Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001 - Travel - 466 pages
Paul Theroux's first collection of essays and articles devoted entirely to travel writing, FRESH AIR FIEND touches down on five continents and floats through most seas in between to deliver a literary adventure of the first order, with the incomparable Paul Theroux as a guide. From the crisp quiet of a solitary week spent in the snowbound Maine woods to the expectant chaos of Hong Kong on the eve of the Hand-over, Theroux demonstrates how the traveling life and the writing life are intimately connected. His journeys in remote hinterlands and crowded foreign capitals provide the necessary perspective to "become a stranger" in order to discover the self. A companion volume to SUNRISE WITH SEAMONSTERS, FRESH AIR FIEND is the ultimate good read for anyone fascinated by travel in the wider world or curious about the life of one of our most passionate travelers.
 

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FRESH AIR FIEND: Travel Writings

User Review  - Kirkus

The prolific Theroux (Sir Vidia's Shadow, 1998, etc.) gives full vent to his wanderlust in this virtuoso collection of travel essays, all but one of which were written after his prior aggregation ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LindaBallou - LibraryThing

Paul Theroux says normal people don’t become writers. It is just not healthy to sit in a room for hours staring intently into your own mind. He counter-balances this basically inward condition by ... Read full review

Contents

III
17
IV
35
V
40
VI
46
VII
49
VIII
55
IX
57
X
62
XXXII
298
XXXIII
312
XXXIV
321
XXXV
323
XXXVI
328
XXXVII
330
XXXVIII
336
XXXIX
341

XI
65
XII
70
XIII
79
XIV
85
XV
91
XVI
93
XVII
102
XVIII
106
XIX
113
XX
120
XXI
126
XXII
148
XXIII
151
XXIV
155
XXV
157
XXVI
189
XXVII
236
XXVIII
269
XXIX
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XXX
283
XXXI
293
XL
347
XLI
349
XLII
355
XLIII
363
XLIV
372
XLV
378
XLVI
384
XLVII
388
XLVIII
393
XLIX
395
L
408
LI
419
LII
423
LIII
432
LIV
435
LV
441
LVI
443
LVII
454
LVIII
459
LIX
463
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Page 8 - Augustine describes the learning of human language as if the child came into a strange country and did not understand the language of the country; that is, as if it already had a language, only not this one. Or again: as if the child could already think, only not yet speak. And 'think' would here mean something like 'talk to itself.
Page iii - A man sets himself the task of portraying the world. Through the years he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his face.
Page 12 - Many people - many nations can find themselves holding, more or less wittingly, that 'every stranger is an enemy'. For the most part this conviction lies deep down like some latent infection; it betrays itself only in random, disconnected acts, and does not lie at the base of a system of reason. But when this does come about, when the unspoken dogma becomes the major premiss in a syllogism, then, at the end of the chain, there is the Lager.
Page 3 - The port from which I set out was, I think, that of the essential loneliness of my life — and it seems to be the port also, in sooth, to which my course again finally directs itself! This loneliness (since I mention it!) — what is it still but the deepest thing about one? Deeper, about me, at any rate, than anything else; deeper than my "genius," deeper than my "discipline," deeper than my pride, deeper, above all, than the deep counterminings of art.

About the author (2001)

Paul Theroux's highly acclaimed novels include Blinding Light, Hotel Honolulu, My Other Life, Kowloon Tong, and The Mosquito Coast. His renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Dark Star Safari, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, and The Happy Isles of Oceania. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.

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