humorously endearing way tries to follow de Maistre's example...but his bedroom is too small (and too crowded with books, I might add...He gives us a photograph.) Instead, he uses his immediate neighborhood as a basis for seeing what there is to see when one makes up one's mind to notice the details one would notice (without prompting) in more exotic locales. Sandwiched between these two chapters are excellent essays based on an examination of the works and world views of Charles Baudelaire & Edward Hopper ("On Traveling Places"); Gustave Flaubert ("On the Exotic"); the detail obsessed Alexander von Humboldt ("On Curiosity"); the ever-peripatetic William Wordsworth ("On the Country and the City"); Edmund Burke and the anonymous author of JOB ("On the Sublime"); the late-blooming but revolutionary artist Vincent van Gogh ("On Eye-Opening Art"); and the highly articulate artist John Ruskin ("On Possessing Beauty"). As with de Botton's earlier books, there will be those who feel he has been too superficial in his examination of his sources and too quick to see their application for our lives today. But I disagree. I find that he gives the reader plenty to think about without burdening us with too much analysis. He gives us the box and opens the lid. It's the reader's job to make the connections and explore the contents.
If nothing else, this book left me with the desire to read van Gogh's letters (which I own) and anything by Ruskin (which I don't own but will certainly start looking for on Amazon.com; I found Ruskin's observation about the twin purposes of art to be as true today as when he noted them: to make sense of pain and to fathom the sources of beauty, p. 233.)
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