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Aret by Alain de Botton. The idea is to not just capture the scene, but to fully describe the emotional connection we have to the moment—in psychological terms even. I loved the chapter featuring a lot of van Gogh and also the Ruskin-heavy one. He begins with a trip to the Caribbean, contrasting it nicely to Huysman’s des Esseintes a very unsuccessful travellerand captures the longings and disappointments of any travel-undertaking well.

It appears that he is quite successful, despite the disparate and commercially unpromising topics he chooses to write about. Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel is again se book that combines literary, philosophical, and artistic speculations, as well as bits of biography and autobiography and applies these to a specific subject — in this case; travel, more or less.

De Botton has a wonderful ability to bptton in all kinds of unexpected references to artists and writers, such as Charles Baudelaire and Edward Hopper.

I think the key messages of the book are well captured in the very first chapter: Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs. In that sense, The Art of Travel is not just a book about travel, but a book about seeing things in newer, more enlightening ways; a book about how to find and appreciate beauty, and through these processes, a book about enriching our life experience.


It’s a book of which many readers are still fondest. So let me conclude with a quote of my own, from Twain. You can appreciate this book quite nicely even while sitting on the couch at home, but I happened to read it while travelling in Honduras.

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El arte de viajar – Alain de Botton – Google Books

Overall, de Botton’s writing is excellent. De Botton specialises in this approach, indeed, it can be found in all his books, fiction or not. I couldn’t put it down. After tackling Proust wellphilosophy badlyand love repeatedlytravel seems an appropriate subject, something the young and not quite jet-setting semi-intellectual is well suited for.

Reading that chapter was like a spiritual awakening; something akin to the transcending experience one feels when looking at slews of massive mountaintops or stretches of distant, barren deserts.

The Art of Travel

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves – that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. This is appropriate, because the travel experience itself is subjective.

Interestingly de Botton, always so keen to explore every detail, doesn’t pause to consider what it might mean that she is blocking him and the lovely beach out with her headphones and reading Durkheim.

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. Well-read, with some artistic sensibility and a bit of a philosophical bent, de Botton generally makes an amusing if occasionally irritating guide. It is not a light reading book for non native english speakers, in my opinion less. Over the course of this little book, the author engages with a number of travel-related ideas: At first, he provides sound, interesting, and useful philosophies on art.


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In a sense The Art of Travel is more paean to art than travel. He remains focussed — nay, fixated entirely on himself. This guy is obviously French, wealthy, and Christian none of which are bad traits, but he didn’t seem to open up to the glory that is a foreign culture. No trivia or quizzes yet. Alaiin book just wasn’t my cup of tea.

A arte de viajar – Alain de Botton – Google Books

Want to Read saving…. De Botton even often emphasizes the simplest form of travel: With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Lifede Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of botyon everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.

Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others With Botton’s help, I now have more tools.

View all 4 comments. And there are also many illustrations and photographs all, unfortunately, only in black and white: It’s a style of writing that has been termed a ‘philosophy of everyday lif Alain de Botton is a writer and television viauar who lives arts London and aims to make philosophy relevant to everyday life.

Jul 05, David rated it really liked it. But the writing becomes too involved, becoming dry, pedantic, and completely unrelated to travel.