Tuesday, March 30, 2021

"It’s more necessary than ever to find the empathetic experience of meeting another person, being in another culture, to smell it, to suffer it, to put up with the hardship and the nuisances of travel, all of that matters."

The pro-travel position, aspirationally articulated by Paul Theroux, quoted in "Would the Pandemic Stop Paul Theroux From Traveling? No. Of course not" (NYT). 

Nice photo of Theroux's workspace at the link. I'm a longtime fan of that genre of photography, and I declare this example worth a click. 

I'm also a longtime participant in the debate about whether to travel, and I'm more of a con than a pro. In that light, I'll say that Theroux sets a somewhat high bar for what you're supposed to be doing in this thing called travel — "empathetic experience," "being in, "smell it," "suffer it," "put up with the hardship." It's no pleasure trip. 

Another Theroux quote at the link: "You cannot be a grumpy traveler. You will not get anywhere. You’ll be killed, you’ll be insulted, you won’t be able to travel. So you need to get along with people. I think that I’m characterized as cantankerous perhaps because if you see things the way they are, and you just describe things the way they are, you can be accused of being unkind."

No comments:

Post a Comment