The Art of Travel  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
The Art of Travel is a 2002 book by Alain de Botton. It's noted for its lyrical, personal style of writing and looks at themes in the psychology of travel: how we imagine places before we see them, how we remember beautiful things, what happens to us when we look at deserts, or stay in hotels, or go to the countryside.


Chapter 1

On expectations, guided by J. K. Huysmans, concept of the armchair traveler. Imagining travelling is more exciting than travel itself.

Chapter 2

On transitory places, guided by Charles Baudelaire and Edward Hopper (who was a fan of Baudelaire and had first read him when he moved to Paris in 1906). T. S. Eliot had decribed Baudelaire's poetry as « la poésie des départs, des salles d’attente. »

Hopper romanticizes the lonely traveller.

Chapter 3

Exotica, guided by Flaubert, being a chapter on Egypt and Orientalism.

Chapter 4

Curiousity, guided by Alexander Von Humboldt.

Chapter 5

Landscape, guided by William Wordsworth.

Chapter 6

The Sublime, guided by Edmund Burke and Job.

Chapter 7

Art, guided by Vincent van Gogh.

A poem by Nietzsche on "realistic" painting.

Chapter 8

On possessing beauty, guided by John Ruskin.

Chapter 9

On habits, guided by Xavier de Maistre.

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