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The Art of Travel por Alain De Botton
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The Art of Travel (original 2002; edição 2004)

por Alain De Botton (Autor)

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2,649573,957 (3.7)79
From the author of The Consolations of Philosophy, this is an inspirational and witty guide to how to make our travels go better.
Título:The Art of Travel
Autores:Alain De Botton (Autor)
Informação:Vintage (2004), Edition: Illustrated, 272 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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The Art of Travel por Alain de Botton (2002)

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Inglês (51)  Espanhol (3)  Holandês (1)  Catalão (1)  Sueco (1)  Todas as línguas (57)
Mostrando 1-5 de 57 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I read the Kindle version, which unfortunately did not have most of the pictures and did have some strange (presumably character recognition related) typos.

There were some lovely moments in this book (de Botton not wanting to get out of bed, his bossy guidebook, de Maistre's room travel, Wordsworth's love of nature...), but over all it didn't grab me. ( )
  KWharton | Sep 3, 2020 |

A thought provoking book on several aspects of travel, from anticipation to opening the mind and eyes to see more. ( )
  GeoffSC | Jul 25, 2020 |
Alain De Botton - [The Art of Travel]
"mais il faut cultiver notre jardin" is the last thing Candide says in Voltaires novel published in 1759, after travelling extensively and seeing some of the man made horrors in the world. Alain de Botton seems to come to a similar conclusion at the end of his The Art of Travel, although he might extend his garden to include his immediate locality. Why bother to travel when there is so much to see close to home if you can be bothered to look more carefully. Published in 2002 this book might become more relevant to a post covid-19 world where travel is likely to be either more difficult, more dangerous or both. Miles Davis is reported to have said something like 'why do I need to go and visit famous sights when I can see pictures of them in books.' Why indeed and after reading de Botton, and perhaps being careful of your carbon footprint you might think that Miles Davis had a point. I am sure that de Botton wished to educate his readers on how to travel better, how to enhance their experiences, but his own examples of his travels are hardly inspirational: a wet three days in the lake district (England), a package holiday to Barbados and a guilty escapade in Madrid following a working seminar.

Alain de Botton is a Swiss born British philosopher who writes books and articles aimed at a more general readership. His first book 'Essay on Love" was a best seller and his "The Consolations of Philosophy" published in 2000 also sold well. He has then turned his attention to travel; travel for pleasure and to help with his ideas he has enlisted the aid of artists (authors and painters) from the past to act as our guides. Wordsworth accompanies us in our travels in the Lake District, Vincent Van Gogh is present in Provence (France) and Edward Hopper in the transit stations along the way. The book starts with the thoughts of the Duc des Esseintes the misanthropic hero of J K Huysman's "A Rebours" who came to the conclusion that: the anticipation of travel is so much better than the real thing. The Duc made careful preparations to travel from his Villa on the outskirts of Paris to London, but when he arrived at the Parisian train terminus he had a cup of coffee and decided it was not worth the effort and returned home. There are further examples of regretful travellers: for example Charles Baudelaire:

We saw stars
And waves; we saw sand to
And, despite many crises and unforeseen disasters
We were often bored, just as we are here.

It would be misleading to give the impression that the book is totally negative about travelling, but de Botton does always find something that stops him being euphoric about the experience.

In addition to de Botton's thoughts on travelling the prime motive for the book is as a self-help guide, to encourage people to think a little more about what they are doing and why they are doing it. I personally found many of his observations to be in tune with my thoughts or at least how I would like to be thinking if I took the time to write them down. His ideas can seem a little trite but they are mercifully free from wisecracks and bon mots. Towards the end of the book John Ruskin is our guide in a search for beauty and how we can benefit by looking more carefully at what is around us, perhaps taking the time to sketch our viewpoints as a way of making us see more of what is there. We are almost back to spending our time cultivating our garden and not intrusively involving ourselves in the lives of other people.

I started of reading impatiently; in as much as de Botton seemed to spend much of his energy in stating the blindingly obvious, but I warmed to him and his thoughts as he paired his travels with authors and painters from the past to give a resonance to his own writing. My penguin edition of the book contains many and only black and white photos, which do nothing to enhance the text as they are of such poor quality. Perhaps this is a coffee table book struggling to get out. It might work better in a larger format with better art work.

The book probably won't stop you booking your next holiday and it is not intended to do so, but it might make you think a little more about your expectations and how you can gain more enjoyment from the experience. 3.5 stars. ( )
1 vote baswood | Jul 10, 2020 |
Any travel guide will tell us where we should travel and what we should see when we get there. Alain de Botton tries to tell us WHY we should travel.

In various chapters he expounds on what it is that travel offers us. From new experiences to wonders (small and large), from expanding our cultural references, to finding the familiar in a completely foreign location. He waxes poetic on the anticipation of arriving at a new location, the marvels of modes of transportation, on “country” vs “city,” on finding beauty – in the familiar as well as the exotic.

Sprinkled throughout are numerous references to previous travelers: Gustave Flaubert, William Wordsworth, Vincent Van Gogh, etc; as well as illustrations that support his text (both photographs and paintings).

I think he has opened my eyes and I will feel more open about all experiences henceforth, whether just the comfort of my own bedroom, the promise of Spring outside my window, or the excitement of a location that is completely new to me.

I picked up this book because it was a selection for a book club discussion run by a local university. Alas, COVID19 cancelled that meeting. I hope they will put it on the agenda again in the future. ( )
  BookConcierge | May 16, 2020 |
The Art of Travel, it is a curious combination of travel locations, the artists and writers who portrayed them in their work, and the personal experiences of the book’s author. The book revolves around the thought that “wherever you go, you’re still yourself when you get there,” with all your anxieties, needs, and preferences.
He describes being in exotic locations and still arguing about desserts with his companion. The restaurant had served them the same dessert; one which was smaller and perfectly shaped, and a second one which was much larger, but misshapen. The man (our author) switched the larger one that he was served, for the perfect one, saying that she should have more. She ate a bite, and then slipped into an angry space, which evolved into a dual sulk that lasted for half a day … reminding themselves that as beautiful as the surroundings were, they were the same people they were at home.
He writes so clearly about what people get from traveling. In one section, he beautifully describes how differently Vincent van Gogh saw landscapes and colors. For so many years, painters had been using the same subdued palette, until van Gogh came along and blew it all up.
To be honest, I read this fine book some time ago, but I still remember being so impressed with his writing and intellect, a trait that all Alain de Botton books seem to share.
Unless something major changes in my life, I don’t see myself doing much more traveling, but this book will always resonate with me. ( )
  jphamilton | Mar 26, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 57 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The trouble with The Art of Travel is that he clearly does not have the same enthusiasm for travel.
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Wenn das Streben nach Glück unser Leben beherrscht, erschließen uns vielleicht nur wenige unserer Handlungen soviel über die Dynamik dieser Suche – mit all ihrer Inbrunst und ihren Paradoxien – wie die Reisen, die wir unternehmen.
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From the author of The Consolations of Philosophy, this is an inspirational and witty guide to how to make our travels go better.

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