Marco Polo didn’t go there

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I 've loved this book so much because the author was able to blend together a story telling of  cultures, his honest thoughts, his intentions as a  writer, and the technic he's using, all of it expressed fluently and with a rich and sophisticated and yet  simple language. You just don't want to stop reading. It is one of the few books where I read the notes with the same interest and eagerness that i have for  the main text because are necessary to understand the whole mission. I appreciate the fact that he speaks out with honesty and fearlessness about his points of view. He is a model for me and a reference point for my own writings. it is a book that you need to read over and over if you are following the travel writing path. A great teacher.

Excerpt:

¨In the 1955 book Tristes Tropiques, Claude Levi-Strauss noted how anthropologists might miss the true dynamic of a culture if they focus too closely on its perceived purity. “While I complain of being able to glimpse no more than the shadow of the past,” he wrote, “I may be insensitive to reality as it is taking shape at this very moment.… A few hundred years hence, in this same place, another traveler, as despairing as myself, will mourn the disappearance of what I might have seen, but failed to see.”

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¨When you enter into an experience with the intention of writing about it, you tend to travel the world more creatively and observe it more thoughtfully (even when the experience in question takes place on the fringes of a Hollywood movie production in Thailand).¨
“You look American,” she said. “You’re wearing white socks.” My new partner introduced herself as Edita (“just like the boss of a newspaper,” she said) and went to work. Standing at the edge of the road, she laid one hand across her heart, raised the other into the air and gave her eyelashes an exaggerated flutter—as if she were portraying a coquettish onstage vixen. Within a minute, a white van pulled over and picked us up.

 

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