Writing Masterpieces

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Other contributors include such noted authors as Arthur C. Lucid, polished, provocative, inspiring, these essays are models of critical appreciation, offering personal, impassioned, thoughtful responses to a wide range of wonderful books.

Eliot Weinberger on Hindoo Holiday by J. Ackerley Arthur C. This compilation will serve admirably as a springboard for contemporary audiences, inspiring them to borrow these classics from the library.

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Read long enough—20 or 30 years, say—and you realize that "classics" is a mighty malleable word. Passionate readers all have classics of their own: books they return to again and again, whether the rest of the world is reading them or not. New York Review Books, in its wonderful reprint series NYRB Classics, picks up on that readerly passion with an eclectic lineup of backlist titles, all prefaced by authors who for the moment are better known than the writers they're introducing.

They will travel together on a journey full of coincidences and existential research.

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You want to believe in some hidden purpose. Everything seems exotic in the book: from the descriptions of giants to the incidents that took place. In my opinion, this is one of the finest travelogues of all times. In this novel, Hunter S.

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Thompson follows Raoul Duke and his attorney as they embark on a journey to chase the American Dream. A good part of the book is autobiographical while the pages of this novel are full of drugs. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country -but only for those with true grit. Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway-cuttings smothered in wild flowers, the deep meadows where the great shining horses browse and meditate, the slow-moving streams bordered by willows, the green bosoms of the elms, the larkspurs in the cottage gardens.

This is probably one of the very first travel books ever written and a must for your travel books library.

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As for not being ashamed to show our members, the fact is that we do no sin with them and therefore have no more shame in them than you have when you show your hand or face or the other parts of your body that do not lead you into carnal sin; whereas you use your members to commit sin and lechery, and so you cover them up and are ashamed of them. If you love Mark Twain as much as I do, then you will probably appreciate his travelogue from Europe.


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It is a wine-cask as big as a cottage, and some traditions say it holds eighteen hundred thousand bottles, and other traditions say it holds eighteen hundred million barrels. I think it likely that one of these statements is a mistake, and the other is a lie. But once upon a time, Patrick Leigh Fermor did that, back in ! Patrick Leigh Fermor is definitely one of the most important travel writers of the 20th century. But why should the thought that nobody knew where I was, as though I were in flight from bloodhounds or from worshipping Corybants bent on dismemberment, generate such a feeling of triumph?

It always did. This is a travelogue about a journey from London all the way to South-East Asia. And the best part? After four months of train-travel, Theroux decides to return back by catching the Trans-Siberian Railway. Can it really get any better? It had been my intention to stay on the train, without bothering about arriving anywhere: sight-seeing was a way of passing the time, but, as I had concluded in Istanbul, it was an activity very largely based on imaginative invention, like rehearsing your own play in stage sets from which all the actors had fled. He drives with his small car from village to village and he talks with bizarre characters.

And in the silence that is both inside of me and outside, I feel some long, voiceless collapse. The entire Apulian coastline dissolves in this quiet, after flaring up in my eyes and ears for mornings and afternoons of pre-human, sub-human chaos.

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A true masterpiece and a cornerstone book of post-War America. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies. This is definitely one of the most poetic travel books of all times. The Nobelist author and philosopher delivers here several texts about his most beloved places. The thing that connects these places is, of course, the eternal summer. The truth is though, that I read it dozens of times. So it is with certain Spanish towns, with Florence or with Prague. Salzburg would be peaceful without Mozart. But from time to time there rings out over the Salzach the great proud cry of Don Juan as he plunges toward hell.

Vienna seems more silent; she is a youngster among cities. Her stones are no older than three centuries and their youth is ignorant of melancholy. It was very difficult to decide between Camus and Chatwin. The reason I nominated Chatwin in No.

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The Songlines , this masterpiece of storytelling and travel writing, is probably my favorite travel book. Chatwin was really an adventurer and his thirst for knowledge brought him to every corner of this planet.


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This is an outstanding journey to Australia, where he researched Aboriginal songs in connection with nomadic travel. A masterpiece. Since, during this rhythmic phase, he will be forever naming the contents of his territory, it is impossible he will not become a poet. So, this is the list of the best travel books! How many of these travel books have you read? Do you have any suggestions I bet you do! Feel free to comment!

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Hi Georg, good article and inspiring literature. I am Swiss, swiss german speaking, and therefore German is no problem. I am looking forward to your next blog post, keep blogging, Christian. Hello dear Christian, Thank you very much for your very kind comment.

All the best, George.

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