Armchair traveler  

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"What is the use of moving, when one can travel on a chair so magnificently? [...] An overwhelming aversion for the trip, an imperious need of remaining tranquil, seized him with a more and more obvious and stubborn strength." --Des Esseintes in Against the Grain

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An armchair traveler is literally someone who prefers thinking about traveling when sitting comfortably at home in his armchair.

Joris-Karl Huysmans's practically invented the concept of the armchair traveler when he created fictional character Des Esseintes in Against the Grain who thought that imagining traveling was more exciting than travel itself. The concept can also be applied to Boris Vian, who was enthusiastic about jazz and American culture, but never set a foot in that country, and to Ann Radcliffe, who based her literary depictions of Italy on the paintings of Salvator Rosa.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Armchair traveler" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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