The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road

The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road

Paul Theroux

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0547737378

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“A book to be plundered and raided.” — New York Times Book Review

“A portal into a world of timeless travel literature curated by one of the greatest travel writers of our day.” — USA Today

Paul Theroux celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe in this collection of the best writing from the books that have shaped him as a reader and a traveler. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, The Tao of Travel contains excerpts from the best of Theroux’s own work interspersed with selections from travelers both familiar and unexpected:

Vladimir Nabokov         Eudora Welty
Evelyn Waugh          James Baldwin
Charles Dickens         Pico Iyer
Henry David Thoreau         Anton Chekhov
Mark Twain         John McPhee
Freya Stark         Ernest Hemingway
Graham Greene         and many others

“Dazzling . . . Like someone panning for gold, Theroux reread hundreds of travel classics and modern works, shaking out the nuggets.” — San Francisco Chronicle

The Boundless Open Sea: Essays at the Intersection of Zen and Critical Theory

Essays on Giordano Bruno

The John McPhee Reader

Tin House: Weird Science

Selected Writings (Fyfield Books)














a division of Random House, Inc. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West, copyright 1940, 1941, renewed © 1968, 1969 by Rebecca West. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Excerpts from Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert in Egypt, translated by Francis Steegmuller. Copyright © Francis Steegmuller, 1972. Reprinted with permission of McIntosh & Otis, Inc. All rights reserved. “Happiness”, translated by Stephen Kessler, copyright © 1999 by Maria Kodama;

you live in England and your girlfriend is in Sicily, and it is clear you want to marry her, then you should walk to Sicily to propose. For these things travel by car or aeroplane is not the right thing.” And he walked the walk. In 1974, hearing that the German film director Lotte Eisner was dying in Paris, Herzog decided to walk the five hundred miles there from Munich, “believing that she would stay alive if I came on foot.” He added, as passionate walkers often do, “Besides, I wanted to be

hand — the Batetela never leave any bones when they are eating meat, unless it’s a particularly big pig femur or something equivalent. For monkeys, ducks, and chickens, it’s everything down the hatch. You are encouraged to gnaw the monkey knuckles, removing the meat before cracking them open with your teeth and sucking out the marrow. Yum. Sampling Fried Sago Beetle in New Guinea Stef cooked a dinner of fried catfish, along with a healthy portion of sago beetle. The larvae were

francs to the Chief of Boha,” [the old man] shouted in French, “and 20,000 francs to the Vice-President of the People’s Committee. Then if the Government come with soldiers to take our Chief to prison in Epéna they must take their Vice-President away too. The white man will keep faith with our Customary Rights.” “It’s far too much!” I said. The old man nodded. The warrior to the right and behind me lowered his spear and pricked me gently between the shoulder-blades. “It’s a bargain!”

FOR A WRITER TO DESCRIBE A PLACE HE OR SHE has not bothered to visit is not only self-deluded but deeply insulting to the people living there and to those travellers who actually troubled to go there. Laziness, indifference, contempt, fear of the place, fear of travel, fear of being disillusioned, and the novelist’s natural instinct to fantasize — all are factors in the decision of a writer to stay home and invent the exotic, as Saul Bellow did, conjuring up an Africa he had never seen while

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